Microsoft President Brad Smith compared the effort to address climate change to the 1960s goal to put a man on the moon on Wednesday at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

In 1961, former President John F. Kennedy told the world that the U.S. would put men on the moon before 1970 at a time when a lunar lander hadn't even been designed. Kennedy never got to see the first man on the moon in 1969 because of his assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.

The push by world governments to convert to sustainable green technology is the future that drives investment in climate technology startups and companies, which have seen the most investment this year since world leaders and the U.N. established the Paris Climate agreement in 2016.

The efforts to create affordable, sustainable and effective climate tech seem like a mammoth -- perhaps even outlandish -- effort. However, Smith cites the global effort to develop and roll out impressive new technologies for the Covid-19 vaccines in a relatively short time as proof that it is possible, with collaboration, to bring forth massive advancements.

“When I look at carbon removal, carbon capture and storage, sustainable aviation fuel, long-duration battery storage — the companies that unlock the secrets to those innovations, they will become unicorns if they don’t exist today. They will be the household names in the year 2050,” Smith claimed.

Smith also attended the COP26 conference earlier this week, when world leaders made a lot of pledges, including promises to reduce carbon footprints and end deforestation. Two countries that were notably unwilling to make these pledges were among the world’s biggest polluters, China and India.

“We have the capability, I believe, to invent the technology that will be needed. That’s where the markets and a lot of this new investment, in part, will need to go,” Smith said.


© Copyright IBTimes 2022. All rights reserved.