As the Eiffel Tower, a marvel of 19th century engineering, is flooded with green light to salute the opening of the Paris climate change conference, tech giants were unveiling a plan to harness 21st century innovation to reverse global warming.
The tech titans have launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an investment fund to boost eco-friendly and carbon neutral technology designed to battle global warming.
“Solving the clean energy problem is an essential part of building a better world,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the coalition. “We won’t be able to make meaningful progress on other challenges – like educating or connecting the world – without secure energy and a stable climate.”
The billionaires say that protecting the global environment through innovation and technology also creates a better economic climate for people around the world.
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“If you could change the price of one thing to really lift up the lives of the poorest people everywhere, it would be the price of energy,” Gates says in a video posted at his blog, GatesNotes.
Gates has already pledged $2 billion over the next five years to “bend the curve” on climate change and provide the alternative energy sources.
The Paris conference also comes at a time when a swing in American public opinion has shown that roughly two-thirds of Americans support the U.S. signing a global pact on climate change. 75% agreed that global warming is having, or is about to create, a serious environmental impact.
Serving as a backdrop to the discussions of world leaders and billionaires at the climate talks, the Eiffel Tower’s sheen of green this week (see 2nd video below) is also a way for regular citizens to take action. The lighting on the Paris icon is from video projections of trees — a virtual forest.
People can contribute trees, at a cost of $10.62 (10 euros each), which will be planted to combat deforestation and absorb CO2. . . Watch the Reuters videos below.
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