Is there a billionaire on the planet that puts his money where his mouth is more than Bill Gates?
ClimateWire is reporting that Gates will announce the world's largest clean energy research and development collaboration Monday, Nov. 30, as part of the opening day of the United Nations' climate change negotiations in Paris. While the exact amount of the research is unknown, it's projected to be in the billions and will pool billionaires around the world together in the effort.
"This is the single biggest cooperative research and development partnership in history," one source told ClimateWire.
Government and business officials with knowledge of the impending announcement also told the website that the United States and India have agreed to double their respective clean energy research and development budgets for the joint effort.
(Photo : Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images Entertainment)
Gates, among the billionaires involved, will pledge an undisclosed amount toward the initiative.
"This is the beginning of a broader effort to demonstrate that clean technology research and deployment will be the key to meeting the climate goals made in Paris," an ex-government official, speaking under anonymity, told ClimateWire.
Hal Harvey, chief executive of clean-energy consultancy Energy Innovation, also told ClimateWire that this funding could go a long way toward eventually decreasing the cost of zero-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.
"It's spectacular what public research and development has created in this country. You cannot name a single technology that hasn't had a huge boost [from public funding]," Harvey said. "We're not going to be in it if we don't decide R&D is one of our core strengths."
Let's see how this pans out Monday.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference is expected to result in an international climate agreement enabling the world governments to limit global warming to below 2° C. Attendees will work on a binding agreement on climate change that applies to all countries and talk about the investment that each country feels able to make, as well as local and regional initiatives developed by local governments, civil organizations and businesses that will supplement contributions from governments. It runs Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 at the Le Bourget site outside Paris.