Gates fund a golden opportunity for Australia

30.11.15 By

CLEAN energy innovation could become one of Australia’s most lucrative exports following the announcement of a multi-billion dollar clean energy technology fund, the Climate Council said today.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is expected to announce the fund, which will pay for the research and development of new clean energy technologies, at international climate talks in Paris today.

The Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said Australia had developed many important renewable energy technologies including the solar hot water heater.

“While Australia has historically been a leader in the research and development of new technologies, many companies and researchers have gone offshore as anti-renewables policies stalled renewable energy growth in Australia,” he said.

“However, the new Prime Minister has indicated that renewable energy will be a focus for his government. But Australia must act quickly- the longer we delay, the greater the risk that opportunities to create global innovative leadership will pass us by, and we will become simply technology and equipment buyers, rather than innovators and business creators.

Professor Steffen said it was clear that renewable energy was the new economic power.

“Bill Gates is a very successful businessman and he has obviously seen the writing on the wall in terms of the structural decline of coal and, in contrast, the huge global growth of renewable energy,” he said.

“More than a million jobs were created in the renewable energy industry last year and the global market for renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions is expected to grow to 2.3 trillion dollars by 2035.

‘It is clear that the world is now moving vigorously to meet the climate change challenge,” Professor Steffen said,

“And renewable energy technologies are a central element in meeting this challenge. Australia risks missing big economic and employment opportunities if we don’t join this global transformation.”

The Climate Council is an independent, crowd-funded organisation providing quality information to climate change to the Australian public.

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