What exactly counts as “climate tech”? Basically all human activity is responsible for emissions, directly or indirectly. So nearly every new technology trend or capability has at least some role to play in curbing those emissions.

Robotics? Sure. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, of course. Synthetic biology? Definitely. 

But here’s a really interesting one: quantum computing

Mark Cupta is convinced it may actually be one of the most important technologies we’ll invent to mitigate climate change. Mark is a partner at Prelude Ventures, a climate-focused venture capital firm, and he’s made multiple investments in quantum-computing companies. 

Shayle and Mark talk about how it might unlock climate-tech breakthroughs that would otherwise take decades of brute-force PhD power. They talk about applications for new materials, battery and fuel chemistries, and synthetic biology. It could also help to solve optimization problems to improve the efficiency of logistics and operations. 

Although quantum computing may not itself reduce carbon emissions in a huge way, it could essentially enable other critical technologies that we need to fight climate change. 

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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