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Bill Gates Vehemently Defends Private Jet Usage: 'Should I Stay at Home?' The billionaire spoke about climate change and travel methods during an interview last week with the BBC.

By Emily Rella

Bill Gates may be one of the most active and giving philanthropists when it comes to climate change and global warming, but that doesn't mean he's giving up his private jet any time soon.

During an interview with the BBC last week, Gates broached several subjects including rival Elon Musk's ambitious goals about Mars, finding love again, and unsurprisingly, climate change.

Journalist Amol Rajan pressed the billionaire about whether or not he thought it was hypocritical to use private jets in lieu of aviation options that would produce a lower carbon footprint.

Related: Report: Bill Gates Dating Paula Hurd, Widow of Oracle CEO

Gates refuted the notion, explaining that traveling to far-off locales (such as Kenya, where the interview was taking place) was necessary for the work he was trying to accomplish.

"Well, I buy the gold standard of, funding Climeworks, to do direct air capture that far exceeds my family's carbon footprint," Gates explained. "I spend billions of dollars on climate innovation … should I stay at home and not come to Kenya and learn about farming and malaria?"

Climeworks is an air filtering technology based in Switzerland that works to remove carbon dioxide from the air in an attempt to "fight against global warming and make a measurable impact," according to the company's website.

According to research by the European Federation for Transport and Environment, private planes are nearly 10 times "more carbon intensive" than standard planes per passenger, mainly because private jets carry a select and limited amount of passengers per flight.

As of Friday afternoon, Gates' net worth was an estimated $116 million.

Related: Bill Gates Shades Elon Musk's Future Mars Mission: 'Don't Go'

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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