Multi-billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has just launched a new fund which will issue grants to charities and innovators working to fight the climate crisis.
Bezos announced the creation of his Bezos Earth Fund on Instagram this week. According to the post, Bezos will begin doling $10 billion in grants to environmental groups starting this summer.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” wrote Bezos. “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,” he concluded. “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.”
Although details on the fund are currently sparse, Amazon sources confirmed the creation of the fund to The Verge, adding that Bezos has made it clear that he will not be offering any of the grants to the private sector—only charitable recipients.
While environmental groups have been skeptical of the billionaire’s promises, it is one of several initiatives that Bezos and Amazon have taken towards encouraging sustainability; this week alone, Bezos rolled out a new fleet of fully electric rickshaws in India, adding to the company’s global fleet of electric delivery vehicles.
Back in September, Amazon became the first company to sign the Climate Pledge: a commitment which calls on participants to achieve net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.
“Bold steps by big companies will make a huge difference in the development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism. “With this step, Amazon also helps many other companies to accelerate their own decarbonization. If Amazon can set ambitious goals like this and make significant changes at their scale, we think many more companies should be able to do the same and will accept the challenge. We are excited to have others join.”
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