John Doerr, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists, is donating $1.1 billion to Stanford University to create a climate change and sustainability school.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Mr. Doerr’s contribution, which he is making with his wife Ann, is the greatest ever to a university for the foundation of a new school and the second largest gift to an academic institution. Only Michael R. Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion gift to his alma school, Johns Hopkins University, in 2018 comes close.

The Doerrs will become prominent sponsors of climate change research and scholarship as a result of the contribution, and Stanford will be at the forefront of governmental and private efforts to wean the globe off fossil fuels.”

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Mr. Doerr, who got his estimated $11.3 billion fortune investing in Internet firms such as Slack, Google, and Amazon, said in an interview that “Climate and sustainability is going to be the new computer science” “This is what the young people want to work on with their lives, for all the right reasons.”

Traditional academic departments related to subjects such as planetary science, energy technology, and food-and-water security will be housed within the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. It will also include many multidisciplinary institutions and a center dedicated to generating real climate policy and technological solutions.

Climate Change

“The school will absolutely focus on policy issues and on asking what would it take to move the world toward more sustainable practices and better behaviors,” Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the Stanford president, said in an interview.

Mr. Doerr joins a growing number of ultra-rich men who are contributing large sums of money to tackle global warming. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in 2020 that he would devote $10 billion of his own money to the Bezos Earth Fund, and revealed how part of the money will be used last year.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in 2019 that he would spend $500 million to help coal-fired power plants close. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has invested billions of dollars in climate-related initiatives through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Breakthrough Energy.