Sylvie Corbet, Karl Ritter ?and Seth Borenstein

Government and business leaders are banking on clean energy technology to fight global warming, kicking off this week’s high-stakes climate change negotiations by pledging billions of dollars to research and develop a technical fix to the planet’s climate woes.

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande will launch a joint initiative on Monday after a diplomatic push in recent weeks ahead of the Paris climate conference.

A key goal is to bring down the cost of cleaner energy. At least 19 governments and 28 leading world investors, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, billionaires George Soros and Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal, and Jack Ma of China’s Alibaba, have signed on so far.

“It’s quite a big deal,” said Jennifer Morgan, global climate director for the World Resources Institute. “It brings a new kind of burst of energy into the conference right at the beginning on something very important.”

The U.N. climate summit formally opened Sunday afternoon with a minute of silence for the victims of this month’s Paris attacks and vows not to let terrorism derail efforts to slow or stop climate change. A few miles away in Paris, police trying to secure the nation against new violence sprayed tear gas on protesters who defied a ban on demonstrations and lobbed projectiles.

A big sticking point at the climate talks will be money — how much rich countries should invest to help poor countries cope with climate change, how much should be invested in renewable energy, and how much traditional oil and gas producers stand to lose if countries agree to forever reduce emissions.

The new initiative is twofold: a public-private project called Mission Innovation, led by governments, and the Gates-led investor group called the Breakthrough Energy Initiative.

The governments pledge to double their spending on low or no-carbon energy over the next five years, according to Brian Deese, senior adviser to Obama on climate and energy issues. They include leading energy producers and consumers, such as the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, France and Norway. They currently invest about $10 billion a year total, about half of which comes from the U.S., Deese told reporters in Washington.

Gates committed $1 billion of his money and was the “intellectual architect” behind the effort to get investors involved, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. The business leaders are making their pledges conditional on governments also pledging more money, said a former U.S. government official who is familiar with the plan.

President Barack Obama, who arrived in Paris late Sunday night, wrote on his Facebook page that “we’ll work to mobilize support to help the most vulnerable countries expand clean energy and adapt to the effects of climate change we can no longer avoid.”

The money would focus on research and development of technologies such as energy storage, which could make better use of clean power from wind and solar regardless of the vagaries of weather. It will also look at farming and transport.

But a multinational research effort combining the investments of governments, corporations and private individuals could create intellectual property problems.

It also remains to be seen how much of this money will involve repackaging old promises.