Bezos Promises $10B to Fight Climate Change

Daniel Fowler
February 18, 2020

Bezos will be using the money to help fund NGOs, activists, scientists, and any efforts that are aimed at protecting the earth from the impact of climate change.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our plant", Bezos said in his post Monday.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.

"We can save Earth", he said in a post on Instagram. "It's going to take a collective effort from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations, and individuals". The commitment aligns the company with other big tech corporations like Alphabet (which announced it was buying 5.5 gigawatts of renewable power last year) and Microsoft, which laid out the most aggressive strategic response to climate change of any tech company earlier this year.

Soon after Bezos' announcement, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice posted a tweet stating that the new fund's stated climate objectives were contradicted by Amazon's continued sale of cloud services to oil and gas companies. Bezos is also CEO of Amazon, which is why it's interesting to note that the total commitment of the Bezos Earth Fund is the same value as a US military contract with Microsoft - recently halted by court order - at the behest of Amazon.

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In a post on social media, Bezos said the fund would start distributing grants this summer. The Bezos Earth Fund apparently has no website yet, or publicly acknowledged staff. "The people of Earth need to know: When is Amazon going to stop helping oil and gas companies ravage the Earth with still more more oil and gas wells?"

It appears he will donate the money to researchers and advocacy groups, rather than investing it into startups and other for-profit ventures tackling climate change, Axios reported.

The $10 billion commitment represents almost 8% of his $130 billion net worth. The online retailer claims it will transition to zero emissions by 2030 and will add 100,000 electric delivery vehicles to its fleet by 2024.

Bezos has been criticized in the past for how little he spends on philanthropy in comparison to other billionaires, although he's upped his game a bit in recent years.

In a statement, they said "as employees at one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, our role in facing the climate crisis is to ensure our company is leading on climate, not following".

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