In a move to upgrade the use of clean energy and fund its outreach, Bill Gates’s nonprofit group Breakthrough Energy has announced to have raised over $1 billion from seven major companies, including ArcelorMittal and General Motors, which will be used to fast-track global clean energy initiatives.
Among the early participants in the initiative, which were dubbed ‘Catalyst’ in raising capital, also include American Airlines, Bank of America, BlackRock, Boston Consulting Group, and Microsoft.
According to the foundation administration, the amount raised so far tops $1 billion and has been given in the form of grants, shares, and commitments to acquire the technologies developed.
The initiative launched in June, ‘Catalyst’ has already forged partnerships with the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, and the US Department of Energy.
The programme looks to support the development of new energy solutions to combat climate change by bringing together the public and private sectors and funding the steps to commercialization. Other companies are expected to join the initiative.
While initially, the project will focus on accelerating the deployment of four technologies: direct carbon capture, green hydrogen, long-term energy storage, and sustainable aviation fuels, later it also plans to look at other innovations, to reduce the carbon impact of steel and cement, for example.
“Avoiding a climate disaster will require a new industrial revolution. Half the technology needed to get to zero emissions either doesn’t exist yet or is too expensive for much of the world to afford,” Bill Gates said in a statement.
“Catalyst is designed to change that and provide an effective way to invest in our clean technology future,” the Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist added.
Several of the companies involved specified in separate releases the amounts contributed. The foundation of the investment company BlackRock and Microsoft have each donated $100 million.
Meanwhile, American Airlines has pledged $100 million to the programme, while ArcelorMittal has committed $100 million over the next five years through its XCarb Innovation Fund.