Climate change, Bill Gates believes, will have the biggest impact on the people who have done the least to cause it – Photo: wikipedia

Plan outlined for carbon-zero emissions

Bill Gates book aims to avoid climate catastrophe

American business magnate and humanitarian Bill Gates has written an urgent book setting out a wide-ranging, practical vision for how the world can build the tools it needs to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.
31. October 2020 8:54

“How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”, subtitled “The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need”, will be published by Allen Lane in the UK in February. In it, Gates seeks to share in an accessible way what he has learned in more than a decade of studying the causes and effects of climate change, and investing in innovations to address the problems.

The benefactor explains why he cares deeply about climate change and what makes him optimistic that the world can prevent the worst impacts of this crisis. “Climate change is a unique global problem,” he says. “I have written this book to help identify how we can work on a local, national and global level to build the technologies, businesses and industries to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Gates’ interest in the looming problem is a natural outgrowth of the efforts by his foundation to reduce poverty and disease. Climate change, he believes, will have the biggest impact on the people who have done the least to cause it.

As a technologist, he has seen first-hand how innovation can change the world. By investing in research, inventing new technologies and deploying them quickly at large scale, Gates believes this global problem can be addressed in meaningful ways.

He says: “To prevent the worst effects of climate change we have to get to net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. This problem is urgent and the debate is complex, but I believe we can come together to invent new carbon-zero technologies, deploy the ones we have and ultimately avoid a climate catastrophe.”

With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science and finance, he has focused on what must be done to achieve the profoundly important goal of stopping the planet’s slide toward environmental disaster.

He offers a clear-eyed description of the challenges faced. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations.

Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions, suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt but what individuals can do to keep their government, their employers and themselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

Gates makes clear that achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if the world follows his plan it is a goal firmly within reach.

The book will be published in hardback, eBook and audio on February 16, 2021.

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