Bill, Melinda Gates lay out top priorities as Gates Foundation turns 20 years old

Reported today on The Seattle Times

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Bill, Melinda Gates lay out top priorities as Gates Foundation turns 20 years old

(Bloomberg) – Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of the world’s biggest private foundation, said fighting climate change and promoting gender equality will be prominent issues in their philanthropy going forward.

In a letter marking the 20th anniversary of the foundation’s inception, the couple said that climate has emerged as a key issue for the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, while gender equality has become a focus for his wife.

The foundation plans to work on technologies for lowering carbon emissions –- including ideas that can provide zero-emission energy cheaply to low-income countries –- and on ways to help vulnerable populations like subsistence farmers adapt to climate change.

“Tackling climate change is going to demand historic levels of global cooperation, unprecedented amounts of innovation in nearly every sector of the economy, widespread deployment of today’s clean-energy solutions like solar and wind, and a concerted effort to work with the people who are most vulnerable to a warmer world,” wrote Bill Gates, ranked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as the world’s second-richest man.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has almost $47 billion in its endowment, including funds from Gates’ friend and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. founder Warren Buffett, and has granted more than $50 billion. The foundation has historically worked on improving global health and U.S. education and has more recently begun investments in climate and gender-equality programs.

Melinda Gates identified a need for more women in leadership roles in government, finance technology and health. She also emphasized the importance of tackling barriers that females from all backgrounds face, such as unpaid


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