PARIS (November 29, 2015)- A coalition of countries and private sector investors announced a commitment to invest several billion dollars in clean energy research & development (R&D) on November 30, the first official day of COP21. The initiative is being led by Bill Gates, along with at least 20 countries, including the United States, France, India and others. The countries are expected to double the amount of R&D investment for clean energy from $5 to $10 billion over the next five years.

Following is a statement from Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“Right out of the gate, this announcement gives a major boost to the Paris talks. This unprecedented partnership will unleash significant funds for clean tech, and prompt innovation to deliver clean, affordable energy to billions of people. It should add confidence that countries can meet and even exceed their stated climate goals, and they can take on bolder commitments in the years ahead.

“With 20 countries and 27 major investors on board, this can be a transformative public-private collaboration in a much-needed area. Championed by France, the United States, and several other major economies, the partnership reflects how to get things done in a way that benefits developed and developing countries alike.

“India’s leading role in this initiative is particularly noteworthy. Prime Minister Modi stands alongside other leaders of emerging economies in demonstrating how international cooperation can spur clean energy access and advance economic development.”

“Bill Gates and the business leaders in the Breakthrough Energy Coalition understand the importance of R&D to bring transformative change. Their investments in high-risk, but high-reward technology will multiply the impact of public sector R&D, and vice versa.”

“The details of the operations, of course, need to be worked out. This could include joint research among the partner countries, as well as engagement from an even broader group of countries and institutions. Experience has shown that returns from public investment in research are high, and even higher when combined with the private sector.

“This partnership is an important piece of the puzzle, and one that will complement a strong climate agreement.”