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Bill Gates: Encouraging Climate Solutions Require Support from Policymakers

Fri 01 Dec 2023 | 07:21 PM
Taarek Refaat

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, on Friday expressed his "great hope" at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28), currently being held in Dubai.

Speaking during a meeting of world leaders in Dubai on the second day of the COP28 summit, Gates said that he believes there are many encouraging climate solutions, but these projects require the necessary support from policymakers and business leaders.

“Now, we need to take what looks very promising and scale it up, build pilot plants, and that requires government policies and the presence of major companies,” Gates told CNBC, noting that all of these different communities are represented in the conference.

"You know, I think there's 70,000 people and it's like, 'Wow, do we need that many?' In fact, there will be a lot of meetings here where these companies will get the support and the kind of expertise that big companies have as well as government assistance," Gates added.

He concluded by saying, “Facilitating the speed of innovation and the speed of expansion is my greatest hope for the conference.”

​Gates also issued a warning about the climate change that the world is witnessing, and said that we may reach temperatures that scientists had previously warned that reaching them would lead to serious effects on humanity.

The warning issued by Bill Gates came in conjunction with the holding of the Climate Summit (COP28) in Dubai, UAE, where countries of the world meet to discuss climate and environmental transformations and the measures that must be taken in order to save humanity from deterioration in this area.

According to CNBC, Gates said that the world is likely to exceed the critical temperature threshold that scientists have long warned could lead to serious and perhaps irreversible effects. On people, wildlife and ecosystems.

Gates added that he was "certainly the cup half full" when it came to the climate crisis, noting that he was optimistic that the Dubai summit could help drive progress in this area.

Gates, founder of the giant Microsoft, said that any progress in the climate field will likely not be enough to prevent the Earth's temperature from rising by two degrees Celsius.

His comments come as policymakers and business leaders gather in Dubai for the United Nations' largest and most important annual climate summit. It is widely seen as a pivotal opportunity to accelerate climate action at a time when the world is on pace to record the hottest year on record and as extreme weather events are impacting all parts of the world.

“There is no binary threshold where everything is terrible at a certain temperature,” Gates said Friday. “We will have a temperature rise, most likely above our targets,” he added.

Gates said it will be necessary to help the poorest people adapt to human-induced climate change and try to reduce damage to ecosystems, such as coral reefs.

He continued: “Fortunately, we have made enough progress that we will not face extreme situations such as a 4-degree Celsius rise in temperature, but it is unfortunate that we may even fail to achieve the 2-degree Celsius, we will have adaptation as a priority.”

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference, countries will for the first time assess the extent of their deviation from the correct path to achieve the goals of the historic Paris Agreement. The 2015 agreement aims to “limit global warming to below 2 degrees, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”

Scientists say the world's temperature has already risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius, after more than a century of burning fossil fuels, as well as unequal and unsustainable energy and land use.

The United Nations had previously said that the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is considered the “upper limit” if humanity wants to avoid the worst of what the climate crisis has in store.

When asked how he thinks about the challenges facing future generations in the context of the climate crisis, Gates replied: “Well, there are a lot of amazing things that are coming through human innovation, better medicines, and artificial intelligence. It can help teach children different things.”

He continued: “At the same time, you know that we have polarization and climate change, so the situation is very dynamic... In general, I see a lot of positive things, but we need to give priority to avoiding those negatives because we do not want only our children, but we want many generations to You have a better life than we do.”