The UN Conference of Parties in Paris, a conference revolving around climate change and global warming that reached its 21st yearly installment has brought the news that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others are forming the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.
This partnership has been made between various multimedia conglomerates as well as technology business titans, like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, alongside 25 other company leaders. This alliance will focus extensively on creating a multi-billion dollar fund towards the development as well as the mass production of clean energy sources.
The fund, which up to this point has reached a sum of $7 billion, will help third-world countries to push past their current phase of development, from an energy production point of view. A similar move has already been made by the French government through their investment of $2 billion towards Africa’s energy development and production problems.
Because the current pledge in regards to greenhouse gas emissions states that countries should have close to 0 emissions of pollutants by 2020, excessive government investments are required in order to fund research and development. The current market also needs modifications in order for it to better house a clean-energy market.
Skeptics claim that this alliance between business titans will focus only on the breakthrough of clean energy solutions, even if these have already been developed. What this partnership should aim towards is the deployment of these innovations by funding their mass production.
Another claim is that the “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” will mainly target nuclear energy instead of other clean energy options. This claim is backed by the fact that this group houses several nuclear energy enthusiasts, for instance, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos.
Even if this is true, a focus on nuclear energy is not that problematic as one may initially think. By replacing our current means of nuclear energy production, made possible through fission, with the cleaner alternative, fusion, the energy output will grow considerably without any radioactive emissions.
Fusion occurs naturally in space in the center of stars, producing a larger atom by colliding two smaller ones together. This makes around four times more energy than the artificial way of splitting two atoms apart and barely produces any radioactive emissions. The only problem that this process faces is its requirement of a high density and intense heat environment.
Taking into consideration that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others are forming the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, the odds of several other business tycoons joining the group are fairly high. But whatever this coalition will bring has yet to be seen, considering that the process of eliminating greenhouse gas emission and replacing our current means of producing energy with cleaner ones takes an extensive period of time.