USV and the Climate Crisis

As we start a new decade it is worth examining our investment thesis. We continue to be convinced that our current focus on broadening access to knowledge, capital and wellbeing will help us surface promising opportunities. There is, however, also a clear realization that none of this will amount to much if the world succumbs to the climate crisis. Australia provides a horrific preview of the current trajectory.

Fortunately, there has also been a tremendous growth in public awareness, thanks to groups such as Fridays For Future, Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement. And at the same time, the last decade has seen tremendous progress in key technologies such as photovoltaics and batteries. As a result we believe there are important ways in which USV can both help fight the climate crisis and earn returns for our limited partners.

Today, we are announcing our first two climate-related investments: 

We are excited to be backing both of these teams. In addition to investing we are also making use of both services. We will be connecting the USV office thermostat to the Leap network as soon as Leap becomes available in New York. We are already offsetting all of our air travel, which is by far the largest component of USV’s carbon footprint, with a subscription on Project Wren.

This is just the beginning and we expect to be making more climate-related investments going forward. For the world to get to carbon neutral and from there to a reversal back to below 350 ppm will take a huge transformation not just of the energy supply but also of fields such as agriculture and remote work. As part of this effort we are also opening up our internal research – this deck is what we as a team have been using to keep all of our learnings in one place, we hope it is useful to you and we plan to keep working in the open as we continue to learn about and invest in this space.