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Photo: K Asif/India Today Group via Getty Images

Bill Gates has pledged $1.5 billion to climate collaborations with the Department of Energy (DOE) through his climate investment fund Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The backdrop: Global warming is happening so fast that scientists now say we'll cross a crucial temperature threshold as early as 2030, up to a decade sooner than previously thought. The projects would depend on passage of President Biden's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which currently awaits a House vote.

  • The package sets aside $25 billion in DOE funding for public-private partnerships which would cover Gates' Breakthrough.

Details: Gates' program aims to accumulate up to $15 billion over the next three years to fund "climate-smart technologies" across different industries.

  • Such projects with the DOE could include sustainable aviation fuel, long-duration energy storage, green hydrogen that provides fossil fuel-free power and technology that would capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.
  • The ultimate goal is to achieve a net-zero carbon emission economy by 2050, Gates has said.
  • If the infrastructure package doesn't pass, Breakthrough will likely switch funding targets to Europe and Asia, he noted.

What they're saying: "Critical for all these climate technologies is to get the costs down and to be able to scale them up to a pretty gigantic level," Gates told the Journal.

  • "You’ll never get that scale up unless the government’s coming in with the right policies, and the right policy is exactly what’s in that infrastructure bill."

The big picture: A recent UN-sponsored report found that only rapid, steep and sustained greenhouse gas emissions cuts — down to net-zero and eventually net-negative values — could help mitigate climate impacts.

Go deeper

Infrastructure investors see new bill as encouragement

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Infrastructure investors are enthusiastic that Congress finally passed a giant infrastructure bill, but they tell Axios that it won't be a "game changer" for their strategies.

Between the lines: The bill is more of a stamp of approval for what these firms have already been doing.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What moves the climate communications needle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new paper finds that words used in news stories to label climate change are less consequential than whether stories emphasize harm or solutions.

Driving the news: Researchers tested engagement with "climate crisis" and "climate emergency" — phrasing that has gained media traction — and "climate change."

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.