BY RYAN CONNELLY HOLMES  for PBS News Hour

Bill Gates launched a $1 billion fund for investment in clean energy innovation Monday to combat the effects of climate change.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, which Gates will chair and run with a host of other high-profile investors, is focused on clean energy technology. The fund, Gates said in a conference call Monday, will invest in companies aiming “to solve the climate problem but also providing lower cost energy.”

Bill GatesThe venture’s goal is to start investing as early as next year and operate for 20 years.

“I am honored to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research,” the Microsoft founder said in a statement. “Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable and emissions-free energy to the world.”

Gates announced the formation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, the group that is launching the fund, at last year’s Paris climate change meeting. In addition to the private investments, Gates said he and other investors convinced 20 governments to double their energy research and development budgets over the next five years.

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