Tom Steyer is turning his US green

Billionaire plans to cut emissions to net zero within three years

A photo illustration of billionaire Tom Steyer (Getty)
A photo illustration of billionaire Tom Steyer (Getty)

Billionaire Tom Steyer is galvanizing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Actually, it’s Steyer’s firm, Galvanize Climate Solutions, which is buying and improving property to cut emissions in its portfolio to net zero, without offsets, within three years, Bloomberg reported.

The focus will be on in western states, including Colorado, Texas, Arizona and California, the outlet reported.

“This is a real estate strategy with a decarbonization goal,” Joseph Sumberg, the head of Galvanize Real Estate, told Bloomberg. “Capitalism will look at this successful strategy, and replicate it, creating ripples through the built environment.” 

The plan is to buy properties that have surface parking to install solar arrays, as well as retrofit buildings to make them more energy efficient. 

“We’re trying to show that doing this is a good investment from an absolute, straight up financial point of view,” Steyer told Bloomberg. “The impact and the returns are linked; it’s not a trade-off. We are trying to create a new model for climate investing.” 

Galvanize is one of a number of firms that are part of reducing buildings’ carbon emissions.

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In 2021, Zara Realty raised nearly $83 million for its newest apartment building in Queens, which was touted as one of the first projects in the area that will meet with the caps the city has set on greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.

Zara had planned to finish the project this year. The nine-story, 218,000-square-foot building will rise a block from Jamaica’s 11.5-acre Rufus King Park, which the developers are touting as a major amenity for future tenants.

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Also, BlocPower announced a retrofit plan for more than 5,000 buildings, according to Bloomberg,

Steyer, meanwhile, walks the walk when it comes to green energy. He listed a San Francisco home that had 30 solar panels on the roof, a photovoltaic glass awning across the façade and a wind turbine, for $11 million in 2020.

— Ted Glanzer