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Bill Gates teams up with Mark Zuckerberg to tackle renewable energy

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are joining forces with other prominent tech figures to tackle the problem of renewable energy.

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition is a collaboration between leading tech company heads to help fund and kickstart new and innovative renewable energy companies.

Bill Gates appears to have taken the lead on the project along with Mark Zuckerberg, who recently posted to Facebook about the formation of the coalition. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is also part of the coalition, as is Virgin's Richard Branson.

The thinking behind the Breakthrough Energy Coalition is that government funding of renewable energy, while essential in terms of basic research, can only go so far. What it can't do is fund "high risk breakthrough energy companies," as Gates puts it.

The result is that viable alternatives to damaging hydrocarbon-derived energy sources aren't being developed quickly enough.

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The Breakthrough Energy Coalition intends to fund such risky, potentially revolutionary clean energy solutions in their early stages. It's expected that any genuinely promising and commercially viable products that emerge from this phase would then go on to be funded through more traditional investment means.

This new initiative comes about ahead of this week's UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. This will see world leaders attempting to agree on ways to limit global warming.

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