Daily US Times: Fifty-one billion and zero – the two numbers Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world, says you need to know about climate.
Solving climate change would be “the most amazing thing humanity has ever done”, Gates says.
By comparison, ending the pandemic is “very, very easy”, the billionaire founder of Microsoft claims.
His new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, is a guide to tackling global warming.
Mr Gates told BBC: “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 and zero is where we need to get to.
The billionaire’s focus is on how technology can help us make that journey.
Renewable sources like solar and wind can help us decarbonise electricity but, as Bill Gates points out, that’s less than 30% of total emissions.
We are also going to have to decarbonise the other 70% of the world economy – cement, steel, transport systems, fertiliser production and much, much more.
We simply do not have ways of doing that at the moment for many of these sectors.
Most users don’t pay anything for the damage to the environment done by pollution from the coal or gas that created the electricity in their home and petrol in their car.
“Right now, you don’t see the pain you’re causing as you emit carbon dioxide,” is how Bill Gates puts it.
That’s why the Microsoft founder says governments have to intervene.