The E.U. Commission announced today, June 2, that it was creating a new partnership with Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Catalyst program to boost investments in clean technologies.
The hope is to accelerate the net-zero economy of the E.U. by pumping new investments of up to $1 billion between 2022 and 2026 to build large-scale, commercially viable clean technologies, all while significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
As Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said "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 mobilize 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," she continued.
With the #EUGreenDeal, Europe can become the continent of climate innovation.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 2, 2021
Glad to invest with @BillGates and @Breakthrough Energy in next generation climate technologies.
So the EU industry can reap the benefits of the green transition and create the jobs of tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/qRUITpzl8H
The E.U. project will initially focus on four sectors that could significantly help push Europe to deliver on its economic and climate ambitions of the European Green Deal. These include green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels, direct air capture, and long-duration energy storage.
With these focuses in mind, the plan is to scale up important climate-smart technologies, and move more quickly toward a green Europe.
In Europe, big companies like Toyota are already working towards green hydrogen, and its Mirai car just broke the world record for the longest distance driven with one fill. And back in 2020, the E.U. recorded its greenest electricity year ever.
This marks a continuation of the support between Bill Gates, his Breakthrough Energy Catalyst program, and the E.U. Commission, who have previously worked together to accelerate the deployment of clean technologies in the past. For instance, back in 2019, they launched a $121 million fund, which was significant at the time, but today's $1 billion investment is a decent jump up.