The co-founder of Microsoft has recruited billionaires such as Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to boost R&D in clean energy. Fred Katayama reports.
Bill Gates is teaming up with fellow billionaires and 20 countries to boost research in clean energy. He's expected to make that announcement Monday at the U.N. climate change summit in Paris. The rich do-gooders the Microsoft co-founder has rounded up for his Breakthrough Energy Coalition include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, and Virgin founder Richard Branson. A source told Reuters the U.S., France, India, Australia, and Saudi Arabia will join the initiative, and Gates's announcement could prod others to sign up. His group will advance the basic research done by governments by putting in private capital to change the way energy is produced and consumed. SOUNDBITE: BILL GATES, BREAKTHROUGH ENERGY COALITION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We need the basic research, but we have to pair that with people who are willing to fund high risk breakthrough energy companies, and that formula will accelerate the innovation at the research level, accelerate the risk taking." Gates had earlier pledged $2 billion of his own money over the next five years to - in his words - "bend the curve" - on climate change.