Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), has transcended his tech mogul status to become a global icon in philanthropy and environmental advocacy. Renowned for his commitment to addressing pressing global challenges, Gates has channeled his wealth and influence toward impactful solutions.
With his foundation pouring substantial resources into diverse climate technology solutions, the billionaire has consistently sounded the alarm on the primary drivers of climate change. This includes the significant emissions produced by major energy and manufacturing firms, which engage in extensive burning of fossil fuels.
But the latest securities filings detailing stock market transactions in the third quarter (Q3) revealed that some of Bil Gates’s investment choices appear contradictory to his philanthropic efforts. Two, in particular.
Bill Gates adds positions in Exxon Mobil and Chevron
According to regulatory filings published on November 14, Bill Gates purchased shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) – the second and the third-largest energy companies in the world, respectively.
Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a private foundation founded by him and his ex-wife, the billionaire bought 17,000 shares of XOM and 21,500 shares of CVX. In dollar terms, the two stakes are worth $1.99 and $3.63 million, respectively.
Although these are the two energy giants that attract significant attention from US and international investors, it is seen as a controversial play for Gates, who is considered a big climate change fighter.
Exxon and Chevron are major players in the fossil fuel industry, primarily dealing with oil and natural gas. Fossil fuels are a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which are a major driver of climate change.
That said, investing in these companies can be seen as supporting and perpetuating a carbon-intensive energy system.
Gates reportedly holding a major short bet against Tesla
Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that the Microsoft co-founder raised his short position against TSLA from around $500 million to between $1.5 and $2 billion.
More recently, Musk touched upon this matter once again in September.
“Gates placed a massive bet on Tesla dying when our company was at one of its weakest moments several years ago. Such a big short position also drives the stock down for everyday investors,” Musk commented on an X post about Gates shorting TSLA.
“To the best of my knowledge, Gates *still* has that massive bet against Tesla on the table. Someone should ask him if he does,” he added.
“The lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy of Gates who had the nerve to ask me to donate to his mostly window-dressing environmental causes, while simultaneously aiming to make $500M from Tesla’s demise, boggles the mind…”
It is unclear whether Gates still holds a short position in TSLA, and if he does, its size is not publicly revealed.
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