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Photo via YouTube/TED/Bill Gates
Photo via YouTube/TED/Bill Gates

Reports on the upcoming Paris climate talks are stating that Bill Gates’ next big project will be focusing on clean energy.

According to ClimateWire, Gates will announce the “world’s largest clean energy research and development partnership” on Monday.

“The multibillion-dollar announcement will come at the opening day of landmark U.N. climate change negotiations in the French capital, and is expected to inject significant momentum to the talks,” ClimateWire states.

Photo via Gates Notes/ "Students in Conakry, Guinea. They’re studying under street lamps, because they don’t have reliable lights at home," Gates writes.
Photo via Gates Notes/ “Students in Conakry, Guinea. They’re studying under street lamps, because they don’t have reliable lights at home,” Gates writes.

The announcement is expected to include several developed and developing nations, including the United States and India, that will “agree to double their research and development budgets for clean energy and form a coalition to conduct joint work.”

How does Gates come in? He and several other billionaires are said to “pledge a pool of money to assist” in the projects. The global cooperative project is said to be significant, “the single biggest cooperative research and development partnership in history,” a source close to the deal told ClimateWire.

This summer, Gates pledged to “invest $1 billion in clean energy technology over the next five years,” as he writes on Gates Notes here.

In yet an earlier Gates Notes blog post, he wrote about why he was focusing on clean energy:

“For countries to lift themselves out of poverty, they need lights in schools so students can study when it’s dark out,” Gates wrote. “Refrigerators in health clinics to keep vaccines cold. Pumps to irrigate farmland and provide clean water.”

On another note, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s portfolio has come under criticism for including fossil fuels. Last spring, the Guardian led a campaign called “Keep it in the Ground,” to convince the Gates to change that.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference begins on Monday, with over 160 nations participating.

Giving back is likely something Gates picked up from his father, Bill Gates Sr., who turns 90 on Monday. If you haven’t already, you should read this profile of Gates Sr.’s tremendous impact in tech, philanthropy and more throughout the Seattle region.

You can watch a TED Talk Gates gave in 2010 about clean energy and climate change below:


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