Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently said that him using a private jet does not undermine his work to battle the climate crisis.
The controversial statement was made during an interview with the BBC, when Gates was asked to respond to criticism regarding his use of a private plane while he urges global leaders to take climate action.
To this Bill Gates said that the carbon footprint of flying with a private jet was completely offset by the amount of CO2 he is paying to have removed from the atmosphere.
“Well, I buy the gold standard, of funding Climeworks, to do direct air capture that far exceeds my family’s carbon footprint. And I spend billions of dollars on climate innovation,” Gates argued.
However, while financing carbon removal technologies like direct air capture (DAC) is certainly a necessary step towards mitigating the climate crisis, the International Energy Agency (IEA) wrote last year that it is “not an alternative to cutting emissions or an excuse for delayed action.”
And transportation is largely recognized as one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gasses (GHG), including CO2.
Aviation, in particular, has been described by the World Wildlife Fund as the most carbon intensive activity that any person can engage in, which is also why so much effort lately has been focused on developing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other means of decarbonizing the sector.
Even so, the billionaire philanthropist insists that he is not contributing further to the problem by continuing to use his private jet.
Instead, he argues that he is part of the solution through the major climate investments made via the Breakthrough Energy Group.