Bill Gates promises $ 1.5 billion for infrastructure plan climate projects

Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, attends a conversation at the 2019 New Economy Forum in Beijing, China on November 21, 2019.

Jason Lee | Reuters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Thursday that its climate investment fund will commit $ 1.5 billion to joint projects with the federal government to fight climate change if Congress adopts a plan of bipartisan infrastructure that finances clean energy technologies.

The $ 1.2 trillion Senate infrastructure bill, which has yet to be passed through the House, provides the Department of Energy with $ 25 billion for projects that show the viability of state-of-the-art technologies. clean energy for widespread adoption. The money is part of the project’s larger investment in programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Gates fund, managed by its company Breakthrough Energy, will spend the money for three years on initiatives to reduce emissions. Projects will focus on zero air fuel emissions, long-term energy storage, green hydrogen and direct air capture.

“If the Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act becomes law, this collaboration will not only send us on a more sustainable path to net zero, but will create both immediate and long-term jobs in communities across the country,” he said. said Gates in a statement.

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While the infrastructure plan appears to have enough bipartisan support to go through the House, President Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Has repeatedly insisted that she will not vote on the infrastructure project until the Senate passed a $ 3.5 trillion spending bill.

It could take months for Congress to approve the two plans.

If the infrastructure plan doesn’t go through, Breakthrough could shift funding for larger projects in Europe and Asia, Gates said. during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement that Gates’ commitment demonstrates how the private sector is prepared to “lead the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.” .

“These investments will unlock new technologies to position the United States as a global leader in the clean energy economy – creating well-paid jobs for all types of workers in all pockets of the country,” Granholm said. .

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