High tech philanthropist Bill Gates risks undoing the good work of his $42 billion foundation by advocating a 15-year delay in climate action to allow for the development of new, zero-carbon energy sources, according to Joe Romm, founding editor of the Climate Progress blog.
“The most dramatic problems caused by climate change are more than 15 years away,” Gates writes in the latest Annual Letter of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The next 15 years are a pivotal time when these energy sources need to be developed so they’ll be ready to deploy before the effects of climate change become severe.”
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“How suicidal would it be if the world actually adopted that strategy?” Romm asks. “Every major scientific study, every major international report, every major economic analysis makes clear that we must start aggressively deploying the vast array of carbon-free technologies now—not 15 years from now.”
Those studies show that immediate climate action “is super cheap,” he adds, “whereas delay is super-costly and likely to be fatally late.”
In a Rolling Stone interview last year, Gates acknowledged that “even if you invented some zero-carbon energy source today, the deployment of that magic device would take a long time.” But Romm says the Microsoft founder still favours nuclear energy and geo-engineering over energy efficiency and renewable energy, leading him to call for more research instead of action.
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