Writing business

You can’t just write a check to stop climate change

  • Bill Gates discussed climate tech and the Inflation Reduction Act in a recent podcast.
  • Gates said he didn’t give away his fortune because “innovation isn’t just a process of writing checks.”
  • Real progress requires involving governments and developing talent and expertise, he said.

Bill Gates, currently ranked as the best fifth richest person, revealed to Bloomberg On Thursday, why he didn’t donate his huge fortune to fight climate change as other billionaires announce splashy contributions to their own pet causes.

“Well, innovation isn’t just a process of writing checks – the cost is way beyond what anyone could fund,” he told Bloomberg Green reporter Akshat Rathi. .

In the latest episode of Bloomberg’s Zero Podcast, Rathi interviewed Gates about climate tech and the Cut Inflation Act passed in August, which will invest $369 million in climate solutions to reduce emissions. carbon emissions by 40% over the next eight years.

The billionaire philanthropist founded the organization Breakthrough Energy in 2015 to invest in clean energy technology and was instrumental in getting the bill passed behind the scenes, Bloomberg reports. The hands-on approach differs from recent charitable donations by other billionaires, a practice Gates says is less effective.

“You also said we need to do everything we can to accelerate innovation. What’s stopping you from giving all your money to innovation right now?” Rathi asked Gates on Thursday’s podcast.

In response, Gates gave the example of when he got involved in the “reinvention” of nuclear fission through TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design company he founded in 2015.

“I invested about a billion dollars in this,” he said. “But my main added value was finding the core idea of ​​much safer, cheaper, low-waste solutions, and bringing those brilliant people together on software modeling skills.”

Gates also pointed to the Cut Inflation Act as a second example of how climate tech innovation is “not just a purely financial thing.”

“I was personally involved in much of what was written there, and then I worked with key senators last month to get it through – it’s more than any individual fortune. And I orchestrates a lot of people,” he said.

Later in the interview, Gates said he invests around $9 million a year in climate initiatives.

“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 said. he told Bloomberg. . “Solving the problem is finding innovators who are building these innovative companies.”