White House, French President and Bill Gates announce major clean tech investment initiative

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30 November 2015

PARIS: Today, following the opening of the United Nations’ 21st conference on climate change, COP21, French President Francois Hollande, Bill Gates and the White House announced the launch of a major clean tech investment initiative.

Mission Innovation is a collaborative commitment by states to double their research and development budgets by 2020, totalling US$20 billion over the next five years. The joint statement, signed by 20 of the biggest countries in the world, is a specific call for climate action aimed at businesses.

“Many companies have already demonstrated how acting on climate is good for their business and their customers,” comments Mark KenberCEOThe Climate Group. “Our initiative RE100, which aims to help leading companies go 100% renewable, is showing how clean technology is at the core of business, not just in the future but today.

“To further accelerate this transition, research and development is key. The great advances in clean technology have helped costs of renewables to plummet, making the inevitable transition to a low carbon economy cheaper and easier. COP21 is the right moment to show the world this can be achieved.”

The announcement was made by France’s President Hollande following the election of Laurent Fabius as President of COP21, in front of the gathered 196 heads of state and government including US President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In a bid to stimulate political momentum, the announcement from the White House, the United States Department of Energy led by Ernest Moniz and Bill Gates was made on the first day of COP21, one of the largest diplomatic conferences ever organized.

Accelerating innovation in clean technology is not only a fundamental way to achieve an effective long-term climate pact, but also to achieve energy security in the future.

To accomplish this goal, leading businessmen such as Bill GatesRichard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg have signed a “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” to invest in clean technologies, to overcome barriers posed by the lack of finance in the area and help new businesses compete in reaching technology breakthroughs in the energy sector.

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