BEIJING: Climate change experts and business leaders warned that there was virtually no chance of meeting the target of zero carbon emissions by 2050, as environmentalists have demanded in the growing global campaign against fossil fuels.
Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist turned environmental advocate, told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing that there would have to be a radical rethink of economic and energy practices to meet that target.
“How do you get there? What is the world’s source of energy if not fossil fuels? It probably involves a lot more renewables, a storage miracle, and maybe more nuclear,” Gates said. He recently admitted to technology issues at his TerraPower nuclear technology firm.
“I put my hundreds of millions into it but it is not a profit-seeking activity. Nuclear will only survive if a new generation with better economic and safety standards is out there. It’s very advantaged if you get the designs right. None of the paths to climate safety are risk free,” Gates said.
“Today’s reactors are not economic. Today’s nuclear industry will disappear if there isn’t a new design,” he added.
Asked about the attraction of nuclear power for general consumers, he responded: “Well, they like cheap and reliable electricity, and nuclear provided that.”