'Swing for the fences': Warren Buffett's advice headlines Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's 20th annual letter | Markets Insider
Warren Buffett told Bill and Melinda Gates to "swing for the fences" when he pledged most of his fortune to their foundation in 2006. The billionaire philanthropists titled their foundation's 20th annual letter, "Why we swing for the fences." The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will expand its focus from improving education and healthcare to tackling climate change and gender inequality. "The world can't solve a problem like climate change without making big bets," Bill wrote. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Warren Buffett told Bill and Melinda Gates to "swing for the fences" when he pledged to give most of his vast fortune to their foundation in 2006. The famed investor's advice has stuck with the billionaire philanthropists: "Why we swing for the fences" is the title of their foundation's 20th annual letter. "When you swing for the fences, you're putting every ounce of strength into hitting the ball as far as possible," the Microsoft founder and his wife said in the letter. "You know that your bat might miss the ball entirely—but that if you succeed in making contact, the rewards can be huge." "That's how we think about our philanthropy, too," they continued. "The goal isn't just incremental progress. It's to put the full force of our efforts and resources behind the big bets that, if successful, will save and improve lives." The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent nearly $54 billion in 20 years, its founders wrote, with 45% going towards global development, 29% to global health, 16% to US programs, and 10% to other charitable programs. They primarily focused on healthcare and education, but will now prioritize gender equality and tackling climate change as well, they added. "When Warren urged Melinda and me to swing for the fences all those years ago, he was talking about the areas our foundation worked on at the time, not climate change," Bill said. "But his advice applies here, too. The world can't solve a problem like climate change without making big bets." Buffett recently topped the list of America's biggest givers after giving nearly $15 billion to charitable causes between 2014 and 2018.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A big-money investor in juggernauts like Facebook and Netflix breaks down the '3rd wave' firms that are leading the next round of tech disruption
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Bill Gates says the best way to help poorer countries fight climate change is to make sure they're healthy enough to survive it
Bill Gates says the best way to help poorer countries tackle climate change is to make...Bill Gates says the best way to help poorer countries tackle climate change is to make sure they're healthy enough to survive it. Gates made the remark on Monday in the annual letter he jointly pens with his wife Melinda, in which the pair spell out their broad areas of interest as philanthropists. The Microsoft cofounder argued that climate change is as much a public health issue as it is an environmental one. Countries near the equator – which are disproportionately poor by global standards – are likely to be worst hit by climate change. Gates argues this will disproportionately worsen the nutrition of people living in these countries, and make them more susceptible to disease. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates says the best way to help poorer countries tackle climate change is to make sure they're healthy enough to survive it. Gates made the remark Monday in the annual letter he jointly pens with his wife and fellow philanthropist, Melinda. The letter spells out the Gates' main philanthropic concerns and ambitions, on issues related to education, climate, health, and gender. The Microsoft cofounder argued that climate change is as much a public health issue as it is an environmental one. In Gates' view, simply finding ways to grow more food – though undeniably helpful – won't wholly offset the negative health effects of climate change. "Even if we succeed in increasing crop yields, the reality is that climate change will make it harder for many people to get the nutrition they need — which will, in turn, make them more susceptible to disease," Gates wrote. "The best thing we can do to help people in poor countries adapt to climate change is make sure they're healthy enough to survive it." Gates' concerns appear all-the-more pressing in light of recent research. A 2018 study by researchers at the universities of Melbourne and Oxford found that countries situated around the equator – which are disproportionately poor by global standards – are likely to be worst hit by climate change. Specifically, the study found that those countries will undergo bigger changes in their local climates than more temperate countries if global average surface temperatures remain at or above the 1.5- or 2-degree Celsius (2.7- to 3.6-degrees Fahrenheit) limit set by the 2016 Paris agreement. Accordingly, Gates argued that focusing on helping malnourished people survive will be as important as preventing malnourishment from happening in the first place. He continued: "We need to reduce the number of children who become malnourished and improve the odds that people who do suffer from malnutrition survive. That means making sure that people have access not only to the nutrients they need but also to proven interventions like vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics." Both Bill and Melinda Gates are longtime champions of vaccination technology. In 2012, the pair set up an award recognizing people who work to increase immunization rates, with the winners receiving $250,000.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why it's so hard for planes to land on water