Bill Gates calls for green industrial revolution at Cop26
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has emphasised his commitment to accelerate the development of green technologies on a global scale to stop climate change.
Addressing world leaders at Cop26 in Glasgow, the billionaire tech mogul said he was “thrilled” to report that his efforts to expand the deployment of clean innovations through his organisation Breakthrough Energy – founded in 2015 – are “going well”.
Gates shared the news at the Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment event, part of the UN Summit, on Monday.
But he warned that if the world is to reach net zero by 2050, then the ‘green premium’ – the cost difference between high and low carbon emitting industries – must be reduced. “The cost of the transition must be low enough that the whole world can afford it,” he said.
To make this happen, Gates said Breakthrough Energy has created Catalyst – a first-of-its-kind effort “to lower green premiums and expand the market for critical climate technologies.”
Catalyst brings together businesses, governments, philanthropists and individuals to invest in critical clean innovations.
The programme focuses on four key green technology areas: green hydrogen, long term energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture.
Catalyst is also engaging with international initiatives including Mission Innovation, a cohort of 22 countries and the European Commission working to develop low-carbon technologies.
In addition, it is part of a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission and European Investment Bank to invest up to $1 billion by 2026 in innovative technologies.
Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a partnership between Westminster and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. The deal leverages £200 million of private sector investment in the UK to accelerate the development of the cutting-edge climate technologies.
Gates said: “All of us here today have the responsibility and opportunity to help deliver the solutions our world needs.
“Together, we must build a green industrial revolution—one that stops climate change, protects vulnerable communities, and puts the world on a path to progress.”
Gates also announced a pledge of $315 million (£231m) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support agricultural research to help farmers in the developing world cope with climate change.
The funding will go to organisation CGIAR, which supports climate-smart agricultural research to help smallholder farmers in the developing world.