Bill Gates, Ambassador?

According to Will Oremus at Slate, “the good news is that once Gates tackles a problem in earnest, he doesn’t just throw money at it.” Bill Gates has always focused his foundation work on global policy and problems, but now climate change appears to be a concern–perhaps because it could put the undo button on his other concerns, namely global health and economic development.

His new role to help with one of the thorniest of all negotiations? Global diplomat in the Paris Climate Change process:

His role in sealing the deal offers a peek into how the inner circles of governments and industry intersect. It also underscores how a handful of the world’s wealthiest people can stand with heads of state to spotlight a social, economic and policy issue on the global stage. For Mr. Gates, the world’s richest person and co-chairman of the biggest private foundation, it is another sign of how his vast foreign aid operation and status as a technology icon have turned him into a uniquely influential global diplomat.

Source: Bill Gates Takes On Climate Change With Nudges and a Powerful Rolodex – The New York Times

Several months ago, Brandon Keim asked “how much can one man…really accomplish in the fight against climate change?” Taking a systems approach, Gates wants to change the network that is “structured by government policy,” but it will happen in “complex, piecemeal, tricky ways.”

In other words, there isn’t an app for global diplomacy.


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