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Bill Gates: ‘Our grandchildren will grow up in a world that’s dramatically worse off’ if we do not fix climate change

Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates delivers a speech on the National Assembly on August 16, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.

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The idea of ​​becoming a grandpa is emotional for Bill Gates, which he may even write about.

“Recently, I began seeing the world through a brand new lens – when my eldest daughter gave me the amazing news that I’m going to be a grandpa next 12 months,” Gates writes in a letter posted just after midnight Tuesday on his personal blog Gates Notes.

Gates’s 26-year-old daughter Jennifer and her husband Nayel Nassar predict their first child in 2023.

“Just typing the phrase ‘I’m going to be a grandpa next 12 months’ gets me emotional,” writes Gates. “This thought gives my work a brand new dimension. When I believe concerning the world my grandchild might be born into, I’m more inspired than ever to assist all children and grandchildren have a likelihood to survive and thrive.”

Gates continues, over 12 pages, summarizing the work of his namesake philanthropic organization, The Gates Foundationdoes for youngsters living in global poverty to enhance education, prepare for the pandemic, and fight polio and AIDS.

Gates also talks concerning the work he does to combat climate change, each through the Gates Foundation on a philanthropic basis and by supporting early-stage climate firms together with his investment firm, Breakthrough energy projects.

How well the present generation of leaders reply to climate change will affect future generations, which is the primary point Gates makes within the a part of his letter that addresses climate change.

“I can sum up the answer to climate change in two sentences: we want to eliminate global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” writes Gates. “Extreme weather is already causing more suffering, and if we do not achieve net-zero emissions, our grandchildren will grow up in a world that’s dramatically worse.”

Getting to zero might be the toughest thing man has ever done.

Bill Gates

Co-founder of Microsoft, climate investor

Approaching “the toughest thing people have ever done” with philanthropy and for-profit firms

And while the implications of meeting this challenge are clear, so is the magnitude of the challenge.

“I can sum up the challenge in two sentences: attending to zero might be the toughest thing humans have ever done,” writes Gates. “We must revolutionize the complete physical economy – the way in which we make things, move, generate electricity, grow food, and keep warm and funky – in lower than three a long time.”

Gates began working on climate change when he learned concerning the struggles of small farmers in countries where his namesake philanthropic organization operated. The Gates Foundation funds climate adaptation work, for instance by helping people adapt to the implications of a warming world where business enterprise will not be profitable.

“It starts with the concept that the poorest suffer probably the most from climate change, but firms haven’t any natural incentive to create tools that help them,” writes Gates.

“A seed company can earn money from, say, a brand new kind of tomato that may be a nicer shade of red and doesn’t bruise easily, but has no incentive to supply higher cassava varieties that (a) survive floods and droughts and (b) are low-cost enough for of the world’s low-income farmers,” writes Gates. “The role of the muse is to make sure that the poorest profit from the identical revolutionary skills that richer countries use.”

Why poorer countries want rich countries to pay the bills for climate change

Not all of Gates’ climate work is philanthropic. Breakthrough Energy Ventures funds early-stage firms which might be working to construct and grow firms to decarbonize various sectors of the economy. Creating for-profit firms to unravel an issue that affects the well-being of the worldwide population could also be perceived as distasteful within the case of Gates, who already has a small fortune to his name – $103.6 billion in response to Forbes from Monday.

Gates argues that decarbonizing global industry is simply too much trouble, even for his deep pockets.

“Philanthropy alone cannot eliminate greenhouse gases. Only markets and governments can achieve this pace and scale,” Gates said. He said any profits Gates gets from his investment in Breakthrough Energy Companies will go to climate work or a philanthropic foundation.

And if the businesses that work on tackling climate change may be self-sustaining and sufficient, then they may find other investors to place money into them besides the likes of Gates, who he has publicly stated is working to present away his vast resources.

“Companies must be profitable so as to grow, operate and prove that there’s a marketplace for their products,” writes Gates. “It encourages profit will attract other innovators, creating competition that can bring down the value of zero-emission inventions and have a major impact on constructing emissions.”

Greenhouse gas emissions and money spent on climate technology proceed to rise

The bad news is that greenhouse gas emissions proceed to rise.

“Unfortunately, with regards to short-term goals, we’re missing the targets. Between 2021 and 2022, global emissions actually increased from 51 billion tons of carbon comparable to 52 billion tons,” writes Gates.

On Monday, the United Nations secretary-general also highlighted the grim reality of the present climate change moment.

“Climate change is one other area where excellent news is tough to come back by. We’re still heading within the incorrect direction.” Antonio Guterres said on Monday. “The global emissions gap is growing. The 1.5 degree objective is breathless. National climate plans are woefully inadequate.”

Despite the bleakness of the present climate situation, one area of ​​optimism for Gates is investing in decarbonisation technologies.

“We are much further ahead than I predicted a couple of years ago in getting firms to take a position in groundbreaking zero-carbon technologies,” writes Gates.

Public money for climate research and development has increased by a 3rd because the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and within the United States, laws passed this 12 months will allocate $500 billion to transition energy infrastructure from fossil fuel sources, in response to Gates.

Private money can be moving at an excellent pace on climate technologies. Gates writes that enterprise capital firms have invested $70 billion in clean energy start-ups over the past two years.

Watch the full CNBC interview with Breakthrough Energy founder Bill Gates
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