Bill Gates says telling people they can't eat meat or have a 'nice house' won't solve the climate crisis




Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, in an interview on May 5, 2015
Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, in an interview on May 5, 2015  
  • Bill Gates said only innovation can help solve the climate crisis.

  • He told Bloomberg Zero it's "unrealistic" to expect people to radically change how they live.

  • Gates says he played a key role in the Inflation Reduction Act, which will help cut carbon emissions.

Bill Gates said the climate crisis will not be solved by expecting people to radically change their lifestyle over concerns about the environment.

"Anyone who says telling people to stop eating meat or wanting to have a nice house will basically change human desires, I think, that is too difficult," he told Bloomberg's Zero podcast. "You can make a case for it, but I don't think it's realistic for that to play a central role."  

The billionaire philanthropist discussed the US climate bill in the podcast and said that climate change could not be solved without innovation.

"We're not even trying to make breakthroughs, such as inventing an economic way of making aviation fuel, cement or steel," he said. "The existing tools only apply to areas like electricity generation and don't apply to most of the emissions."

Gates has long been a supporter of climate change innovation. In 2015 he founded TerraPower, which designs nuclear reactors, and launched Breakthrough Energy, an investment vehicle that has invested in almost 100 clean-energy companies.

He has also funded a number of start-ups including Turntide, which creates energy-efficient electric motors, and lithium start-up Mangrove Lithium. Last year he published a book titled "How To Avoid A Climate Disaster" that calls for climate innovation. 

The world's fifth-richest person also said in the interview that he played a key role in the Inflation Reduction Act, which has allocated almost $370 billion to help cut US carbon emissions by 40% over the next eight years.

"I am getting governments involved and this latest bill I was personally involved in a lot of what got written into it and working with the key senators in the last month to get it passed," he said.

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