Philanthropist Bill Gates will reportedly unveil the world's largest clean energy research and development partnership Monday as climate change negotiators from around the world gather in Paris, and a group of nations including the U.S. will agree to double their clean energy R&D budgets. While the new negotiating framework that encourages individual national action will rightly take center stage at the Paris talks, this historic research commitment should be celebrated as a significant achievement that makes these new policies more credible and enables more aggressive emission reductions over time.
Paris is already poised for success. Developed and developing countries have submitted voluntary national targets and accompanying policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, these so called "Intended Nationally Determined Contributions" will cover nearly all global emissions, compared with just 14 percent in the current commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.