Bill Gates defends private jet travel to promote climate change

Tech billionaire Bill Gates has defended his use of private jets to travel the world and promote renewable energy.

Bill Gates defends private jet travel to promote climate change
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Bill Gates has justified flying around the world in private jets because he can afford to pay money to offset his carbon emissions.

The tech billionaire flew to Australia last month – aboard his $70m Gulfstream jet that burns 1700 litres of fuel per hour - to tell Australians they had a “huge role to play” in fighting climate change.

He warned Australians that climate change “will get worse and worse over time”.

He told the ABC’s 730 program that large parts of the world would become uninhabitable if emissions were not curtailed.

“We will have to adapt while we do our very, very best to bring our emissions to zero as fast as we can,” he said. “Australia has a huge role to play.”

Gates said he was playing his role by flying around the world promoting renewable energy.

But the jet-setting Microsoft founder denied claims of hypocrisy. He told the BCC earlier this month that he had put billions of dollars into “climate innovation”.

“I buy the gold standard of funding Climeworks to do direct air capture that far exceeds my family's carbon footprint,' he told the British broadcaster.

“I spend billions of dollars on climate innovation. “So, you know, should I stay at home?”

“I'm comfortable with the idea that not only am I not part of the problem - by paying for the offsets, but also through the billions that my Breakthrough Energy group is spending, that I'm part of the solution.”

Experts said a single private jet emitted as much carbon dioxide in an hour as the average person does in an entire year.

Gates, the fourth richest person in the world, visited Australia in January to holiday on the Great Barrier Reef and to meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to promote investment in sustainable energy.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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