Bill Gates has bared his mind on the issue of climate change saying it is humanity’s greatest challenge and is a far greater problem than the Covid-19 pandemic currently ravaging humanity.
The billionaire founder of Microsoft stated that achieving net-zero would be ‘humanity’s greatest ever achievement’
Solving climate change would be “the most amazing thing humanity has ever done”, Gates said to BBC.
He opined that ‘Ending the pandemic is very, very easy”.
“We’ve never made a transition like we’re talking about doing in the next 30 years. There is no precedent for this.”
“Fifty-one billion is how many tonnes of greenhouse gases the world typically adds to the atmosphere each year.”
“Net-zero is where we need to get to. This means cutting emissions to a level where any remaining greenhouse gas releases are balanced out by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere. One way to do this is by planting trees, which soak up CO2 through their leaves.”
Billionaire says his focus is on how technology can help make climate change easily handled.
“Renewable sources like wind and solar can help us decarbonize electricity but that’s less than 30% of total emissions.”
“We are also going to have to decarbonize the other 70% of the world economy – steel, cement, transport systems, fertilizer production and much, much more.
“We simply don’t have ways of doing that at the moment for many of these sectors.
Gates stated that for climate change to be handled properly there must be an innovation effort on a scale the world has never seen before.
‘At the moment, the economic system doesn’t price in the real cost of using fossil fuels. Most users don’t pay anything for the damage to the environment done by pollution from the petrol in their car or the coal or gas that created the electricity in their home.”
“Right now, you don’t see the pain you’re causing as you emit carbon dioxide,”
“We need to have price signals to tell the private sector that we want green products,” he says.
That is going to require a huge investment by governments in research and development, Gates argued.
According to Mr. Gate, it will be impossible to avoid a disaster, particularly for those who live near the equator, without governments around the world getting behind the effort.
He maintained that the US Republican Party needs to recognize the importance of tackling climate change.
This needs to be a “constant 30-year push”, he maintains. “Business just can’t change all that physical infrastructure unless the market signals are constant and very clear.”
“India is going to build housing for their people, provide lighting at night, air conditioning to make conditions liveable,”
“If you buy an electric car, a hamburger made of a meat substitute, an electric heat pump for your home you are helping increase the production of these products and therefore helping drive prices down.”
Gates revealed that his private jets are powered by biofuels – aviation fuels made from plant products.
“I pay three times as much now for my aviation fuel, you know, over $7m [£5m] a year in all my offset spending.”
“I don’t think getting rid of flying would make sense,” he replies. “That type of brute force technique won’t get us there.”
He says the answer has to be “a type of aviation fuel that doesn’t cost much extra and is zero-emission and that’s got to be biofuels or electric fuels or perhaps using green hydrogen to power the plane”
Forbes had rated Bill Gates as the World’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $124bn.