Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has long been a proponent of philanthropy. But the billionaire’s latest pledge is so high that it will remove him from the list of the world’s richest people.
On Wednesday, Gates took to Twitter to announce that by 2026, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would up its spending from $6 billion to $9 billion annually. Gates also made a donation of $20 billion to the fund’s endowment.
Gates started the foundation with his then-wife Melinda French Gates in 2000, operating with the primary goals of enhancing healthcare, reducing poverty, expanding educational opportunities and increasing access to information technology.
The billionaire began by talking about worldwide crises and “setbacks” including the pandemic, the Ukraine and Russia conflict, climate change, and gender equality in the U.S.
“I’m still optimistic. These setbacks are happening in the context of two decades’ worth of historic progress and I believe it is possible to mitigate the damage and get back to the progress the world was making,” Gates penned.
Gates then thanked fellow billionaire Warren Buffett for his “incredible generosity” to the foundation and how it allowed the foundation’s work to be “so ambitious.”
He went on to talk about how these donations and philanthropic work will move him from rankings as one of the world’s wealthiest.
“As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people,” he said. “I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for reducing suffering and improving lives. And I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too.”
Gates recently reignited his feud with Elon Musk in an interview last month where he spoke about his contributions to helping heal the climate change crisis.
“Tesla’s done a fantastic job; I give a lot more money to climate change than Elon Musk or anyone else,” Gates candidly told French journalist Hugo Decrypte. “[Elon’s] done a great job, but somebody shorting the stock doesn’t slow him down or hurt him in any way.”
The two have had an ongoing riff about the issue, as Musk has previously commented that Gates’ claims about the environment aren’t backed by any tangible action.
As of Thursday afternoon, Gates’ net worth was an estimated $129 billion.
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