EC, Bill Gates to Launch €100m Breakthrough Energy Europe Fund

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Stockholm (NordSIP) – The EU Commission and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, founded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, have agreed on a common €100 million clean energy investment fund to help companies move forward with their green and ESG conversions in the face of the increasingly serious threat posed by climate change.

The investment fund will aim to help European companies develop new ideas on tackling climate change and preserving the environment. According to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, enabling public-private partnerships and investment in new and innovative energy friendly energy technology to create long-term solutions to reduce CO2 emissions is crucial if Europe is to have a future in which all EU citizens have the possibility of thriving.

“Europe must continue to take the lead in tackling climate change head on, at home and across the world. We must push for the modernisation of Europe’s economy and industry in order to meet the ambitious targets put in place to protect our planet. Pooling public and private investment in new, innovative clean energy technology is key to enabling long-term solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If Europe is to have a future that can guarantee the well-being of all its citizens, it will need to be climate-friendly and sustainable,” Juncker said.

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The fund is a pilot project that can serve as a model for similar initiatives in other areas, with the hope that it will contribute to the rapid introduction of research and innovation in environmentally friendly technology. For Bill Gates, the European Union has shown leadership on the climate to the degree that it warrants his investment in European companies.

“We need new technologies to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Europe has demonstrated valuable leadership by making impressive investments in R&D. The scientists and entrepreneurs who are developing innovations to address climate change need capital to build companies that can deliver those innovations to the global market. Breakthrough Energy Europe is designed to provide that capital,” Gates said.

The fund will be known as Breakthrough Energy Europe and is expected to launch in 2019. Funding will be evenly distributed between Breakthrough Energy and InnovFin, the risk-sharing financial instruments funded via Horizon2020 the EU’s current research & innovation programme.

Image: (c) Bruce-Rolff-shutterstock

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