The venture capital arm of JetBlue has become the latest aviation partner of the green investment fund TPG Rise Climate. 

JetBlue Technology Ventures will also be a limited partner of TPG Rise Climate, and expects to space its investment over annual payments that last six to 10 years, said JetBlue Technology Venture president Amy Burr.

She declined to say how much the airline will contribute, but said the annual check would be sizable, and large enough for JetBlue to feel like it has a seat at the table as TPG Rise Climate strategizes about its investments. 

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The investment fund, which had raised $6.8 billion according to a February financial filing, is focused on supporting climate solutions at scale. Its executive chairman is former U.S. Treasury secretary Hank Paulson. Other aviation-sector investors include Delta, Boeing, Federal Express and aircraft-component developer Honeywell Aerospace.

Amy Burr

Burr noted that decarbonizing transportation is among the five focuses of the Rise Climate Fund. That emphasis jibes with priorities at JetBlue, which has set goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.

It also complements the goals of JetBlue Technology Ventures, which already counts four companies doing work in sustainable aviation. Those companies are electric vertical takeoff and landing  aircraft developer Joby Aviation; Electric Power Systems, which is developing modular battery power for electric aircraft; Universal Hydrogen, which is working on a delivery system for green hydrogen fuel; and Air Company, which plans to develop a technology to convert carbon dioxide into jet fuel. 

Burr said that by putting money into an enormous fund like TPG Rise Climate, JetBlue can be involved in investments on a much larger scale that it can on its own. 

In addition, she said, Rise Climate is considering creating a small coalition to focus on optimizing sustainable aviation fuel development. 

“We’re thinking about what is going to be the future of decarbonizing the industry — what is going to be relevant in five or seven or 10 years to help this industry move beyond where we are today,” Burr said.

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