Cop28 ‘significantly exceeded expectations,’ says Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder says world needs to continue helping the poorest

Bill Gates speaks about the challenges facing new climate innovations

Bill Gates speaks about the challenges facing new climate innovations
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The Cop28 climate conference, held in Dubai last year, surpassed expectations and was “hosted very well", Bill Gates said on Monday.

Speaking at the Islamic Development Bank meeting in Riyadh, he described the battle against climate change as the “great challenge to humanity” and noted that a lot of work is still to be done to meet the UN’s ambitious climate targets.

“I think that Cop meeting significantly exceeded my expectations,” he said.

“Not only was it hosted very well, but also the spirit that the businesses coming into it showed, as well as the philanthropists, was very impressive to me.

“What we saw was a mixing of small innovative companies who have new climate ideas.”

But the co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was also quick to make clear that there is still a lot of hard work to do.

“Sadly, you know, we are not going to meet the most ambitious goals,” he continued.

“And so at the same time as we reduce emissions, which they call mitigation, we also have to continue to help out the poorest, not by diverting money away from the things we're doing.

“But, you know, think about health as even more important and, you know, where is climate going to make health more difficult?”

Cop28 saw delegates agree on what is now known as the UAE Consensus, a landmark deal to transition away from fossil fuels.

While critics argue it could have gone further, it was widely regarded as a historic breakthrough when the world came together to agree on climate goals at a time when conflict and division is wreaking havoc and misery in both Gaza and Ukraine.

Updated: April 30, 2024, 6:09 AM