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World's richest man Jeff Bezos launches $10 bn fund to fight climate change

World's richest man Jeff Bezos has launched a $10-billion 'Bezos Earth Fund⁣⁣⁣' to combat climate change. The Amazon CEO wrote on Instagram, "This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help protect the natural world."

18th February 2020 | 10:44 AM (IST)
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Jeff Bezos  (one of the world’s richest men) announced on one of the world’s largest social media platforms (Instagram) that he’s creating a $10 billion fund to combat climate change.

In a post on Monday morning Bezos announced that the Bezos Earth Fund will finance “scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.”

 

Bezos is already an investor in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund whose mission is to finance the development of technologies that can mitigate climate change and reduce the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions in industries, including energy generation, food production and manufacturing.

Questions about the new fund are being referred to Amazon, which doesn’t have much to share. The money is from Bezos’ personal wealth and is separate from the foundation that he’d established, according to a spokesperson for the company.

The personal commitment from Bezos to finance individuals and organizations working to “save Earth” is a departure from how Amazon views actions taken by its employees that advocate for the same goal.

In early January, Amazon was criticized by a group of employees for allegedly threatening to fire members of an organization called Amazon Employees For Climate Justice.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 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 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.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ - Jeff

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos) on

Late last year, Amazon committed to net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2040 and that it would move to power its entire corporate infrastructure with 100% renewable energy by 2030. 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.

These initiatives from public technology companies and the world’s wealthiest private citizens can only achieve so much without the support of the U.S. government, which under the administration has been reluctant to move forward with any significant efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. Indeed, the administration has loosened or tried to reverse 95 regulations related to the environment, including 44 related to air pollution and emissions and oil and gas extraction.

As Bezos says in his statement, solving climate change “is going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations and individuals.

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18th February 2020 | 10:44 AM (IST)
82 views
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