Between his time campaigning and his time spent as President Elect, Donald Trump has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t believe in climate change. Or at the very least, doesn’t give it enough merit to prioritize things like the survival of the EPA or thinking twice before he appoints the CEO of Exxon (noted oil-loving company) as his Secretary of State. But there are world leaders and businesspeople who would like to change the PEOTUS’ mind about the importance of slowing climate change, and unsurprisingly Bill Gates is one of them.
The billionaire and activist recently spoke to Donald Trump over the phone, and discussed a variety of topics including innovations in educational software and eradicating polio from the world completely, but possible the most important topic that they chatted about was the importance of believing in climate change. Gates recently created the $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Fund, which was formed to “fund only energy companies that show the potential to make a meaningful difference in climate change” and doesn’t want a political climate that could prevent that good from happening.
According to Recode, who spoke with Gates about his new fund and his conversation with Trump, the Microsoft founder endeavored to make it clear to Trump that there are economic benefits to climate change, even if it doesn’t seem obvious as to why that is. Gates says that the conversation wasn’t quite long enough to get a clear message across, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t try in the time allotted.
It wasn’t a super-long call, and I am sure I will get a chance to talk to him more in the future….I did speak specifically about energy.
It wasn’t a long enough call to get a clear sense. Obviously there will be a lot of key appointees like secretary of energy, and the Congress will be still a major factor when you look at this stuff at a budgetary level.
Even if he can’t get Trump and his administration on the side of clean energy though, Gates says that he has no worries about his fund supporting change.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures, no matter what happens to the energy R&D budget, we are going to go out and find the ideas that are out there. It’s just more favorable if governments as a whole are putting more into the basic research level.
Only time will tell whether his conversation with the future President convinced Trump that this particular government should be making that effort.