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Republished from USAToday.com
By Anne-Marcelle Ngabirano
Bill Gates warned against denying climate change and pushed for more innovation in clean energy, during an event Friday at Columbia University in New York.
The billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder joined friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett for a question-and-answer session with students.
“Certain topics are so complicated like climate change that to really get a broad understanding is a bit difficult and particularly when people take that complexity and create uncertainty about it,” Gates said.
The planet needs to find reliable, cheap and clean energy, "the innovations there will be profound," Gates said.
In December, Gates announced that he and a group of investors would invest more than $1 billion in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund that aims to finance the development of affordable energy that will reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions.
Warren Buffett invests in green energy. Berkshire Hathaway has spent more than $17B on renewable energy since 2004 Time
Despite not knowing what the Trump administration’s goal will be in terms of funding for research and foreign aid, Gates said he holds hope for the future. He said artificial intelligence is the new frontier in innovation and said that if were a student today he would pursue computer science or biology.
Venture capitalism and the willingness to take chances on something new has provided a great deal of opportunity in the U.S., Gates said.
“That’s something that other countries have tried to duplicate and they have, in small part, but not nearly as well,” Gates said about the availability of investment capital for projects. “This willingness to take risks, the idea that if you ... fail, it’s not a mark of shame."