Jeff Bezos, the World’s Richest Man, Pledges $10 Billion to Fight Climate Change
"Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together," Jeff Bezos said
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — the world’s richest man — is pledging billions of dollars to help fight climate change, but some of his employees don’t believe it’s enough.
In an Instagram post on Monday, the 56-year-old announced the formation of the Bezos Earth Fund, which will provide money to scientists and organizations who are working to save the planet from the effects of rising temperatures.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos wrote in the post. “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,” he continued. “We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals.”
Bezos, who is worth an estimated $131 billion, said he was committing $10 billion to fund the initiative, and grants will be issued this summer.
”Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together,” he said.
As the New York Times notes, Bezos has previously been pressured by Amazon employees to do more for the climate. Nearly 2,000 workers staged walkouts in 2019 and talked publicly about how the ways the company was hurting the environment.
In September, Bezos announced he was committing to meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement and aimed to make Amazon carbon neutral by 2040. To jumpstart the initiative, called the Climate Pledge, the company ordered 100,000 electric delivery trucks that will hit the roads by 2024.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the charitable pledge is among the biggest ever, only surpassed by Warren Buffett’s $36.1 billion donation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006, and Helen Walton’s $16.4 billion pledge to the Walton Family Foundation.
However, representatives of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice told CNN that Bezos has much more to do if he wants to lessen his company’s impact on the environment.
“We applaud Jeff Bezos’ philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away,” the group said in a statement. “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?”