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Expert Voices: Kiko Ventures' Jamie Vollbracht

Photo illustration of Jamie Vollbracht surrounded by abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of Kiko Ventures

This week we caught up with Jamie Vollbracht, founder of early-stage venture firm Kiko Ventures.

Why he matters: Kiko Ventures is investing across hydrogen, clean energy, nuclear fusion and sustainable autonomous mobility, and counts Bramble Energy, C-Capture, First Light Fusion, Magnomatics, Oxbotica, RFC Power and Mixergy among its portfolio.

The below has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What in your view has been the big story in clean energy/climate tech this week?

  • The big story in the U.K. has been the cost-of-living situation, not least with the jump in domestic energy bills, which every household received on October 1. Similar challenges are being experienced in countries across Europe as the implications of the war in Ukraine play out.

What would you add to the narrative?

  • What’s interesting to reflect on is how the cost-of-living situation links to action on climate change. Some believe that it is negative, as policymakers’ focus will be diverted away from climate change. Perhaps. I am optimistic that it will prove beneficial from a climate perspective, as reducing energy costs goes hand-in-hand with reducing energy consumption and increasing renewables (which are the lowest-cost sources of energy). And we’re already seeing some policy shifts in that direction, for example the U.K. government removing barriers to onshore wind.

By contrast, what is not receiving the attention you feel it deserves?

  • The flooding in Pakistan, which left a third of the country underwater, didn't attract as much coverage as it should have done. Bangladesh’s devastating floods were even less well reported. Look at the hours of coverage of Hurricane Ian last week, versus the coverage of floods in the less developed world. This matters because climate change will hit the most vulnerable first and has predominantly been caused by the global elite.

In three-ish words, what change would you make to clean energy/climate-tech investing?

  • Think long-term fast.
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