Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is planning to launch a multi-billion dollar clean energy research initiative to support the global efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.
As reported by energy and climate trade publication GreenWire, the Initiative Cleantech will be officially announced by Gates, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande at a side event during the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
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.
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.
"With people like [Gates] getting involved, there is a real possibility of there being private-sector partnerships on the technology side," a Modi spokesman said after the September meeting.