‘No chance’ of global warming below 1.5°C, but nuclear technology shows ‘promise’ in climate crisis, says Bill Gates

0 10

The world will be lucky to avoid 2.5C of warming, but emerging technology could help avoid even worse, Bill Gates has told an audience in Sydney.

The American billionaire and philanthropist told the Lowy Institute on Monday that while malaria was still killing more children – 400,000 a year – the climate crisis was “worth the massive investment because it will get worse over time”.

There was ‘no chance’ of limiting warming to the Paris climate target of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and it was ‘very unlikely’ that it could be kept to 2°C , Gates said.

“The key is to minimize warming as much as possible,” he said. “At this point, staying below 2.5C would be pretty fantastic. I think that it is possible.

Gates remains among the richest people in the world, although he has donated $35 billion ($50 billion) through mid-2022, along with his ex-wife, Melinda Gates, and he promised an additional $20 billion.

Although the foundation bears our names, essentially half of our resources come from Warren Buffett. His incredible generosity is one of the main reasons why the foundation was able to be so ambitious. I can never express how much I appreciate his friendship and advice. pic.twitter.com/at7MvJKxQv

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 13, 2022

Asked about the policies of the government led by Anthony Albanese, whom Gates met over the weekend, the Microsoft founder said it was “great to have Australia on board on climate” after the country was an “outlier until recently”.

The country was “very blessed” with renewable energy resources and the minerals needed for a transition away from carbon. “Australia is rare in that the opportunities outweigh what you have to give up,” he said.

Gates said his investment in Perth-based company Rumin8, announced on Monday, was his 103rd foray into climate, energy and aircraft-to-steel start-ups. Rumin8 aims to reduce methane emissions from livestock.

Both nuclear fission and fusion were “very, very promising” energy sources that are not dependent on weather conditions for generation, he said.

Still, he said the government’s approach of waiting 15 years for proof that small modular reactor technology was safe and cheap and that the waste could be treated “was a very good attitude”.

“I don’t know if it will succeed,” he said. “I have invested billions of dollars in [nuclear technology]so I have to think there is a chance.

“Even if nuclear succeeds, we will still need 60 to 70 percent renewables,” Gates said. “I think the world is underinvested in these [nuclear] innovations, because they could make a huge difference.

On other issues, Gates said there were still “huge push factors for global trade”, even with a “fear of dependence on China”. These include cross-border needs for copper, lithium and cobalt “as part of the green energy revolution”.

“It’s sad that we are moving towards a world where [there’s] the will, certainly of the United States, to be independent of things from China,” he said. “It will create significant inefficiencies if globalization reverses.”

Still, Gates said he hopes major breakthroughs are still possible to address many health and other issues.

“We’re going to cure obesity, we’re going to cure cancer, we’re going to eradicate polio,” he said. “I’m still very optimistic that it will be much better to be born in 20, 40, 60 years than [at] any time in the past.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.