Microsoft's Gates to start multi-billion-dollar clean tech initiative

Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:22pm EST
 
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By Valerie Volcovici and Emmanuel Jarry

NEW YORK/PARIS (Reuters) - Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will launch a multi-billion-dollar clean energy research and development initiative with heads of state on Monday, the opening day of the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, the French government said Friday.

Gates and a group of developing and developed countries will launch the Clean Tech Initiative, in which countries will commit to doubling their clean energy technology research and development budgets by 2020 and private investors will boost their own investments in the sector.

Access to clean energy technology will play a key role in a global agreement to combat climate change. More than 190 countries will negotiate a new pact in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 at the 21st U.N. Conference of the Parties summit.

France, the United States, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada and Norway have said they will join, a source close to the conference presidency told Reuters.

“Gates' announcement should prompt other countries to follow suit," the source said.

Gates will join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande to announce the initiative on the opening day of the two-week summit, according to an agenda released Friday.

For India, the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter, access to clean energy technology is at the core of its national strategy to combat climate change.

India has argued that developed countries need to help poorer countries gain access to renewable energy or zero-emission technologies by helping reduce costs and removing barriers such as intellectual property rights.   Continued...

 
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates gestures as he meets with China's Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, November 12, 2015. REUTERS/China Daily