Renee Nowytarger—The Sydney Morning Herald/Getty Images

Australia is a country with abundant sunshine. In fact, it has one of the highest levels of solar-power potential of any country in the world. Yet it is also one of the slowest to move away from coal.

Mike Cannon-­Brookes is working to change that. He is one of the visionaries and major backers (along with his fellow Australian green-­business champion, Andrew Forrest) behind a groundbreaking project that will allow Australia to not only harness its potential for solar power, but also export it. A 2,600-mile undersea cable (approximately the length of a cross-­country drive from Boston to Phoenix) will connect a massive new solar farm and energy-­storage site in northern Australia to Singapore, producing around-the-clock power.

And he’s not stopping there. When one of the country’s biggest energy utilities announced plans that would enable its coal plants to continue spewing greenhouse-gas pollution for another two decades, Cannon-Brookes put his financial firepower behind efforts to move the utility away from coal and toward clean energy.

Cannon-Brookes’ innovative investments and vocal advocacy for decarbonizing the private sector are redefining the role of climate activism in business and investment.

Gore is a former Vice President of the United States, and founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project

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