“We need to revolutionize the world’s material economy – and that will require, among other things, a massive infusion of ingenuity, funding, and focus from the federal government. Nobody has the resources to drive the research we need,” Gates wrote.
With the appointment of a new administration for Biden to take over the reins of the US government, the timing of Gates’ proposals could not be better.
The outgoing Trump administration unilaterally opposed fighting climate change, rolling back regulations, withdrawing from international agreements on mitigating the effects of climate change, and pulling out of the climate accord in favor of deceptive arguments from industries that had the most to lose in recognizing human threats to climate change.
Whereas, in early November of last year, the Trump administration formally withdrew from the Paris climate agreement.
Gates calls for a massive $ 25 billion spending increase that would raise spending on clean energy research to $ 35 billion annually (in line with government medical spending). Gates notes that this could create more than 370,000 jobs while boosting the clean energy agenda. Gates is considered one of the world’s richest and most productive philanthropists.
Gates called for a network of “National Institutes of Energy Innovation” and more money to be spent on research. He said Americans spend more on gasoline in one month than the government spends on climate research.
Like the National Institutes of Health, the world’s largest funder of biomedical research, Gates called the Energy Innovation Institutes into separate institutions focused on specific areas.
“This is the most important thing the United States can do to lead the world in the innovations that will solve the climate change problem,” Gates wrote.
“One of them will be the Decarbonization Institute for Transportation, while others can focus on energy storage, renewable energy sources, or carbon capture and management,” he wrote.
Gates suggested that every organization should be tasked with marketing innovations that come out of the lab. “It is not sufficient to develop a new way to store electricity that works in the laboratory – to have any effect, it must be practical and affordable in real-world settings. The best way to ensure this is to encourage scientists to start their research with end-use in mind.”
Gates called for institutes to be located across the country – just like the Department of Energy or NASA, they have laboratories and research facilities spread across the country. In addition to research and spending promotion facilities, a program of tax incentives and energy standards that could make markets for more clean energy tools.
Gates acknowledged that there are already legislation making its way through Congress such as the Clean Energy, Innovation and Jobs Act and the US Energy Innovation Act that can help the federal government move toward a smarter, more focused setting. But both of these laws have stopped.
Gates’ climate plan came with more than 40 major US companies writing an open letter at the same time to the incoming Biden administration to do more to tackle climate change.
“Our societies and economies are not only suffering from a devastating pandemic but also the rising costs of climate change,” the companies wrote in their speech. “Forest fires, floods, hurricanes and other extreme weather transform lives and livelihoods. Science shows that future generations will face far greater environmental, economic and health impacts if we do not act now.”
An adviser to the president-elect said: “A lot of the climate-related issues that will emerge in the near term … will not actually be related to renewables.”
Nevertheless, if the Democrats manage to wrest control of the Senate from the Republican leadership in the wake of the January 2021 run-off election in Georgia, the likelihood of a more muscular climate.