Jeff Bezos said the Bezos Earth Fund will fund scientists, activists, NGOs - any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect Earth.
The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, has launched the Bezos Earth Fund, committing US$10 billion to start with, to pay for initiatives to stop climate change.
“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 organisations, and individuals,” Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, said in an Instagram post.
“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.”
Jeff Bezos has an estimated net worth of more than US$130 billion and the climate change action pledge represents almost 8% of his fortune.
Jeff Bezos has been criticised by a section of Amazon employees for his perceived inaction over tackling climate change. There have been walkouts by employees with some staff speaking out through an organsiation Amazon Employees for Climate Justice.
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice responded to Jeff Bezos’ announcement of a Bezos Earth Fund.
“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-denying 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 crises and our oil and gas business? What this shows is that employees speaking out works – we need more 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?”
Jeff Bezos told CBS in July last year that he was funding aerospace company Blue Origin as he believes the human population is destroying Earth.
“We humans have to go to space if we are going to continue to have a thriving civilisation,” Bezos said.
“We have become big as a population, as a species, and this planet is relatively small. We see it in things like climate change and pollution and heavy industry. We are in the process of destroying this planet. And we have sent robotic probes to every planet in the solar system – this is the good one. So, we have to preserve this planet.”