- - Monday, June 24, 2019

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates on Monday called for global action to combat climate change, saying that its effects will hit the poorest populations hardest.

“The greatest suffering from climate change will be the farmers in poor countries,” Mr. Gates said during a luncheon for the Washington Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “It’s a very complex problem and helping educate people about where are the sources of these greenhouse gases and how do you get on a path of innovation so we can get global adoption.”

Addressing an audience at the Renaissance Hotel, the billionaire philanthropist said that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded some initiatives aimed at mitigating the negative effects of climate change, adding that he has co-founded the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC) to provide innovative solutions to global problems.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion investor-led fund that is a part of BEC, has taken a key role in creating new ways to use and gather energy, he said.

Economic Club President David Rubenstein said that it is too difficult to motivate people to change if the benefits are to be seen only by future generations, but Mr. Gates pushed back against that notion.

“The United States actually evolved on this. After millions faced very difficult problems like cancer … they made gigantic investments knowing that the real payoff will be many decades down the road. When that was first being pushed, people were saying, ‘Hey, this is important,’” he said. “Climate change is like that. You want to have a long-term perspective.”

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