Bill Gates, 67 years old today, is still finding new ways to give most of his wealth away.
Microsoft cofounder and one of the most prolific philanthropists in the world, he has stated that he would like to give 'virtually everything' of his $103billion fortune and get off the list of world's wealthiest persons. Although he has described giving as a basic responsibility for all people with lots of money and an interesting challenge to him, his motivation to donate is much more personal.
Gates wrote that he had rediscovered a way of seeing the world when his older daughter informed me that she would be a grandfather next year. This was in his annual letter to the end of the year. It was published Tuesday.
Gates' 26-year-old oldest child, Jennifer, announced her pregnancy last week. Her father spoke about how it affected his outlook on the future he hopes for his grandchildren.
He wrote, "The thought gives me a new dimension in my work." "When I consider the world that my grandchild will inherit, I feel more inspired than ever to ensure everyone's grandchildren and children have a chance to thrive and survive."
Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French Gates started their first charitable foundation in 1994. They grew their philanthropic careers to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation is a household name in global fighting poverty, disease and inequality.
With an endowment of nearly $70 billion, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ranks second in terms of assets. Gates, through the foundation, has donated more than $50 Billion since 1994 to fight diseases, education and gender inequality.
Gates also invests in startups in the early stages that he believes are working to solve the problems of today and tomorrow. Gates' Breakthrough Energy initiative, which seeks to mobilize $15billion in capital, has funded research into climate solutions and clean-energy innovations, including geoengineering and experimental nuclear fusion reactors.
Gates, in a recent letter, reiterated his desire to drop off the richest list and stated that he is moving at 'full speed" on his larger project to give away most of his fortune. However, he warned that global philanthropy will face unprecedented challenges over the next few years. Gates stated that global shocks like the COVID pandemic or the Ukraine War are "slowing down and even reversing" much of the progress made over the past years. He also noted that rising inflation and slower economic growth are forcing richer countries to reduce their foreign aid.
Gates stated, "Through my personal work and the foundation, I am trying make sure that the world continues doing more to help those who are most in need,"
Gates also looked forward to the ways his philanthropy might benefit future generations. He wrote, "I also hope that my work can help make the world better that future generations deserve."
Gates stated that climate change is the core of his concern for the future generation. According to Gates, the impact of rising temperatures on society has already begun to be felt. It is crucial to take action now to protect our children and grandchildren.
"I can summarize the solution to climate change in just two sentences: We must eliminate all global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Gates stated in his letter that extreme weather is already causing more harm and that if we don’t achieve net-zero emissions our grandchildren will be in a world that has been dramatically worse off.
Although his foundation works to help poor communities adapt to climate changes, Gates acknowledged that philanthropy alone cannot eliminate greenhouse gases. Markets and governments are the only mechanisms to achieve the required scale and timeframe.
Gates, despite his determination to find solutions, is pessimistic that humanity will be able to meet its primary climate goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2@C by the end the century. In a Reuters interview, Gates stated that "We're going have to do mind blowing work to keep below 2@ C," although he expressed optimism about the market's ability for innovation in the sector.
Gates wrote that it was strange to discuss profit-making ventures when writing a letter about giving up my resources. He also noted that profit incentives and philanthropy were already working together to improve the world’s climate outlook. "The good news is that we are much closer than I predicted a few decades ago in getting companies to invest into zero-carbon breakthroughs.
Fortune.com originally published this story.
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