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Twelve climate technologies

This is an excellent blog post by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla about some of the “instigators” that are working to help solve our climate crisis and some of the areas in which we probably should be focusing on next. One of the things that’s noteworthy about the post is that he distills it all down into 12 areas of focus that — if solved and if scaled — could have a material impact on carbon emissions. They are (verbatim):

  1. Electric vehicles & automotive batteries
  2. Food & agriculture, especially meat
  3. Low carbon transportation: Air transportation (jet fuel), shipping (electrofuels, biofuels?)
  4. Cement or substitute construction material
  5. Low carbon dispatchable electricity generation (fusion, geothermal, nuclear)
  6. Public transit
  7. Grid storage (long duration battery storage)
  8. HVAC
  9. Industrial processes (hydrogen?)
  10. Fertilizer (hydrogen)
  11. Water
  12. Steel

Looking at this list, it is clear that some of these things are already happening (and some aren’t). I currently own an ICE vehicle, but I’m fairly certain it will be the last non-electric vehicle I ever own. It’s also not clear whether I will want to continue owning a car. Dynamic mass transit and overall autonomy are things that we’ve talked a lot about on this blog.

But here’s the other idea put forward in Khosla’s post. If these are in fact the 12 most impactful and important categories, then we may only be 12 or so companies away from real solutions. We only be 12 or so entrepreneurs away from meaningful societal change. When you look at it this way, the climate crisis should hopefully feel a lot less daunting.


  1. Scott MacKinnon

    Interesting that Fusion technology is not listed. Also there seems to be a bias towards electric cars. What about Hydrogen? The Chinese just bought into Ballard Power to develop buses, trucks. Things will also change because of the pandemic. More people working from home etc…


  2. Scott MacKinnon

    Just wanted to say thanks. A few years ago you posted about development cycle. I’m wondering if you still have that article as I’m watching it play out in real time hear in east end Toronto with the Relief Line, Portlands etc… Thanks again I enjoy my daily reads!


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