San Francisco to be home to Soros-funded climate group

Billionaire George Soros will invest $1 billion in clean-energy technology and create an organization that will advise policymakers as they address climate change, which he called a “political problem.”

“I want to apply rather stringent criteria to the investments,” said Soros in an e-mailed message. “They should be profitable but should also actually make a contribution to solving the problem.”

Soros, the founder of hedge fund Soros Fund Management LLC, announced the investment in Copenhagen at a meeting on climate change sponsored by Project Syndicate. The group is an international association made up of 430 newspapers from 150 countries.

He also said he’s establishing the Climate Policy Initiative, a San Francisco-based organization to which he will donate $10 million a year for 10 years.

Its goal will be to look after the public interest as policies and programs are created to address climate change.

“We will be part advisory service, part policy developer and part watchdog,” said Thomas Heller, who is heading the initiative. Heller is a professor at Stanford University Law School whose expertise is in energy law and regulation and environmental law.

“The problem of global warming is primarily a political problem at this point,” Soros said. “The science is beyond dispute, but how do we achieve the objectives we all know are necessary? That is a political problem.”

— Bloomberg News

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