Bill Gates says ending COVID-19 pandemic 'easier' than solving climate change

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Microsoft co-founder and billionaire climate activist Bill Gates on Sunday claimed that eradicating climate change would be harder than ending the coronavirus pandemic.

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Gates, who has funneled millions into coronavirus relief efforts over the past year, told the BBC that ending the pandemic is "very, very easy" in comparison to the climate crisis, which will get worse unless governments worldwide aid in this effort.

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In fact, Gates said that funding a solution to climate change would "the most amazing thing humanity has ever done."

Currently, the world emits about 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere each year. The goal is to lower emissions net zero, which means attaining an equal balance between the greenhouse gases that are put into the atmosphere and the greenhouse gases that are taken out.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing, China, on Nov. 21, 2019. (Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cutting these emissions takes the collective effort of governments around the world, he argued.

"We need to have price signals to tell the private sector that we want green products," Gates said.

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Governments will not only have to heavily invest in the research and development of new green products but they will also have to allow for these products and technologies to grow in the market, the outlet reported.

Although this effort takes more than just one person, Gates said during an interview on CBS' "60 minutes" that he is paying $7 million a year to offset his own carbon footprint.

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Aside from his own efforts, Gates is encouraging others – if they can afford to do so – to buy carbon offsets and green products which may get move the world closer to net-zero emissions. His hope is that in doing so, the production cost for reducing carbon emissions will decline while the quality of products will increase.

Although it will be hard, Gates said it isn't impossible.

"There are days when it looks very hard," he said. "If people think it's easy, they're wrong. If people think it's impossible they're wrong."

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