Commission strikes €820 million partnership with Bill Gates on net-zero economy

net-zero economy, climate
© Namir Xicluna

The European Commission has created a collaboration with Breakthrough Energy, founded by Bill Gates, to invest roughly €820 million from 2022-26 to create green tech for a net-zero economy

Today (2 June), President von der Leyen and Bill Gates announce a new partnership between the Commission and Breakthrough Energy. This new collaboration has been created specifically to tackle the goal of a net-zero economy – essentially, the project will put money into the creation of large-scale, clean technology that can be commercially used.

The money will target four things:

  1. Green hydrogen;
  2. Sustainable aviation fuels;
  3. Direct air capture;
  4. And long-duration energy storage.

While Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe have funded countless small projects, making huge changes in the fight against climate change, many of these ideas remain small. They need to become immense systems that can decrease the pollution output of an entire country. Right now, scientists project that 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050.

Through this new deal, a total of €820 million will be given to clean tech through 2022-26.

The transition to a clean economy is especially urgently framed now, during a bloc-wide policy push for EU Green Week.

‘First climate-neutral continent’, vows President von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, commented: “With our European Green Deal, Europe wants to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. And Europe has also the great opportunity to become the continent of climate innovation. For this, the European Commission will mobilise massive investments in new and transforming industries over the next decade.

“This is why I’m glad to join forces with Breakthrough Energy. Our partnership will support EU businesses and innovators to reap the benefits of emission-reducing technologies and create the jobs of tomorrow.”

‘Europe will play a critical role’, said Bill Gates

Bill Gates, Founder of Breakthrough Energy, said: “Decarbonising the global economy is the greatest opportunity for innovation the world has ever seen. Europe will play a critical role, having demonstrated an early and consistent commitment to climate and longstanding leadership in science, engineering, and technology. Through this partnership, Europe will lay solid ground for a net-zero future in which clean technologies are reliable, available, and affordable for all.”


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