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Photo: Axios

The world will have to spend four trillion dollars a year to solve the climate crisis, Tom Steyer, the billionaire founder of Farallon Capital, said at an Axios virtual event on Thursday, but private businesses will play a crucial role.

Why it matters: Steyer's comments come two weeks after the billionaire launched Galvanize, a climate tech investment platform that will back companies from the seed-stage through private equity and project finance.

  • The platform intends to form a series of funds with different investment strategies, totaling billions of dollars, to invest throughout the climate tech ecosystem, Axios' Dan Primack reports.
  • Steyer, a former presidential candidate, also expressed confidence in the climate initiatives in President Biden's infrastructure bill becoming law, saying, "I think it will happen, it will be significant... and it will be very positive."

What they're saying: "We are seeing a lot more investors, a lot more companies starting to focus on specific climate solutions," Steyer said. "But there's a need for much more."

  • "[A]s money comes in here, we're also going to see an explosion of entrepreneurial talent, of innovation and of focus," he added.
  • "Ten years ago, we were in a completely different political and societal attitude towards our climate crisis. [W]e've had a decade of proof that what people were talking about 10 years ago as a crisis is here and we're seeing it in the United States dramatically every year."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

John Kerry plays down COP26, knocks Congress over climate legislation

John Kerry. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says COP26 may not get all the results he has been working toward, in part because Congress has yet to act on President Biden's ambitious climate agenda.

Driving the news: In an interview with the AP, Kerry says the negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, may fall short of securing commitments from major emitters to stop burning coal and commit to aggressive near-term emissions cuts.

NOAA is raising its climate profile, its head says

The Nation Hurricane Center in Miami. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Richard W. Spinrad is the first Senate-confirmed administrator of NOAA in five years, which has its advantages in Washington.

What they're saying: “That immediately gets doors open and gets me access,” Spinrad told Axios in an interview following an interagency climate and equity roundtable in Detroit on Tuesday.

Facing existential threat from climate change, Pacific Islanders urge world to listen

Climate organizer Moñeka De Oro (left), Guam Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio and Micronesia Climate Change Alliance. Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Courtesy of MCCA and the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability

Decades after Pacific Islanders first raised the alarm, the rest of the world is finally catching up: The climate crisis is here, and it's accelerating.

Why it matters: Pacific Islanders, whose nations face an existential threat from climate change, were a major force behind the Paris Agreement. Heading into November's UN climate summit, they are calling for greater urgency in meeting the goals of the accord, and more direct action from world leaders — especially President Biden.