Rich nations' cash pledges to tackle climate change must not come at the cost of healthcare spending, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates warned in an interview published Tuesday.
The entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist told the Times of India that money promised at last month's Copenhagen summit to enable developing countries to tackle climate change could cut into healthcare aid budgets.
"I am concerned that some of this money will come from reducing other categories of foreign aid, especially health," Gates told the newspaper.
"With an additional pledge for global warming, the budget of rich countries will be out of balance and they will look to cut down on expenditure."
A total of 30 billion dollars was pledged at Copenhagen for 2010-2012 to help poor countries in the frontline of climate change, and wealthy nations sketched a target of providing 100 billion dollars annually by 2020.
Gates' charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has committed nearly one billion dollars to health and development projects in India, especially targeting AIDS and polio.
"What donor nations must understand is that health has a direct impact on climate change," Gates said, pointing to health education encouraging families to have fewer children.
He also urged India to increase spending on healthcare, which stands at about two percent of government expenditure.