30 Nov Bill Gates Expected to Create Billion-Dollar Fund for Clean Energy
WASHINGTON — Bill Gates will announce the creation of a multibillion-dollar clean energy fund on Monday at the opening of a Paris summit meeting intended to forge a global accord to cut planet-warming emissions, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
The fund, which one of the people described as the largest such effort in history, is meant to pay for research and development of new clean-energy technologies. It will include contributions from other billionaires and philanthropies, as well as a commitment by the United States and other participating nations to double their budget for clean energy research and development, according to the people with knowledge of the plans, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the fund.
The announcement of the fund, which has the joint backing of the governments of the United States, China, India and other countries, the people said, is intended to give momentum to the two-week Paris climate talks.
Negotiators hope to strike a deal committing every nation to enacting policies to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Mr. Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, will join more than 100 world leaders, including President Obama, in Paris on Monday to begin the talks.
The pending announcement was first reported by ClimateWire, an online news organization. A spokesman for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.
If successful, the Paris meeting could spur a fundamental shift away from the use of oil, coal and gas to the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. But that transition would require major breakthroughs in technology and huge infrastructure investments by governments and industry.
Where that money would come from has been a question leading up to the Paris talks. Developing countries like India, the third-largest fossil fuel polluter, have pushed for commitments by developed nations to pay for their energy transition, either through direct government spending or through inexpensive access to new technology.