Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said during an interview last week that scolding people about having nice things or eating meat will not solve the climate crisis.
Gates made the comment on an episode of Bloomberg’s Zero podcast with host Akshat Rathi, which was published on Wednesday. Rathi had asked Gates if a "social and political revolution" was needed to compensate for technology’s shortcomings in addressing climate change.
"Anyone who says that we will tell people to stop eating meat, or stop wanting to have a nice house, and we'll just basically change human desires, I think that that's too difficult," Gates admitted.
He then argued that these things don’t necessarily have to play a central role in fighting climate change, noting that rich countries only account for less than a third of all emissions."
"Those [remaining] two-thirds of emissions are pretty basic in terms of the calories and shelter and transport and goods being used. So, the excesses of the rich countries … even curbing those completely out of existence is not a solution to this problem," he said adding: "I'm looking at what the world has to do to get to zero, not using climate as a moral crusade."
Gates has long been a climate activist, funding numerous start-ups dedicated to the cause. Last year he published the book, "How To Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need," in which made the case that technological innovation was essential in changing the physical economy.