Bill Gates & Mark Zuckerberg Are Aiming Their Energies Toward Climate Change

On the heels of the news that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife will be giving away 99% of their shares in the social media business (some $45 billion) way to charity, another weekend announcement has brought forth some exciting prospects for the future, particularly as it pertains to the environment. Zuckerberg has joined forces with another billionaire tech juggernaut, Bill Gates, to invest in technology and initiatives to promote clean energy, something ecologists and politicians have argued for for many years. In fact, as the United Nations Climate Change Conference continues in Paris, it seems like environmental issues have more eyeballs on them right now than ever before, with President Obama taking a strong stance on ensuring that future generations of Americans live a healthier and greener life. Things are being done on all levels to carry through that message, from grassroots efforts to do things like plant more trees to international pacts between nations to promise decreasing carbon emissions on a global scale. And now, it seems the Silicon Valley royalty is also joining the fight in a major way.

bill gates mark zuckerberg

According to Tech Crunch, Gates and the Zuckerbergs have founded the Breakthrough Energy Coalition which will focus primarily on zero-carbon energy technology around the world. As sated on the Coalition’s website, the ultimate goal is to “cover gaps in government funding in countries by commercializing the most promising and scalable ideas to come out of public research institutions.” The announcement of the new venture came, fittingly, in the form of a Facebook post by Mr. Zuckerberg in which he stated “Solving the clean energy problem is an essential part of building a better world. 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.” Additionally, the Coalition is working in conjunction with Mission Innovation, a collective of 20 different nations who “will seek to double its governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years.”

All of this news is comforting for many, as the issue of climate change continues to dominate headlines and, by its very nature, it has a Doomsday quality to it. However, the good news is that everyone – that means world leaders, tech billionaires, and everyday citizens – are capable of contributing steam to the ongoing efforts. The U.N.’s Conference on Climate Change offers some handy advice about making more climate-friendly decisions in daily life, some of which include more straightforward tactics like turning off lights when leaving a room but also some more involved behaviors like changing your diet.

Does the news of the multi-tiered offensive in the fight for climate control offer relief, or does it still seem like a faraway concern to you?

Related: President Obama Aims to Address Climate Change with Historic Regulations (Video)