Bill Gates tells NEF that nuclear has a place in climate campaign

A man wades through a flooded street near the Rialto bridge in Venice. Environmentalists have blamed dramatic flooding in the city on climate change. (AFP)
Updated 22 November 2019

Bill Gates tells NEF that nuclear has a place in climate campaign

  • About 14 percent of China’s energy needs come from renewable sources

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.”

 

 


Saudi minister: OPEC+ will take responsible approach to virus

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi minister: OPEC+ will take responsible approach to virus

  • Saudi Arabia supports the further oil production cut, but Russia is yet to announce its final position on the matter

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Tuesday he was confident that OPEC and its partner oil-producing nations, the so-called OPEC+ group, would respond responsibly to the spread of the coronavirus.

He also said Saudi Arabia and Russia would continue to engage regarding oil policy.

“Everything serious requires being attended to,” the minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, told reporters at an industry conference in Riyadh.

An OPEC+ committee this month recommended the group deepen its output cuts by an additional 600,000 barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia supports the further oil production cut, but Russia is yet to announce its final position on the matter.

The minister said he was still talking with Moscow and that he was confident of Riyadh’s partnership with the rest of the OPEC+ group.

“We did not run out of ideas, we have not closed our phones. There is always a good way of communicating through conference calls,” he said.

Regarding the coronavirus, which has impacted OPEC member Iran, he said OPEC+ members should not be complacent about the virus but added he was confident every OPEC+ member was a responsible and responsive producer.

The flu-like SARS-CoV-2 virus, which first broke out in China, has now spread to more than 20 countries.

“Of course there is an impact and we are assessing, but we’ll do whatever we can in our next meeting and we’ll address that issue,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said at the same industry conference.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser on Monday said he expected a short-lived impact on oil demand.

“We think this is short term and I am confident that in the second half of the year there is going to be an improvement on the demand side, especially from China,” he said.

Oil climbed on Tuesday as investors sought bargains after crude benchmarks slumped almost 4 percent in the previous session, although concerns about the global spread of the virus capped gains.