Bill Gates Sees This Small Silver Lining In The Russia-Ukraine War

Zinger Key Points
  • Bill Gates said the conflict is good in the long run because people won't want to be dependent on Russian natural gas.
  • The Ukrainian conflict and the ensuing energy crisis are straining Europe's expanding climate agreement.

Due to the trade, investment and financial ties between the warring nations, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has significantly dimmed the outlook for global economic growth.

With Russia cutting off its gas supplies to Europe, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates sees a silver lining to the conflict.

What Happened: Featured in a CNBC interview on earlier in October, Gates was on to talk about Breakthrough Energy, an orginazation he started seven years ago that aims to accelerate innovation in sustainable energy in an effort to bring together private capital, public funding and philanthropy to fight climate change.

He’s enlisted BlackRock Inc’s BLK Larry Fink, members of the Biden administration and others to build a $2.25-billion venture capital fund that supports over 100 companies that fight climate change.

"[The war is] good for the long run because people won't want to be dependent on Russian natural gas,” Gates said, explaining how those countries depending on Russian natural gas are transitioning to new approaches.

“So they'll move to these new approaches more rapidly."

Why It Matters: The new approaches, which Gates referred to as "the energy transition" in a blog post on Tuesday, are a pipeline of innovations in investment, policies and general public awareness that countries secure more energy security if the they can reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from 51 billion tons to zero.

Unfortunately, the Ukrainian conflict and the ensuing energy crisis are straining the continent's expanding climate agreement. Recent investments made by several nations in new fossil fuel projects only serve to compound an already pressing issue.

Ultimately, net zero and energy security are two sides of the same coin. “Clean-energy innovations are the only way to achieve either one,” Gates outlined in his post.

“I am optimistic about what people are capable of in a crisis, and in the long run, I wouldn’t bet against us,” Gates said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of a long run. We have already achieved many energy breakthroughs. We need to achieve more, faster, to avoid a climate disaster.”

Photo via Shutterstock.

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