Billionaire Bill Gates urges bipartisan support for climate action

23.09.2023 posted by Admin

Bill Gates urges bipartisan climate action

Bill Gates, the billionaire known for his climate advocacy and investments, expressed strong support for Republicans taking action on climate change during the Climate Forward event in New York City. He emphasized the need to increase the number of Republicans who prioritize addressing climate change over time.

This is crucial because addressing climate change will require sustained investment and backing from both the public and private sectors. Gates pointed out that the Inflation Reduction Act, a legislative package aimed at promoting clean energy, faced opposition from Republicans and passed strictly along party lines in Congress.

This political divide among lawmakers reflects the broader split in public opinion. While over half of Americans, 54%, see climate change as a significant threat to the country's well-being, there's a stark partisan gap. Nearly 78% of Democrats view climate change as a major threat, an increase from 58% a decade ago. In contrast, only 23% of Republicans consider it a significant concern, nearly unchanged from a decade ago.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes tax credits designed to stimulate the development of clean hydrogen, long-term energy storage, and carbon capture technologies, among others. Gates praised the bill for its focus on critical technologies, including those related to industrial processes, which are often overlooked in climate discussions.

However, the future of the IRA and these tax credits hinges on the political party in power in Washington, D.C. Gates expressed concern about the potential for policy reversals if there's a shift in political control, highlighting the need for long-term commitment to climate solutions.

Gates underscored that climate solutions involving heavy equipment, manufacturing, and large-scale infrastructure require substantial time investment, far beyond a single administration's tenure in office. These are multi-decade commitments, critical for the U.S. to set an example in climate action.

While Gates emphasized the importance of engaging Republicans in climate policy discussions, he discouraged demonizing them. Instead, he encouraged dialogue and collaboration to increase their commitment to addressing climate change, particularly through philanthropists who have Republican connections.

The United States' ability to sustain its investments in climate technology carries global significance. Although most emissions come from middle-income countries, wealthy nations like the U.S. must lead the way in developing and making clean technologies more affordable. This is essential for these technologies to scale globally and replace outdated, polluting practices.

Gates stressed that clean technologies must be not only environmentally friendly but also economically competitive, as expecting wealthy countries to finance their distribution in less affluent nations isn't practical. He emphasized the need for innovation to achieve climate goals.

Currently, the question isn't whether the world will exceed the 1.5-degree Celsius target set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement but by how much. Gates, like UN Secretary-General António Guterres, warned that the planet is on a trajectory towards a significant temperature increase, far beyond the agreed-upon limits.
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