European Union formalizes partnership with Bill Gates to accelerate the development of climate technologies
The President of the European Commission defended today, by signing a partnership with the American businessman Bill Gates, the need to invest “in high-risk innovations” to accelerate the development of “critical climate technologies”.
“The climate challenge requires investments in high-risk innovations and eliminating the ‘green premium’ involved in commercializing new technologies,” said Ursula von der Leyen today in Glasgow on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations climate conference ( COP26).
Known for being the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates now has a new project, Breakthrough Energy, that brings together investment vehicles, philanthropic programs and policy advocacy to seek to expand technologies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The announcement of the partnership, which also involves the European Investment Bank, was made in June, but was only formalized now.
Between 2022 and 2026, it intends to mobilize up to 820 million euros to accelerate the deployment and rapidly commercialize innovative technologies that will help the European strategy to achieve its climate goals, namely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.
Investments will be directed towards European projects in four sectors, namely ‘green hydrogen’, sustainable aviation fuels, direct carbon dioxide capture and long-term energy storage.
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According to the president of the European Commission, this investment is important because it will help in the development of European projects on a scale and “remove the risk of implementing new technologies”.
Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy involvement, said the American philanthropist, brings access to many “partners” who are interested in purchasing and deploying these technologies.
The EU estimates that achieving the 2030 target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% will require 350 billion euros of additional annual investment.
More than 120 political leaders and thousands of experts, activists and public decision-makers gather until 12 November in Glasgow, Scotland, at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) to update countries’ contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
COP26 takes place six years after the Paris Agreement, which established as a goal to limit the increase in the global average temperature of the planet to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above the values of the pre-industrial period.