A group comprised of some of the world's foremost business and investment leaders this week committed more than $1 billion to an effort to effectively eliminate the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who outlined the project last year, will serve as chairman of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Other investors include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
"I am honored to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research," Gates said in a statement. "Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable and emissions-free energy to the world."
The coalition hopes to tackle greenhouse gas emissions by investing in promising clean energy technologies in order to bring them to a global scale, including traditional venture investment as well as building and growing companies.
Its backers, however, cautioned that their funding alone would be insufficient to transform the world's energy markets and vowed to collaborate with additional investors, businesses, research institutions and governments.
The group eventually plans to organize networks of corporate partners and research institutions — led by the University of California — to coordinate expertise and funding and arrange a pipeline of potential projects.
"Too often we let what we think we know limit what is possible," Ma said in the statement. "When it comes to energy, people say you cannot make money, meet demand, and also benefit the environment. But we can, and we will."