Microsoft founder Bill Gates is partnering with the European Union to create a roughly $115 million investment fund for green energy startups and new research, according to a Wednesday post on Gates’s blog GatesNotes.
Gates will meet members of the European Commission — in charge of proposing and enforcing EU policies and acting as the EU’s emissary in international discussions and treaties — in Belgium this week to sign the agreement. Gates is representing a partnership of private investors, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), that want to cut global carbon emissions by investing in new technology.
“To stop the planet from getting substantially warmer, we need breakthroughs in how we make things, grow food, and move people and goods — not just how we power our homes and cars,” Gates wrote.
BEV and the EU hope to create a public-private partnership for investing. Each partner will provide half of the starting capital for the pilot fund of roughly $115 million. The investors in BEV will be in charge of distributing the money and working with the recipients.
“We’ll have the resources to make a meaningful difference, and the flexibility to move quickly,” Gates wrote.
The United Nations’s International Panel on Climate Change released a report in October projecting that climate change would be severe and irreversible within a decade unless action is taken. The report, cited by Gates, estimates that annual investments between $1.6 trillion and $3.8 trillion a year in new technology are necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
BEV’s green energy research fund has a total of $1 billion to invest. (RELATED: UN Climate Science Report Grapples With The Likely Failure Of The Paris Accord)
Gates is a wealthy patron of the movement to fight climate change and has taken his money and status beyond the private sector to aid political initiatives such as a proposed carbon tax in Washington. Gates endorsed Initiative 1631 on Oct. 9 to institute a statewide tax on fossil fuel emissions.
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