Jeff Bezos Pledges $2B for Nature Conservation as World Leaders Address Deforestation, Emissions

Dozens of global leaders, including President Joe Biden and Prince William, met during COP26 in Scotland to discuss the climate crisis

Jeff Bezos
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty

More than 100 world leaders met in Scotland this week for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, to discuss nature conservation and ways to curb the effects of climate change.

The first day of the event saw more than 100 countries agree to end deforestation by 2030, according to CNN. Together, the countries make up more than 85 percent of the planet's forests, the outlet said, and include the likes of Russia, Colombia, Canada, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

India, notably, made a commitment to reach a net-zero emissions target by 2070.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his administration would introduce new regulations to mitigate methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, NBC News reported.

"This isn't just something we have to do to protect the environment and future," Biden said during the summit. "It's an enormous opportunity for all of us, all of our nations, to create jobs and make many climate goals a core part of recovery as well."

John Kerry, the former secretary of state who is now Biden's special presidential envoy for climate, said 100 other countries will be joining the U.S. and European Union in cutting methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, NBC News said.

Joe Biden
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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's second-richest person, spoke at the conference on Tuesday and pledged $2 billion to go toward nature conservation and restructuring food systems.

"Amazon aims to power all its operations by renewable energies by 2025," Bezos said, according to the New York Times.

Bezos, also the founder of the aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin, recently visited the edge of space aboard one of his ships. He alluded to the flight during his remarks at the summit.

"I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you view the world," Bezos said. "But I was not prepared for just how much that was true."

Prince William
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"In too many parts of the world, nature is already flipping from carbon sink to a carbon source," he added.

In early 2020, Bezos pledged $10 billion to fight climate change through his Bezos Earth Fund, which he said will provide money to scientists and organizations who are working to save the planet from the effects of rising temperatures.

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In a taped address, Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom expressed hope that the conference could save countless lives in the future.

"For more than 70 years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world's great leaders," she said.

"I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship," she added. "It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit — written in history books yet to be printed — will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations."

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