COP21: President Obama, Bill Gates launch Mission Innovation in Paris; Mark Zuckerberg, Gates roll out Breakthrough Energy Coalition

By @vitthernandez on
Mission Innovation
World leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama (8thL), French President Francois Hollande (C), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (8thR), and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (7thL) attend a meeting to launch the 'Mission Innovation: Accelerating the Clean Energy Revolution' at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015. Reuters/Ian Langsdon/Pool

Besides taking part in the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP 21), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan are launching an initiative that would invest in zero-carbon energy technology globally.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition Priscilla and I are joining Bill Gates in launching the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to invest in new clean energy technologies.  Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg

Techcrunch reports that the initiative would be called Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Its aim, according to the coalition’s Web site, is to cover gaps in government funding in nations where the most promising and scalable ideas from public research institutions could be commercialised. It would do that by having a flexible approach to investments, making available early stage to Series A funding in various sectors such as power generation and storage, industrial use, agriculture and energy system efficiency.

Among the members of the coalition are Virgin Air founder Sir Richard Branson, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos and Softbank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son. The two tech global leaders timed the announcement of the coalition with COP 21 where Gates also unveiled with US President Barack Obama another initiative, Mission Innovation.

The 19-nation Mission Innovation would work with governments to increase by 100 percent public investments in energy research to $20 billion (AUD$27.66 billion) until 2020. The two initiatives, which has Gates as the common denominator, will coordinate their efforts as part of their commitment to cut carbon emissions and help avert further global warming.

For the public sector component of the initiative, experts say there is a need to exceed $20 billion because of the urgent need to shift to cleaner and renewable forms of energy from the current fossil fuel-based sources of power such as coal, oil and natural gas that worsen global warming. That would mean the US would need to spend at least $10 billion (AUD $13.83 billion) annually until 2020, reports Mashable.

Besides the US, other countries that are part of Mission Innovation are Denmark, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Canada, France, UK, Australia, Indonesia, South Korea and several smaller nations. The 19 make up about 80 percent of clean energy research and development spending in the world and 75 percent of global emissions of C02. The Mission is open to accepting more members.

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