Bill Gates has been accused of hypocrisy after it became known that a man, who has repeatedly spoken about the need to stop climate change is attempting to buy a private jet firm. Gate's company Cascade Investment is bidding to acquire jet servicing company Signature Aviation. Cascade already owns a 19 percent stake in the company.
The news comes just a month before the release of his book "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need".
According to Signature Aviation's website, it handled 1.6 million private flights in 2019. An average person travelling on regular commercial flights produces 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which traps heat radiated from the Sun and consequently leads to climate change. According to a recent survey conducted by British left-wing think tank Common Wealth, an individual travelling on private jets produces 4 to 15 times more carbon dioxide.
In summer Gates wrote an essay, where he said that climate change is much more dangerous than the coronavirus pandemic.
"If you want to understand the kind of damage that climate change will inflict, look at COVID-19 and spread the pain out over a much longer period of time. The loss of life and economic misery caused by this pandemic are on par with what will happen regularly if we do not eliminate the world's carbon emissions".
"The range of likely impacts from climate change and from COVID-19 varies quite a bit, depending on which economic model you use. But the conclusion is unmistakable: In the next decade or two, the economic damage caused by climate change will likely be as bad as having a COVID-sized pandemic every ten years. And by the end of the century, it will be much worse if the world remains on its current emissions path", Gates wrote.
Gates previously admitted that owning private jets was his "guilty pleasure". In 2019, a study conducted by Lund University in Sweden revealed that Gates is the world's worst polluter among celebrities. The research said that he flew 59 times on private jets producing a whopping 1,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In his essay about the dangers of climate change Gates notes, however, that the solution lies not in driving or flying less, but in development and use of clean energy.
"Of course, cutting back is a good thing for those who can afford to do it, as I can. And I believe that many people will use teleconferencing to replace some business travel even after the pandemic is over. But overall, the world should be using more energy, not less—as long as it is clean", Gates wrote.