20 major economies to double clean energy R&D

The landmark commitment will get support from a new coalition of investors that include Microsoft's Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Virgin Group chief Richard Branson.

Twenty countries, all of them major economies, have launched Mission Innovation, a landmark commitment to dramatically accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation, including doubling their current investments in the sector.

The announcement was made at the opening of the UN climate change conference in Paris where nations will reach a new climate change agreement which will require faster, higher global ambition to transition economies and societies toward a clean energy future.

Doubling investment in R&D over five years

The group of countries, representing 80 per cent of global clean energy research and development (R&D) budgets, have committed to double their R&D investments over five years. Their current collective spending on clean energy is estimated at about $10 billion, which would mean $20 billion when it is doubled.

These national commitments are coupled with a major, independent private sector initiative spearheaded by Bill Gates in which entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses will deploy billions more dollars to drive innovation from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Private sector an essential part of the initiative

So far, 28 investors from 10 countries have joined the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to make an unprecedented commitment to invest patient capital in early-stage technology development coming out of the Mission Innovation countries.

These investments, which are guided by a set of Principles, will catalyse broad business participation in the commercialization and deployment of clean energy technologies worldwide.

The coalition is a global group of private investors that will take the risks that allow early stage energy companies that emerge from the research programs of Mission Innovation countries to come out of the lab and into the marketplace.

The Mission Innovation countries have released a joint statement detailing their initiative. The group includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.

The initiative also provides a map guide to each country’s current status in the sector.

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