Bill Gates will announce the creation of a multibillion-dollar clean energy fund on Monday at the opening of a Paris summit meeting intended to forge a global accord to cut planet-warming emissions, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
The fund, which one of the people described as the largest such effort in history, is meant to pay for research and development of new clean-energy technologies. It will include contributions from other billionaires and philanthropies, as well as a commitment by the United States to double its budget for clean energy research and development.
The announcement of the fund, which has the joint backing of the governments of the United States, China, India and other countries, the sources said, is intended to give momentum to the two-week Paris climate talks.
Negotiators hope to strike a deal committing every nation to enacting policies to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, will join more than 100 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, in Paris on Monday to begin the talks.
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A spokesman for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.
If successful, the Paris meeting could spur a fundamental shift away from the use of oil, coal and gas to the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. But that transition would require breakthroughs in technology and huge infrastructure investments by governments and industry.
Where that money would come from has been a question leading up to the Paris talks. Developing countries such as India, the third-largest fossil fuel polluter, have pushed for commitments by developed nations to pay for their energy transition, through direct government spending or inexpensive access to new technology.
India has emerged as a pivotal player in the Paris talks. The announcement by Gates appears intended to help secure India’s support of a deal.