Soros aims to invest $1 bln in green tech

COPENHAGEN Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:57pm EDT

Investor George Soros listens to remarks as he takes part in a Brookings Institution discussion in Washington, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Investor George Soros listens to remarks as he takes part in a Brookings Institution discussion in Washington, April 24, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Theiler

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Billionaire George Soros said on Saturday that he would invest $1 billion in clean energy technology as part of an effort to combat climate change.

The Hungarian-born U.S. investor also announced he would form and fund a new climate policy initiative with $10 million a year for 10 years.

"Global warming is a political problem," Soros told a meeting of editors in the Danish capital where governments are scheduled to meet in December to try to hammer out a new global climate agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

"The science is clear, what is less clear is whether world leaders will demonstrate the political will necessary to solve the problem," he said, according to a brief email statement.

His remarks came a day after climate talks in Bangkok ended in deadlock over how much cash should be made available to poorer nations to help them cope with climate change and over the size of rich countries' greenhouse gas emissions cuts.

Soros said he would apply stringent criteria to his investments in clean energy technologies.

"I will look for profitable opportunities, but I will also insist that the investments make a real contribution to solving the problem of climate change," Soros said.

(Reporting by John Acher)

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