Climate change will never be solved by asking or expecting others to live greener lifestyles, according to Bill Gates.
Speaking on Thursday’s episode of Bloomberg’s “Zero” podcast, Gates said expectations that people would “completely change their lifestyles because of climate concerns” were “unrealistic.”
“You can have a cultural revolution where you’re trying to throw everything away, you can create a North Korean-type situation where the state is in control,” he said. “Apart from the immense central authority to make people obey, I think the problem of collective action cannot be completely solved.”
Gates, the fifth richest person in the world, has long made public his interest in controlling the climate crisis, writing a book entitled How to avoid a climate disasterbetting on green innovation, and investing in the space itself.
While Gates has a long history of working to mitigate the effects of climate change, the Microsoft co-founder emphasized on Thursday’s episode of “Zero” that “not many people are prepared to be worse off because of the requirements climatic”.
“Anybody who says we’re going to tell people to stop eating meat, or to stop wanting a nice house, and basically change human desires, I think that’s too far fetched,” he said Thursday. “You can make a case for that. But I don’t think it’s realistic that that plays an absolutely central role.”
Gates, whose foundations have invested hundreds of millions in climate initiatives, said last year that so-called green premiums, which give people the chance to pay more to make or consume the same things without the emissions, could be a viable solution to reduce emissions. without requiring people to rethink their consumption habits.
The billionaire philanthropist, who said he pays $9 million a year to offset his carbon footprint, told podcast host Akshat Rathi that a better solution was to invest in green innovations, but noted that there several other important social problems competing for funding.
“But just having a few rich countries, a few rich companies and a few rich individuals buy their way out so they can say they’re not part of the problem, that has nothing to do with solving the problem,” he added.
Gates also poured cold water on theories that green energy solutions could reduce Western dependence on Russian natural gas exports at any time.
“When people say to me, ‘Hey, we love your climate stuff, because we can tell Putin we don’t need him,’ I say, ‘Yeah, in 10 years call him and say— him that you don’t need it.” he'”, he said Bloombergit is Rathi.
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