Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion To Fight Climate Change
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has pledged $10 billion to help fight climate change and ‘preserve and protect the natural world’.
With a net worth of nearly $130 billion, making him the richest man in the world, there’s no denying Bezos has some cash to spare.
Thankfully, he’s planned to use his power to do some good, by launching the Bezos Earth Fund – an initiative which will provide scientists, activists and non-governmental organisations with the money they need to help fight climate change. Though exact details of the fund are yet to be released, it’s understood the money Bezos is committing to the cause will be available through grants issued to ‘scientists, activists, NGOs’ and others who are leading the charge against climate change.
Bezos announced the launch of the Fund on Instagram yesterday, February 17, saying climate change is the ‘biggest threat to our planet’.
I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.
This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth.
It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations [sic], and individuals.
The Amazon CEO went on to say he was ‘committing $10 billion to start’ – a pledge which accounts for about 7.7% of his wealth.
Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.
The launch of the Bezos Earth Fund comes as Amazon takes steps to address its impact on the planet, and as it faces internal pressures from employees to make the business more environmentally-friendly.
In September 2019, the company announced the Climate Pledge; a commitment to meet the international Paris Agreement on climate change 10 years early by achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2040.
However, last month more than 350 Amazon employees signed up with advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, which called for net-zero emissions by 2030, among other requests.
The group responded to Bezos’ announcement yesterday, saying that while the CEO’s philanthropy should be applauded, ‘one hand cannot give what the other is taking away’.
In a statement, the group continued:
The people of Earth need to know: When is Amazon going to stop helping oil & gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells?
When is Amazon going to stop funding climate-denying think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and climate-delaying policy?
As part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, the company said it would buy a fleet of electric vehicles to start delivering packages to customers in 2021, with 10,000 of the new vans operating by 2022 and all 100,000 operating by 2030, CNBC reports.
An Amazon spokesperson commended Bezos’ pledge in a statement to Forbes, saying:
Amazon took a bold step when it announced the Climate Pledge, committing the company to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement ten years early, and we’re incredibly excited about the Bezos Earth Fund.
Jeff’s passion and this extraordinary personal contribution to the fight against climate change are going to have a huge impact.
Bezos is set to start giving grants from the Bezos Earth Fund this Summer.
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CreditsJeff Bezos/Instagram and 3 others
Amazon Employees For Climate Justice/Twitter