$1 Billion Fund For Energy Research Given by Bill Gates

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Dec 13, 2016 04:57 AM EST

Microsoft's co-founder, among other big names in the tech industry like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Benioff, started the Breakthrough Energy Coalition last year. The coalition seeks to support clean energy research and development. On Monday, the group launched a 20-year, $1 billion investment fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Gates launched the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund on Monday along with billionaire entrepreneurs such as Facebook Inc (FB.O) head Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) Chairman Jack Ma and Amazon.com (AMZN.O) chief Jeff Bezos.

It marked the first major investment of the coalition formed in December 2015 to spur research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies.

The fund seeks to increase financing of emerging energy research and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to help meet goals set in Paris, according to a statement by the investor group known as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

Last year Gates helped launch a public-private partnership focused on scaling up investment in new and riskier clean technology that often faces steep hurdles to commercialization.

The election of Republican Donald Trump as U.S. President has raised questions about future government spending on clean energy research and development. Trump has called climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese but has also said he has an "open mind" on the issue.

Gates said coalition members would continue to push the message to Trump that "even if you don't look at the climate change piece of this, investing makes sense."

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund, will finance emerging energy breakthroughs that can deliver affordable and reliable zero carbon emissions," the coalition said in a statement.

President-elect Donald Trump has named a climate-change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency and told Fox News on Sunday that "nobody really knows" if climate change is real -- despite overwhelming scientific agreement to the contrary.

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