September 21

By Catherine Clifford

In the United States, fighting climate change is a political issue, and it can’t be, according to Bill Gates.

“Sadly, the U.S. is one of the worst in the issue being partisan in nature, but we need to change that,” Gates said in an interview that aired Tuesday during Climate Week NYC.

While President Joe Biden has made climate change one of his administration’s priorities, former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

“We can’t have a climate strategy where you have some parties in power and they do a lot, but when you have other parties in power then everything stops,” Gates said.

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and the Gates Foundation is also the founder of the climate innovation and investment company Breakthrough Energy and the founder and chairman of the advanced nuclear company TerraPower.

Decarbonizing economies and infrastructures is a monumental task.

“I see momentum building, I see awareness building, but this will be the hardest thing humanity has ever done,” Gates said.

That already massive challenge has to be attacked consistently, not depending on which political party holds the White House, said Gates, who released a book on climate change in February called “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.”

“This is hard enough to drive innovation and deployment and cost reduction in this 30-year deadline even if there is not a single day of pause in that,” Gates said.

“Having it not be a small group in a country, just the green party, or just progressives that believe in this cause, I would say that is still maybe at the top of the list” of priorities in fighting climate change, he said.