Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, billionaire and philanthropist, has decided to collaborate with the European Commission and actively participate in EU programs aimed at promote and encourage “eco-friendly” technologies. With his company, Breakthrough Energy, he will invest in low-carbon fuel technology, becoming an active member of European ecological change.
The EU Commission has announced that up to € 820 million will be mobilized between 2022 and 2026 for this sector, the main objective is to build large-scale demonstration projects capable of reducing the costs of the most popular technologies and making them usable more quickly. Europe wants to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
Why Europe is important to Bill Gates
But why are Europe and the interventions planned by the member countries important for Bill Gates?
The American philanthropist, as he recently explained in his latest book, “How We Avoid Climate Disaster”, sees the decarbonizzazione of the global economy as “the greatest innovation opportunity the world has ever seen”.
Gates philosophy – and Breakthrough Energy’s mission – is that renewable energy alone will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, so targeted investments in new technologies are needed. IS Europe, in this scenario, has a decisive role, because it is actively involved in the climate.
“Europe will play a vital role, having demonstrated a timely and consistent commitment to the climate and long-standing leadership in science, engineering and technology. Through this partnership, Europe will lay solid foundations for a zero-net future in which clean technologies are reliable, available and affordable for everyone ”, Gates declared after the formalization of the new partnership.
Funding programs are aimed at technologies that have “recognized potential for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions“, Which are currently too expensive to compete with conventional fossil fuel-based technology. Gates’ company specifically wants to focus on this, trying to reverse the trend in the future.
It is not the first time that Gates collaborates with the EU. In 2018, for example, the Commission and the founder of Microsoft created a fund of 100 million euros for the development of clean energy technologies. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already made efforts to engage donors from the European Commission and provide coronavirus diagnoses, treatments and vaccines for disadvantaged countries.
The agreement between Bill Gates and Europe
Returning to the present day, and to more recent times, the last agreement signed between the EU and Gates provides investments of 820 million euros involving the former Microsoft company in financing sustainable energy programs with the aim of unlocking new “clean” and low environmental impact technology projects.
The pact with the European Commission will initially focus on four sectors which has been given priority (as it has been shown to have great potential in ensuring substantial reductions in CO2 emissions), i.e .:
- Green hydrogen, produced from renewable sources and therefore 100% sustainable and commercially viable;
- Sustainable fuels for aviation;
- Direct air capture, which consists in extracting CO₂ directly from the air, and then storing it safely and permanently
- Storage of clean energy long-term.
In this way, as mentioned above, we aim to resize the green technologies which are currently too expensive to compete with existing fossil fuel-based technologies.
In practice, the partnership would see Breakthrough Energy, founded by Gates, use private capital and philanthropic funds to match the funding provided by the EU. The goal is to get to 820 million euros, from 2022 to 2026, focusing on building large-scale commercial demonstration projects to reduce the cost of technologies.