Microsoft’s Bill Gates: Fossil Fuel Divestment a ‘False Solution’

by | Oct 16, 2015

Bill GatesMicrosoft founder Bill Gates has called for a “substantial carbon tax,” and labeled fossil fuel divestment “a false solution,” in an interview with the Atlantic magazine.

In the interview he says governments could combat climate change by increasing spending on research and development, and adds private investors should also spend money developing new technology that will help shrink the global carbon footprint.

He also criticized the move to divest from coal and other high-emitting companies.

“If you think divestment alone is a solution, I worry you’re taking whatever desire people have to solve this problem and kind of using up their idealism and energy on something that won’t emit less carbon — because only a few people in society are the owners of the equity of coal or oil companies,” he said. “As long as there’s no carbon tax and that stuff is legal, everybody should be able to drive around.”

Microsoft’s internal carbon fee has reduced the company’s emissions by 7.5 million metric tons of CO2e, since it was established three years ago, and saved more than $10 million per year.

In late 2013, the company published a carbon fee playbook, an overview on how Microsoft implemented its internal carbon price and fee that includes a five-step process to guide other companies on how to put it into action at their own businesses.

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