The 75% climate problem and the solutions to it

What do you think of when I ask you to mention a climate solution to combat global warming? Stakes are high that you just thought about renewable energy. Most people do. Yet, renewable is only one part of the multi-faceted solution in combatting climate change.

Think about it. Global warming does not know sectorial boundaries. Buildings contribute to the issue, cement production, transportation and not to forget agriculture, to mention a view. Agriculture and forestry alone count for more than 24% of global emissions. Hence, when thinking about solving climate issues, we have to think across sectors and systems (such as food, power, transportation).

This is also why Bill Gates is set out to invest in climate solutions addressing the “75 % problem”. Yes, he invests in renewable power and electricity generation, as global electricity production counts for around 25% of global CO2-emissions. Clean electricity production through solar and wind is certainly part of the climate solution. But he also invests in climate solutions across agriculture, transportation and enabling greener steel and cement production, to mention a few.

Gates refers to the following (as the five grand climate challenges):

* Electricity & power: In addition to scaling up renwables, we need storage and more efficient power distribution.
* Agriculture & forestry: Did you know that if emissions from cattle were considered as a country, they could rank as top 3rd of global greenhouse gas emitters? In addition to revolutionizing agriculture in terms of efficiency, it is crucial to move towards a more plant-rich diet.
* Manufacturing: The need for more circular business models and greening steel and cement production.
* Transportation: We do not only need low-emission cars (and more car-sharing) we need to green flights, shipping and heavy vehicles.
* Buildings: We need to make buildings smarter and more efficient.

For Gates, this is about enabling the climate solutions across sectors to scale rapidly, as well as making profits along the way. Check out the fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures, where Bill Gates invests in these climate solutions together with a range of other high-profiled investors such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Virgin’s Richard Branson and Alibaba’s Jack Ma. They aim to invest 1 billion USD in start-ups delivering the climate solutions.

To learn more about the 75% problem and the solutions to it, check out the video, and learn more here.

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