Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, has assured that solving climate change will be “the most amazing thing that humanity has done”, an even greater challenge to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have never made a transition like the one we are talking about in the next 30 years. There is no precedent for this, ”said Gates, who has just released his book Avoiding a Climate Disaster.
The text, considered a guide to tackling global warming, offers a list of measures that countries could take to accelerate the transition, such as high carbon prices, standards for clean electricity and fuel, as well as financing for research and the development.
According to Gates, governments need to fivefold their annual investments in clean technology, which in the United States alone would add up to $ 35 billion.
Although he declares himself an optimist that the world is capable of developing the necessary technology to reverse climate change, he also devotes an entire chapter to analyzing the difficulties faced in tackling this problem.
Speaking to the BBC, Gates said that 51 billion is the amount of tons of greenhouse gases that the world usually adds to the atmosphere every year.
The challenge is to reduce emissions to a level where any release is balanced by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere. For example, when planting trees, which absorb CO 2 through their leaves.
Although wind and solar power would help “decarbonize” electricity, it only represents 30 percent of total emissions. The challenge is to do the same with the remaining 70 percent, where the steel, cement and transportation industries are located, among others.
In his view, governments must lead this process. “We need to have price signals to tell the private sector that we want green products,” he said.
He foresees that without the intervention of the world’s governments, it will be impossible to avoid a disaster, especially in countries that live near the equator. “Companies just can’t change all that physical infrastructure unless the market signals are constant and very clear,” he said.
“Unlike Musk, I’m not from Mars”
In another speech, Gates also praised the work of Elon Muks to power electric vehicles through Tesla, although he considered that rockets are not the solution to the climate emergency either.