“This is not because of renewable dependency,” Gates told Cooper. “This is natural gas plants, largely, that weren’t weatherized. They could’ve been. It costs money, and the trade off was made, and it didn’t work out, and it’s tragic that its lead to people dying.”
“It is ironic to blame renewables and not realize that were going to have to be dealing with this unless we get the whole world to reduce omissions,” Gates said.
He also spoke to Cooper about Covid-19, climate change and the need for innovation in order to lower carbon emissions.
That’s why Gates wants this research and development funding to triple to $35 billion. He said many people aren’t aware of the emissions generated by manufacturing and farming, and that we need to commit to finding unique approaches to meet market demand for these industries.
“2050 is literally the soonest it could get done given the scale and the number of things you have to change,” Gates said.
How to solve the climate crisis
“20% success rate when you are limiting yourself to things that have dramatic climate benefits — that would be very impressive,” Gates said. “I think we will achieve it, but that’s very hard.”
Gates sees a future where 80% of the world’s energy is from wind and solar and the remaining 20% comes from nuclear energy. He uses Texas as an example. Deep freezes reduce the ability to use wind energy, so the state would have to ramp up nuclear energy or draw from storage.
“Climate is very similar except sadly with climate, once you get into the problem — the coral reefs dying off, the Arctic ice being gone, you can’t reverse those things just be inventing one thing,” Gates said.