Bill Gates is speaking again about the pandemic and climate change. The philanthropist and billionaire wrote in a blog, “As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse.” He called both the pandemic and climate change “a global crisis.”
The public health expert and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wrote, “A global crisis has shocked the world. It is causing a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave home, and leading to economic hardship not seen in many generations. Its effects are rippling across the world. Obviously, I am talking about COVID-19. But in just a few decades, the same description will fit another global crisis: climate change.”
He highlighted the deaths and damage that will come with global warming and the urgent need for innovation. Even with the reduced travel and lockdowns around the world for coronavirus, greenhouse gas emissions haven’t reduced nearly enough, says Gates.
“What’s remarkable is not how much emissions will go down because of the pandemic, but how little,” Gates wrote. “The relatively small decline in emissions this year makes one thing clear: We cannot get to zero emissions simply—or even mostly—by flying and driving less.” That’s not to say that reducing consumption of fuel that emits carbon gas emissions is not a worthy goal, just that it is not enough, Gates said.
Gates said that coronavirus can be fixed with a vaccine, but climate change will need multiple fixes, functions, actions, and the attention of the world. He said to help combat the effects of climate change, we need solutions that work for all countries, including those that are poor. We also must use science as the guiding force and begin now to take steps to mitigate climate change.
Gates is hopeful for the future. “I do believe we can avoid a climate disaster—if we deploy the clean-energy tools we have now wisely, and if we make big breakthroughs that touch every aspect of our physical economy,” he said in a December blog. “Creating the National Institutes of Energy Innovation would put us on the right path.”
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