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Bill Gates optimistic about climate innovation, even if 1.5C target is out of reach By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bill Gates, trustee and co-chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, arrives to speak during the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, New York, US September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Phil

Written by Katie Daigle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When it comes to climate change, Bill Gates considers himself a realist — even if that means acknowledging that the world has no chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C.

“Given the overall size of our industrialized economy…we’re going to have to do an incredible job of staying below 2 degrees,” he said.

But about achieving the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement? No one wants to be “the first to say it,” Gates said in a video interview with Reuters, but the math shows it’s no longer within reach.

However, the software developer-turned-philanthropist has been bullish about climate innovation — launching several domains developing low-carbon technologies with funding from Breakthrough Energy Group, which Gates founded in 2015.

Gates has invested more than $2 billion in climate technologies, including direct air capture, solar energy, and nuclear fission. The 14-year-old fission company under the Breakthrough umbrella, TerraPower, aims to have an experimental reactor operational by 2030.

said Gates, co-founder Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:).

Gates spoke with Reuters ahead of the release of his annual letter – which reflects on 2022 and describes what he’s most excited about in the coming year.

He has funneled $20 billion of his money into an endowment for the Gates Foundation, which plans to increase philanthropic spending on public health and education from $6 billion to $9 billion in the coming years.

He also paid tribute to Warren Buffett for his contribution, which Gates said has totaled $45 billion since 2006, after shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:NYSE) soared.

However, Breakthrough Energy operates separately from the Gates Foundation. In his letter to shareholders, Gates made it clear that the climate problem is too big for philanthropy alone to address.

“There is not enough money, so you have to have some creativity,” he told Reuters. “The idea that this can be done with brute force, there is no chance.”

Companies need investment and technical support to prove their low-carbon ideas beyond the pilot stage — and then to scale up manufacturing, he says. However, any profits from Breakthrough Energy are channeled back to the group or the Foundation.

Some of the companies under Breakthrough that are developing Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology — a technology designed to pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere — have their sights set on nearly $3.5 billion in newly announced US contracts to build DAC plants and fund research grants.

“We have a number of Direct Air Capture companies that will be bidding to be part of those projects,” he said, noting that the recent inflationary reduction law has boosted prospects for climate innovation. He did not elaborate on the DAC companies’ plans.

In manufacturing, he said, the steel and cement industries have made “fantastic” progress, a change from his concerns about the sector just two years ago.

Manufacturing is responsible for about a third of global warming emissions.

Now, “There’s no room for climate change mitigation. I feel like, ‘Oh, that’s totally exposed,'” he said.

Instead, with the world poised to exceed 1.5°C of warming, he said the challenge is shifting toward helping people adapt to a harsher, hotter future.

“In addition to mitigation, which will continue to be the bulk (of the Breakthrough Energy investment), we will also be financing work related to adaptation.” This could include technology to help control wildfires, using reef-type structures to create barriers against floods, or developing crop strains that can withstand drought.

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Red Flags That Your Spouse Is Hiding Money (And What To Do About It)




Marriage can be hard enough without one spouse hiding money from the other.

When financial infidelity occurs in the form of “hidden cash,” a marriage or a live-forever relationship can easily be ended.

The truth is About 30% of American couples suffer from financial infidelity. Other evidence shows that more than 75% of couples describe the hidden money situation as negative and common 10% of these scenarios end in divorce.

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US judge orders Norwegian Cruise Line to pay $110m for use of Cuba port By Reuters




© Reuters. Norwegian American Airlines cruise ship Marina arrives in Havana Bay, Cuba on March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Meneghini/File/File Photo

Written by Brian Ellsworth

MIAMI (Reuters) – Norwegian Shipping Line (NYSE) has to pay $110 million in compensation for the use of a port confiscated by the Cuban government in 1960, a US judge said Friday, marking a significant milestone for Cuban Americans. Who are seeking reparations for the Cold War era. Assets confiscation.

The decision by US District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami follows her decision in March that use of the Havana Cruise Terminal constituted smuggling of forfeited property belonging to the plaintiff, Delaware-registered Havana Docks Corp.

The decision read: “The judgment is made in favor of Plaintiff Havana Docks Corporation and against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.”

“The plaintiff was awarded $109,848,747.87 in damages,” it says, adding that the Norwegian must also pay an additional $3 million in legal fees and costs.

Norwegian Cruise Line did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has sharply criticized the Helms-Burton Act, calling it an extraterritorial violation of international law.

Havana Docks also sued Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE: ), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:) and MSC under the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue over the use of property seized in Cuba after 1959.

The ruling could fuel more lawsuits by Cuban exiles pursuing claims, worth $2 billion, according to one estimate, over asset seizures under late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

It may also serve as a reminder to multinational companies of the complexities that can come with doing business in Cuba.

In 2016, US cruise ships began traveling to Cuba for the first time in decades after a détente negotiated by former President Barack Obama eased some provisions of a Cold War US embargo.

But the Trump administration in 2019 ordered a halt to all such cruises amid efforts to pressure Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Washington’s ideological foe.

The Trump administration has also allowed US citizens to sue third parties for using property seized by Cuban authorities, a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that every previous president has waived since the law was passed in 1996.

Havana Docs says Cuba, which has been under a US trade embargo for decades, has never compensated it for taking the drug.

The four cruise lines sued in 2019 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Bloom in March held the companies liable for damages under the Helms-Burton Act, also known as the Libertad Act.

According to the US-Cuban Economic and Trade Council, a nonprofit organization that provides information on relations between the two countries, 5,913 validated claims related to property seized in Cuba represent an estimated liability of nearly $2 billion.

Forty-four lawsuits have been filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the organization says.

“For the current plaintiffs of Cuban descent, (the decision) will give them a moment of relief,” said John Cavulich, the group’s president. “It will give them a moment to say ‘You can run but you can’t hide,'” Cavulich said.

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Is a Royal Caribbean or Carnival beverage package worth it?




An all-inclusive beverage package that gives you access to beer, wine, liquor, bottled water, soda, specialty coffee, and even shakes/juices may cost more than your cruise fare.

This is especially true right now when many cruise cabins are being sold at discounted prices while the drinks package prices have gone up.

Deciding whether to purchase a drink package is a challenge because you have to estimate whether you will be drinking enough to cover the cost. Or, more importantly, whether you’d spend more if you decided not to purchase a drink package.

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