Towards Zero: Bill Gates’ Clean Energy Initiative Gets $1 Billion | Economy

American companies such as American Airlines, Microsoft and General Motors have donated a total of $1 billion to a Bill Gates initiative. The money will be used to stimulate the development of technologies that should lead to clean energy.

Gates’ project is called Breakthrough Energy and focuses, among other things, on green hydrogen and sustainable jet fuel. Those solutions are not yet cheap enough to be used in practice. For example, sustainable jet fuel is still five times more expensive than kerosene.

Gates wants to use the initiative to contribute to the goal of almost zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “The choices we make today determine which world our children and grandchildren inherit,” it reads on the Breakthrough Energy website.

Reaching ‘zero’ is described by Gates’ initiative as ‘the most difficult challenge mankind has ever faced’. Everything that people do every day contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases. From the way people grow crops, keep themselves cool or warm, to the way we move around.

10 billion people

At the same time, the site states, the world population is estimated to grow to 10 billion people by the year 2100. They too have to eat, live and travel. “We can prevent a climate catastrophe by acting with purpose now and launching the most ambitious innovation program the world has ever seen.”

Last month, the UN climate panel IPCC issued an alarming report. According to the researchers, the earth could warm by 1.5 degrees in the next two decades if drastic measures are not taken. The IPCC concluded that humanity is undeniably responsible for global warming.

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Co2 emissions

The support from the companies comes against the background of US President Joe Biden’s plans to reduce CO2 emissions more quickly. Earlier this month, the government announced that aviation must emit a fifth less greenhouse gases by 2030.

Bank of America, steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the Boston Consulting Group and asset manager BlackRock have also donated money to Gates’ initiative. According to the co-founder of Microsoft, a total of about 50 trillion dollars (about 43,000 billion euros) is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide to zero.

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