Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to fight climate change
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person on the planet, has pledged $10 billion to help fight climate change. He made the pledge on Monday via an Instagram post on his official account, referring to climate change as the “biggest threat to our planet.”
In the caption for the post, he explained that he was launching the Bezos Earth Fund, a global initiative to help fund scientists, activists, and NGOs in combating the ongoing destruction of our planet.
The multi-billionaire wrote:
"Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund.
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, and individuals.
I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together."
This past September, Amazon's Climate Pledge was unveiled, revealing a commitment to meet the international Paris Agreement's goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a whole decade earlier than was agreed by most countries.
Part of the company's plan in achieving this is an order for 100,000 new electric delivery vehicles and a $100 million investment in reforestation projects worldwide.
The project will be funded by $10 billion of Bezos' personal wealth. This amount constitutes less than 8% of his net worth, which is at $129.9 billion as of Monday, according to Forbes.
The new initiative comes as the technology and e-commerce giant faces scrutiny both internally and externally as its own employees take issue with its role in global warming.
In fact, not all of Amazon's employees felt the new measures were sufficient.
“We applaud Jeff Bezos’ philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away,” Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said in a statement on Monday. “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?”
In a statement emailed to GeekWire, an Amazon spokesperson said of the company and its CEO:
“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.”