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Bill Gates will invest $2bn in renewables in the next five years

Date: 1 Jul 2015

Bill Gates

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said that innovation will be the key to solving climate change, and has pledged to invest $2bn in developing renewable energy technologies over the coming five years. He said that he is already investing in companies working on battery storage, next-generation nuclear, solar and wind power, and carbon capture.

He told the Financial Times that the current state of alternative technologies would only make an impact on CO2 emissions at a "beyond astronomical" economic cost, and that innovation is required to get to more effective solutions. There needed to be incentives for power companies to seek breakthroughs, he said. Drawing a parallel with the pharmaceutical industry, which has a profit structure that rewards research into new medicines, he said that currently the market would not give much reward for making an equivalent breakthrough in energy generation.

At the same time, he rejected the movement to divest from fossil fuel companies, suggesting that there was not a direct path between divesting and resolving global climate change. The Gates Foundation currently has $1.4bn invested in fossil fuel companies.

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