Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said China and U.S. could achieve big win-win results if they worked together in addressing climate change.
He made this comment on Sunday while applauding China’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, and believes the world will benefit from the country’s efforts to make green energy more affordable.
The billionaire philanthropist said that China and other countries have reduced the cost of solar power and electric cars, driving prices down to facilitate worldwide adoption, adding that electric buses are becoming the norm in many Chinese cities.
“Without the contributions of China, many of the key ingredients (in fighting climate change) like the batteries and solar power wouldn’t be so affordable,” Gates said.
He added that China is also doing a lot to build up its electricity grid to use more renewable energy, saying “I hope that innovators in China can bring down the cost of green energy enough, so that China can even increase its commitment to use renewable energy in the Belt and Road Initiative.”
Describing basic R&D as a huge area for cooperation, Gates called upon China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies, to work together to promote R&D and help reduce the green premium for the entire world.
“Both countries have amazing smart people in the younger generation that would be proud to be part of this,” Gates said.
The United States and China are the world’s two largest contributors to climate change and combined are responsible for 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
On September 22 last year, in a message to the UN General Assembly, China announced it would strive for carbon neutrality by 2060. And Biden has put climate at the heart of his domestic and foreign policy, including re-joining the global Paris Agreement and naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as the U.S. special climate envoy, who had said that the U.S. would work with China on climate change.
A survey by the Asia Society Policy Institute and Data for Progress in early February found 56 percent of Americans said that the administration of President Joe Biden should work directly with China to address climate change, which they view as more important than all other issues bar nuclear disarmament, including COVID-19.