Reports on the upcoming Paris climate talks are stating that Bill Gates’ next big project will be focusing on clean energy.Gates and a group of developing and developed countries will agree to double their research and development budgets to boost clean energy deployment and work collaboratively, an energy and climate trade publication, citing government and business officials familiar with the agreement.
Gates, who previously pledged $2bn of his personal wealth to help tackle the issue of global warming, has joined forces with a group of developing and developed countries that will work collaboratively to find new solutions All of the participating countries have agreed to double their contributions towards the development of clean technology.
In a blog post in July this year, Gates said more breakthrough technologies are needed to combat climate change and that current technologies can only reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a ‘beyond astronomical’ cost. He further said that to inspire more private investment into clean energy research, governments need to start increasing funding. Access to clean energy technology is expected to play a key role in the new global agreement to combat climate change, which more than 190 countries will attempt to negotiate in Paris between 30 November and 11 December.
Gates has previously met with Indian Prime Minister Modi and French President Hollande on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September to discuss climate change. India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas-emitting country, has put clean energy technology into the heart of its national strategy to combat climate change.Gates will join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande to announce Initiative Cleantech at a side event on the opening day of the two-week climate summit, according to a summit agenda released by the French government Friday.
For India, the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, access to clean energy technology is at the core of its national strategy to combat climate change. India has argued that developed countries need to help poorer countries gain access to renewable energy or zero emission technologies by helping reduce incremental costs and removing barriers such as intellectual property rights. On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, Gates attended a bilateral meeting focused on climate change between Hollande and Modi.
India believes that developed countries should help poorer states to gain access to renewable energy or zero emission technologies by reducing incremental costs and removing barriers such as intellectual property rights. “The multibillion-dollar announcement will come at the opening day of landmark U.N. climate change negotiations in the French capital, and is expected to inject significant momentum to the talks,” ClimateWire states. The announcement is expected to include several developed and developing nations, including the United States and India, that will “agree to double their research and development budgets for clean energy and form a coalition to conduct joint work.”
How does Gates come in? He and several other billionaires are said to “pledge a pool of money to assist” in the projects. The global cooperative project is said to be significant, “the single biggest cooperative research and development partnership in history,” a source close to the deal told ClimateWire. This summer, Gates pledged to “invest $1 billion in clean energy technology over the next five years,” as he writes on Gates Notes here. In yet an earlier Gates Notes blog post, he wrote about why he was focusing on clean energy: “For countries to lift themselves out of poverty, they need lights in schools so students can study when it’s dark out,” Gates wrote. “Refrigerators in health clinics to keep vaccines cold. Pumps to irrigate farmland and provide clean water.” On another note, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s portfolio has come under criticism for including fossil fuels. Last spring, the Guardian led a campaign called “Keep it in the Ground,” to convince the Gates to change that.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference begins on Monday, with over 160 nations participating Giving back is likely something Gates picked up from his father, Bill Gates Sr., who turns 90 on Monday. If you haven’t already, you should read this profile of Gates Sr.’s tremendous impact in tech, philanthropy and more throughout the Seattle region. “With people like him (Gates) getting involved, there is a real possibility of there being private- sector partnerships on the technology side,” a Modi spokesman said after the Sept. 29 meeting. Gates has pledged $2 billion of his personal wealth over the next five years to “bend the curve” on climate change, he said this summer.
In a blog post in July, Gates said more breakthrough technologies are needed to combat climate change and that current technologies can only reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a “beyond astronomical” cost. He said accelerating government funding for clean energy research and development is crucial to attracting private investment to the field.