The Microsoft founder and fourth richest person in the world is in Australia with representatives from his company Breakthrough Energy, as he drums up business for the firm which claims to drive innovation in sustainable energy and in technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Gates relaxed on Lizard Island on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef before flying the Gulfstream jet, one of two he owns, to Sydney on Saturday for a meeting with Anthony Albanese.
His $70m Gulfstream, which was spotted on the tarmac at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport as he headed to the Australian prime minister‘s official residence Kirribilli House, burns around 1,700 litres of fuel per hour.
Mr Gates also addressed the big business-funded Lowy Institute think-tank in Sydney on Monday to share his views on the Covid-19 pandemic and environment.
Climate change was high on the agenda when Bill Gates (left) sat down with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right) on Saturday
‘Climate change is not yet having the negative effects of a disease like malaria, which kills 400,00 children a year,’ Mr Gates told attendees.
‘The reason why climate change is worth investing in massively is because it will get worse and worse over time.’
‘If you allow the warming to go to an extreme level, then all sorts of natural ecosystems disappear and all sorts of places in the world you can’t do outdoor work.
‘So the tropical areas, agriculture would be impossible, outdoor work during large parts of the year would be impossible.’
Mr Gates believes there’s ‘no chance’ of limiting warming to the Paris climate goal of 1.5C while a 2C target is also ‘very unlikely.’
‘The key is to minimise the warming as much as possible,’ Mr Gates said.
‘At this point, to stay below 2.5C would be pretty fantastic. I do think that’s possible.’
He added it was ‘great to have Australia on board on climate’ after the country had been an ‘outlier until quite recently’.
Bill Gates’ private jet was spotted at Mascot on Saturday after he arrived in Sydney for a four day visit
Delving into politics, Mr Gates said both US and Australian policies towards China require a more conciliatory and co-operative political approach in tackling climate change.
China is responsible for over a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions and that would increase for years to come as other nations are constrained.
‘I see China’s rise as a huge win for the world … the current mentality of the US to China, and which is reciprocated, is kind of a lose-lose mentality,’ Gates said.
‘That could be very self-fulfilling in a very negative way’.
Gates will fly to Melbourne on Wednesday for the final five days of the Australian Open tennis.
Gates owns four private jets, which has drawn criticism from supporters.
The private jet collection is reportedly worth $194 million and includes two Gulfstream G650ERs worth $70 million each and can carry up to 18 passengers.
Bill Gates (pictured) warned at a Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney on Monday that climate change will worse over time
In his 2021 book called How To Avoid Climate Disaster, Gates admitted to his double standards when lecturing on climate change.
‘I am aware that I’m an imperfect messenger on climate change,’ he wrote.
‘The world is not exactly lacking in rich men with big ideas about what other people should do, or who think technology can fix any problem.
‘I own big houses and fly in private planes – in fact, I took one to Paris for the climate conference, so who am I to lecture anyone on the environment?
‘I plead guilty to all three charges. I can’t deny being a rich guy with an opinion. I do believe, though, that it is an informed opinion, and I am always trying to learn more.’
Bill Gates own four private jets, despite spruiking about climate change. Pictured is one of his jets in Sydney
Mr Gates’ Gulfstream G650ER aircraft are priced around $US70million each, and have room for up to 18 passengers with leather seats that fold out into ten beds.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) and dog Toto welcomed Bill Gates (right) into their home at Kirribilli House on Saturday
Bill Gates warns Australia to prepare for the next pandemic – which could be man-made and far more brutal than Covid
By Aidan Wondracz for Daily Mail Australia
Tech billionaire Bill Gates has warned Australia to be ready for the next pandemic, which could be man-made and far more brutal.
Mr Gates told the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney on Monday that political leaders needed to set aside their differences and work together to prepare for the next virus.
He called for greater global cooperation using the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of how countries could improve on their response if they worked together.
He called for greater global cooperation using the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of how countries could improve on their response if they worked together
‘Compare the economic cost of being prepared for the next one to the cost of this one, over $US10trillion economic loss,’ he said.
‘With the pandemic we were foolish not to have the tools, the practice and global capacity to be on standby like we do with fire or earthquakes.’
Mr Gates praised Australia’s policies in helping to keep infection rates low before vaccines were rolled out.
‘Some of the things that stand out are that Australia and about seven other countries did population scale diagnostics early on and had quarantine policies,’ he said.
‘That meant you kept the level of infection low in that first year when there were no vaccines.’
The Microsoft founder turned philanthropist said a stable international order based on mutual political will is needed in order to deal with future pandemics.
‘The one thing that still hangs in the balance is will we have the global capacity and at the regional and country levels that would mean that when an (infectious disease) threat comes up we act in such a way that it doesn’t go global,’ Mr Gates said.
‘We need to be doing every five years a comprehensive exercise at both country and regional levels of pandemic preparedness and you need a global group that’s scoring everybody.’
Mr Gates has promised to donate half of his fortune to good causes and to try and bring equality to the health, energy and education industries.
Mr Gates praised Australia’s policies in helping to keep infection rates low before vaccines were rolled out
The Microsoft founder turned philanthropist said a stable international order based on mutual political will is needed in order to deal with future pandemics
‘There is this huge failure of market capitalism to look at some of the needs of the poorest. Their voice in the marketplace is very small,’ he said.
‘You can literally save lives for $US1,000 and there isn’t much around that should be as fulfilling as that.’
He criticised the United States under Donald Trump’s leadership threatening to withdraw from the World Health Organisation and withholding funding.
Mr Gates advocated for a bolstering of resources to the international health body.