Elsewhere online
December 09, 2015

Bill Gates Taps Global Influence to Push Clean-Energy Agenda

The New York Times details Bill Gates's linchpin role in forging a global, $20 billion public-private partnership to research and develop new technologies to wean the world off fossil fuels. The unprecedented agreement, announced late last month as United Nations climate negotiations got underway in Paris, underscores the Microsoft leader-turned-foundation head's global influence as an envoy linking business, philanthropy, and political and policy leaders.

Mr. Gates, who has pledged to invest $1 billion of his own fortune in clean energy, was drawn into climate diplomacy by President Obama and President Francois Hollande of France, who saw him as a potential catalyst for achieving broad goals at the climate talks — particularly in relation to India, where Mr. Gates is held in high regard as a tech pioneer and philanthropist. He also reached out to fellow tech billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Mark Zuckerberg to participate in the energy-innovation effort.