Billionaire Bill Gates claimed he was not a part of the problem of private jets polluting the world because of the effort he puts in to offsetting his carbon emissions.
While sitting down for an interview with the BBC, Gates was pressed on whether or not he was a hypocrite for espousing climate change warnings, while jetting around the world on his massively polluting private plane.
Gates, who is worth $117billion, responded that by saying he was ‘not part of the problem’ because of the amount of money he pays Climeworks – a company which, for a monthly fee, offsets carbon emissions.
The Microsoft founder said not only was he ‘comfortable’ with his position, but touted his sustainable-energy research company Breakthrough Energy.
Gates, who owns at least $227million worth of property, is just the latest celebrity to come under fire waxing about climate change one minute, only to hop on their polluting private jet the next.
Bill Gates steps of his private jet after taking an Earth-killing flight. He said that he wasn’t part of the problem
During the interview, the BBC’s Amol Rajan asked Gates right off how he answered people who called him a hypocrite for his jet use.
‘What do you say to the charge that if you are a climate change campaigner, but you also travel around the world in a private jet, you’re a hypocrite?’ Rajan said.
The billionaire answered by telling how he throws money at the problem.
‘Well, I buy the gold standard of funding Climeworks to do direct air capture that far exceeds my family’s carbon footprint,’ he said.
Gates then went on to talk about all the money he has put into climate research, and that his work is better done when he visits the places his companies are studying first hand.
‘I spend billions of dollars on climate innovation,’ he said. ‘So, you know, should I stay at home and not come to Kenya and learn about farming and malaria. Anyway.’
He added that he was ‘part of the solution.’
‘I mean, 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.’
Gates also touted the research his businesses have put into finding sustainable energy
Bill Gates steps off his private jet. He said without it he couldn’t fly to places like Kenya to study climate change
A single private jet emits as much carbon dioxide in an hour as the average person does in an entire year, with private flights 14 times more polluting (per passenger) than a commercial plane.
Yet their super-rich owners – many of whom boast about their apparent eco credentials – are hopping on and off their jets for trips that last less than 15 minutes.
Celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kylie Jenner, Mark Wahlberg, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey have been fingered for their outspoken climate stances, only to then take off for a jaunt on their jet.
Last June Spielberg, who previously said he is ‘terrified’ of global warming and called for ‘everyone’ to be mindful that it could ‘pose a danger to your children and grandchildren,’ jetted across the Netherlands for a 17-minute flight.
The 28-mile trip from Amsterdam Airport to Rotterdam Airport would have taken him just 36 minutes by car, or an hour by public transport.
According to CelebrityJets, the flight used 145 gallons of jet fuel, cost him $1,011 for the fuel and resulted in 2 tons of Co2 emissions.
Meanwhile, Jenner was branded a ‘climate criminal’ for a 12-minute flight across California, shortly after her sister Kourtney Kardashian faced backlash from fans for posting about carbon emissions despite the family’s excessive private air travel.
Kim Kardashian owns a Gulfstream G650ER, a blingier version of the planes belonging to Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk
Last summer, Swift was named the ‘biggest celebrity CO2 polluter of the year’ by a study that found her private jet has taken a whopping 170 flights between January and July.
The study, released by British digital marketing firm Yard, was based on an analysis of private plane flights tracked by the automated flight tracker Celebrity Jets, and found that Swift’s jet logged the most emissions of the pack.
Swift, through a representative, batted back furiously at the report after facing online backlash from fans, saying that she often let other people take her Falcon 7X jet on jaunts around the world.
‘Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals,’ Swift’s rep told Rolling Stone. ‘To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect.’
Although Swift has remained silent on political and social issues for much of her career, she has spoken out more in recent years, and named climate change as one of the issues that concerned her in a 2020 interview with Variety.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk