Cow farts probably aren't something you think about on a day-to-day basis, but billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has warned that we need to start if we're going to battle the ongoing issue of climate change.
The warning was outlined in Bill and wife Melinda Gates' annual letter, in which they spotlight key issues facing the world today.
One of the focuses being climate change, the couple highlighted manufacturing's 21% contribution to greenhouse gases.
"As the urban population continues to grow in the coming decades, the world's building stock is expected to double by 2060 - the equivalent of adding another New York City monthly between now and then," explained Bill.
"That's a lot of cement and steel. We need to find a way to make it all without worsening climate change."
That said, manufacturing isn't the only perpetrator, as agriculture accounts for a whopping 24% of greenhouses gases.
"That includes cattle, which give off methane when they belch and pass gas," added Gates. "(A personal surprise for me: I never thought I'd be writing seriously about bovine flatulence.)"
Of course, solving this gassy issue can't be done overnight, something which Bill and Melinda recognise - unfortunately the solution isn't just a case of building more solar panels and wind turbines and we can't just put all of the world's manufacturing sectors on standstill.
"Part of the solution is to invest in innovation in all five sectors so we can do these things without destroying the climate," explained Bill. "We need breakthrough inventions in each of the grand challenges."
In the case of the Microsoft founder, these aren't just empty words either. Not only does he intend on leaving most of his $89 billion fortune to charity, but he continues to tackle these issues with programs funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Not to mention Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the $1 billion fund he helped launch, which will continued to channel future investments into clean-energy companies.
It's certainly positive to know that people like Bill and Melinda are using their money to help tackle the catastrophic effects of climate change, which are only set to get worse unless there's an unprecedented attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next few years.
According to the New York Post, the planet's surface has already warmed by one degree and it could see a catastrophic 1.5C increase between 2030 and 2052 unless something's done ASAP, which would lead to sea levels rising further, even more natural disasters and severe droughts across the world.
Hats off to Bill and Melinda for their efforts. To read more about what they had to say, you can check out the full letter here.
Featured Image Credit: PA