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Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and
Other Tech Moguls join forces to
solve climate change

Technologies aimed at bringing affordable
and reliable clean energy to the planet
have brought together a number of the
world’s most powerful figures in tech to
invest in them.

Bill Gates, the world’s wealthiest person
and Microsoft’s co-founder and
philanthropist will launch the world’s
largest endeavor, the Breakthrough Energy
Coalition
, at the climate change summit in
Paris alongside President Obama and
French President Francois Hollande. The
announcement comes on day one of the
United Nations climate change talks in
Paris.

The fund will be fed by a group that spans
more than two dozen public and private
entities — including national governments,
billionaire philanthropists, investment fund
managers and tech CEOs.

“The renewable technologies we have
today, like wind and solar, have made a lot
of progress and could be one path to a
zero-carbon energy future. But given the
scale of the challenge, we need to be
exploring many different paths — and that
means we also need to invent new
approaches,” Gates said in a statement.

Among the list of backers are Alibaba CEO
Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook,
Meg Whitman of HP and Virgin Group’s
Richard Branson. The organization’s
membership roster includes some of the
most prolific names in technology,
including Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos,
Jack Ma, and Masayoshi Son.

During the event, Gates and U.S. President
Barack Obama are expected to unveil a
significant new initiative called Mission
Innovation
, which will work with
governments to double public investments
in energy research over the next five
years.


The coalition work with 20 countries that
are participating in Mission Innovation, an
initiative that will see these nations double
their energy research investments over the
next five years to $20 billion.

“Private companies will ultimately develop
these energy breakthroughs, but their work
will rely on the kind of basic research that
only governments can fund,” Gates added.

According to government data, the U.S.
spends about $5 billion on energy R&D
compared to $31 billion on health care
research and nearly $70 billion on defense
research.

Mission Innovation and the Breakthrough
Energy Coalition are separate programs,
but will work closely together in countries
that have committed to reducing carbon
emissions.

On its website, the Breakthrough Energy
Coalition explains that its goal is to cover
gaps in government funding in countries by
commercializing the most promising and
scalable ideas to come out of public
research institutions. More specifically, the
group will consider early stage investment
opportunities in sectors like electricity
generation and storage, transportation,
agriculture and energy system efficiency.


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