Bill Gates Says Indonesia Opens Up About Earth's Doomsday

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Microsoft founder and veteran philathropist, Bill Gates, revealed new facts about the drivers of the 'doomsday' on Earth. In his latest blog, Gates also mentioned Indonesia.

He revealed the fact that every year, activities on Earth produce 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases. As much as 7% comes from the production of fats and oils from animals and plants.

“To combat climate change, we have to change that number to zero,” he said, quoted from his personal blog, Monday (19/2/2024).

Furthermore, Gates is aware that plans to eliminate animal fat consumption for humans are unrealistic. The reason is, humans are dependent on animal fat for logical reasons.

Animal fat stores nutrients and calories needed by humans. However, there are ways to extract fat without producing emissions, torturing animals, and producing dangerous chemicals.

The solution, said Gates, has been found by a startup called 'Savor'. Gates is also one of the investors.

Savor creates fat from a process involving carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water. The compound is then heated and oxidized so that the acid components are separated which creates the fat formulation.

Gates claims the resulting fat has similar molecules to those found in milk, cheese, beef and vegetable oils.

Palm Oil Problems in Indonesia and Malaysia

Apart from the production of animal fat which damages the environment, Gates also highlighted a factor that creates a bigger impact, namely palm oil.

“Currently, palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable fat throughout the world. Some of it is found in everyday foods such as cakes, instant noodles, coffee cream, frozen foods, and even makeup, body soap, toothpaste, detergent, deodorant, cat food. “, baby formula, etc. In fact, palm oil is also used for biofuel and diesel engines,” he said.

Gates emphasized that the problem with palm oil is not about its use, but how it is produced. The majority of native West and Central African types of palm oil do not grow in many areas. The tree only grows well in places where the equator passes.

“This causes deforestation in equatorial areas to convert them into oil palm land,” said Gates.

This process has a negative impact on natural diversity and causes a major blow to climate change. Forest burning creates large emissions in the atmosphere and results in increased temperatures.

“In 2018, the destruction that occurred in Malaysia and Indonesia alone was severe enough to contribute 1.4% of global emissions. That figure was greater than the entire state of California and almost as large as the aviation industry worldwide,” Gates explained.

Unfortunately, Gates admits that the role of palm oil is difficult to replace. This is because palm oil commodities are cheap, odorless and abundant.

“Palm oil is also the only vegetable oil with a nearly equal balance of saturated and unsaturated fats, which is why it is so versatile. If animal fats are a key ingredient in some foods, then palm oil is a team player that can work to make almost any food and non-food items are getting better,” Gates explained.

For these reasons, Gates said there are already companies trying to overcome them. One of them is C16 Biosciences which is trying to make an alternative to palm oil.

Since 2017, Gates said C16 has been developing products from wild yeast microbes using a fermentation process that produces no emissions at all.

Although chemically different from conventional palm oil, C16 oil contains the same fatty acids, so it can be used for similar applications.

“This oil is as natural as palm oil, only it grows on mushrooms, not trees. Like Savor, the C16 process is completely free from agriculture. The 'farm' is a laboratory in midtown Manhattan,” said Gates.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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