One of the most wealthy individuals in the world, Bill Gates, makes a moving address on climate change and how it will affect the future of children.
He expressed his worries in a letter he posted on his blog, Gates Notes. Gates, who is set to become a grandpa, remarked that as time goes on, he worries more and more about the future of the planet and the next generation. The baby of Bill Gates’ 25-year-old daughter Jennifer is due in 2019. For many years, Gates oversaw the funding of several initiatives that address global poverty, education, disease preparation, the battle against polio and AIDS, and other issues.
“I started looking at the world through a new lens recently—when my older daughter gave me the incredible news that I’ll become a grandfather next year,” Gates said.
“Simply typing that phrase, ‘I’ll become a grandfather next year,’ makes me emotional. And the thought gives a new dimension to my work. When I think about the world, my grandchild will be born into. I’m more inspired than ever to help everyone’s children and grandchildren have a chance to survive and thrive,” he added.
The billionaire asserted that the role of the present leaders in tackling climate catastrophe is crucial. However, it heavily depends on how the current generation of leaders develops and implements policies to assist us in achieving our climate objectives and targets as to how much influence it will have on the future generation.
“I can sum up the solution to climate change in two sentences: We need to eliminate global emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. Extreme weather is already causing more suffering, and if we don’t get to net-zero emissions, our grandchildren will grow up in a world that is dramatically worse off,” he added.
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A big fight, said Gates
However, Gates acknowledged that achieving zero carbon emissions will be a significant challenge. But he said that the climate objectives ought to be attainable in the following decades if governments worldwide engage in adequate systematic action.
Gates talked about how his charitable foundation got its start. He continued that leaders should understand the effects of the climate catastrophe on local communities and small-scale farmers.
“I can sum up the challenge in two sentences: Getting to zero will be the hardest thing humans have ever done. We need to revolutionize the entire physical economy—how we make things, move around, produce electricity, grow food, and stay warm and cool—in less than three decades,” he said.
“It starts from the idea that the poorest are suffering the most from climate change, but businesses don’t have a natural incentive to make tools that help them,” Gates added.
“A seed company can earn profits from, say, a new type of tomato that’s a nicer shade of red and doesn’t bruise easily, but it has no incentive to make better strains of cassava that (a) survive floods and droughts, and (b) are cheap enough for the world’s low-income farmers. The foundation’s role is to make sure that the poorest benefit from the same innovative skills that benefit richer countries,” the billionaire wrote.
Encouraging more businesses
Additionally, businesses that are turning green are supported by Gates’ firms. For instance, Breakthrough Energy Ventures finances emerging companies that aim to become carbon neutral.
In Gates’ opinion, the world needs to produce a group of entrepreneurs who prioritize becoming green to benefit the environment. However, gates acknowledged that he was powerless to preserve the planet. So he wants to inspire other business owners to adopt an environmentally sustainable mindset.
“Philanthropy alone can’t eliminate greenhouse gases. Only markets and governments can achieve that kind of pace and scale. Companies need to be profitable so they can grow, keep running, and prove that there’s a market for their products,” he said.
“The profit incentive will attract other innovators, creating competition that will drive down the prices of zero-emissions inventions and have a meaningful impact on emissions from buildings,” he added.
The climate problem
The amount of greenhouse gas emissions is still tremendous. This shook environmental groups as well as the United Nations. Before addressing top international leaders, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the need for polluters to take responsibility for their actions.
According to Guterres, these “polluters” must pay for the environmental harm they cause. However, by investing money in decarbonization technology, Gates is still optimistic that the world can find a solution.
“Unfortunately, on near-term goals, we’re falling short. Between 2021 and 2022, global emissions rose from 51 billion tons of carbon equivalents to 52 billion tons,” Gates explained.
“We’re much further along than I would have predicted a few years ago on getting companies to invest in zero-carbon breakthroughs,” he said.
“Climate change is another area where good news can be hard to find. We are still moving in the wrong direction. The global emissions gap is growing, and the 1.5-degree goal is gasping for breath. National climate plans are falling woefully short,” Guterres said on Monday.
“Of course, fossil fuels cannot be shut down overnight. A just transition means leaving no person or country behind. But it’s high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice,” Guterres explained during a UN assembly months ago.
“Polluters must pay. And today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.”