Bill Gates makes a statement after his meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee … [+]
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is letting college students download his book, “How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have And The Breakthroughs We Need,” for free—for a limited time.
For this week only, students enrolled at any college or university around the world can input their email and the name of their school to get the free ebook by downloading it from Gates’ blog, GatesNotes.
In a blog post announcing the free download, Gates wrote that young people will need to be at the forefront of making technological and policy innovations necessary to combat climate change.
“In my experience, they’re the ones with the most new ideas, and the most energy to pursue them,” Gates said.
Released in February, Gates’ book lays out how the fourth-richest person in the world thinks we can get to zero emissions by 2050. He advocates for the need to invest in new technologies that provide a cheaper and greener alternative to carbon-emitting methods used by heavy industry and other sectors like energy and transportation. “The hardest problems to solve are in areas like steel and concrete and even transportation things like aviation fuel,” Gates told Forbes in an interview when the book was released.
Gates’ approach hasn’t impressed everyone. Climate activist Bill McKibben called “How To Avoid A Climate Disaster” “underwhelming” in a review for the New York Times. McKibben argued the book did not grapple with “the role that the fossil fuel industry played, and continues to play, in preventing action,” especially when it comes to wide adoption of wind and solar power.
Outside the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on public health and global poverty, Gates has personally taken up the cause of climate change. He started climate investment firm Breakthrough Energy in 2015 to funnel money into developing green technologies. Last week, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst—an arm of the firm focused on public-private partnerships—announced a $552 million (£400 million) partnership with the U.K. government.
This isn’t the first time Gates has made a book free to download for college students. In 2018, the multi-billionaire offered a free ebook of “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think” by Swedish statistician Hans Rosling.
I’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering wealth at Forbes. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email [email protected]