KEY POINTS
  • And climate change advocates often advocate using less and consuming less as one potential solution to climate change — degrowth, it's often called. This idea is quixotic, according to Bill Gates.
  • "I don't think it's realistic to say that people are utterly going to change their lifestyle because of concerns about climate," Gates said to Akshat Rathi in an episode of the Bloomberg podcast, "Zero," which published on Thursday.
  • The only real solution, Gates said, is to innovate better and cheaper alternatives.
Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York, US, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The first-ever Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit brings together climate leaders to showcase transformative solutions that repair and regenerate the planet.

Climate change is being fueled by the release of greenhouse gas emissions and those emissions are coming from every sector of the global economy: Electricity, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, industrial processes. Collectively, greenhouse gas emissions have generally been climbing for decades. Activists often advocate using less and consuming less as one potential solution to climate change — degrowth, it's often called.

This idea is quixotic, according to Bill Gates, who founded Breakthrough Energy, an investment fund for climate technology and innovation, in 2015 and published "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" in 2021.