Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says he will spend $10 billion of his own $130 billion fortune to help fight climate change by setting up the Bezos Earth Fund.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, said in an Instagram post on Monday that he will start giving out grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the earth.
‘I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change,’ Bezos said.
His monetary pledge will account for about 7.7 percent of his $130 billion fortune.
Amazon, the company Bezos runs, has an enormous carbon footprint.
The online retailer relies on fossil fuels to power planes, trucks and vans in order to ship billions of items all around the world. Amazon has also been criticized for creating large amounts of waste from the packaging it delivers its products in.
Amazon workers in its Seattle headquarters have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices, pushing it to do more to combat climate change.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Monday that he plans to spend $10 billion of his own fortune to help fight climate change
Bezos, the world’s richest man, said in an Instagram post that he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the earth
More than 8,000 staffers had signed an open letter to Bezos demanding that Amazon cut its carbon emissions, end its use of fossil fuels and stop its work with oil companies that use Amazon’s technology to locate fossil fuel deposits.
Last year, Amazon officials said the company would work to have 100 percent of its energy use come from solar panels and other renewable energy by 2030.
Bezos said in September last year that Amazon would pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040 and said the company would order 100,000 electric delivery trucks.
Bezos said in the post on Monday that he will call his new initiative 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,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
An Amazon spokesman confirmed that Bezos will be using his own money for the fund.
Despite being among the richest people in the world, Bezos only recently became active in donating money to causes as other billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have done.
Amazon workers in its Seattle headquarters have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices, pushing it to do more to combat climate change
Amazon, the company Bezos runs, has an enormous carbon footprint. The online retailer relies on fossil fuels to power planes, trucks and vans in order to ship billions of items all around the world
Amazon has been criticized for creating large amounts of waste from the packaging it delivers its products in
In 2018, Bezos started another fund, committing $2 billion of his own money to open preschools in low-income neighborhoods and give money to nonprofits that help homeless families.
Bezos, who founded Amazon 25 years ago, has a stake in the company that is worth more than $100 billion.
In response to his pledge, an advocacy group founded by Amazon workers – Amazon Employees For Climate Justice – applauding his philanthropy while also criticizing his climate change record.
‘The international scientific community is very clear: burning the oil in wells that oil companies already have developed means we can’t save our planet from climate catastrophe,’ a statement from the group read.
‘As history has taught us, true visionaries stand up against entrenched systems, often at great cost to themselves. We applaud Jeff Bezos’ philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away.
‘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? When will Amazon take responsibility for the lungs of children near its warehouses by moving from diesel to all-electric trucking?
‘Why did Amazon threaten to fire employees who were sounding the alarm about Amazon’s role in the climate crisis and our oil and gas business? What this shows is that employees speaking out works- we need more of that right now.
‘Will Jeff Bezos show us true leadership or will he continue to be complicit in the acceleration of the climate crisis, while supposedly trying to help?’