Bill Gates, the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft turned climate activist, echoed an argument previously used by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry defending his use of a private jet.

Both Gates and Kerry, who frequently argue in favor of rapidly weaning the world off fossil fuels, have said gas-guzzling private jets are vital for them to successfully accomplish their goals. They also argued that any emissions they produce would be offset from either their use of clean energy in different areas of their lives or their green business ventures.

"Well, I, by the gold standard of, funding Climeworks, to do direct air capture that far exceeds my family's carbon footprint," Gates told BBC last week when asked about how he frequently travels on private planes.

"I'm comfortable with the idea that not only am I not part of the problem by paying for the offsets, but also through the billions that my Breakthrough Energy group is spending, that I am part of the solution," he continued.


Bill Gates White House

Bill Gates speaks during the White House Climate Leaders Summit on April 23, 2021. (AP Photo)

Climeworks is a European firm that specializes in carbon capture technology which removes emissions from the atmosphere. Last year, the company announced it had signed a 10-year deal with Microsoft to become the software corporation's first supplier of long-term, technology-based carbon removal.

Gates has given millions of dollars to various carbon removal and climate technology companies through Breakthrough Energy, his organization that invests in sustainable innovation projects. Gates Ventures is also one of several funding partners of ClimateWorks, a non-profit organization that works to advance climate solutions and technology around the world.

However, Gates and other global climate activists like Kerry have been repeatedly criticized for their use of private jets to travel the world. Private jet travel, which is by far the most carbon-intensive mode of transportation, emits 10 times more carbon than commercial planes and 50 times more carbon than trains, according to a 2021 report from the group Transport & Environment.


"If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me, who is traveling the world to win this battle," Kerry told Icelandic reporter Jóhann Bjarni Kolbeinsson in 2019. "I’ve been involved in this fight for years."

"I believe the time it takes me to get somewhere, I can’t sail across the ocean, I have to fly to meet with people and get things done," he added. "But what I’m doing almost full-time is working to win the battle of climate change. And in the end, if I offset and contribute my life to do this, I’m not going to be put on the defensive."

John Kerry

John Kerry's role as special presidential envoy for climate has enabled him to travel worldwide, attending high-profile climate summits and diplomatic engagements in an effort to push a global transition from fossil fuels to green energy alternatives. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Kerry's comments were made after he traveled to Iceland using a private jet to accept an environmental award.

It is unclear how Kerry has offset his private jet emissions. Since President Biden appointed him to be his climate czar in January 2021, Kerry's family jet has emitted more than 300 metric tons, Fox News Digital previously reported.


In response to criticism, Kerry has recently opted to fly on commercial airlines when traveling on official business.

"Obviously, [Gates and Kerry are] hypocritical and, quite frankly, insulting. But they're also illogical because the whole goal of the climate movement is to reduce the use of fossil fuels," Daniel Turner, executive director of Power the Future, told Fox News Digital in an interview. 

"There really should be no exemptions. These folks have no problem plunging the middle class into energy poverty, but they want an exemption," he continued. "So, basically, now the science or the religion of climate change has high priests and if you are a high priest, if you are of a certain echelon, you are exempt from the rules."

FOX Business reporter Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.