Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, is donating $10 billion to causes combatting the climate emergency. The Bezos Earth Fund will award its first grants this summer, benefitting climate activists, researchers and NGOs.
Announcing his fund yesterday via Instagram, the Amazon founder declared that the planet’s battle against climate change can still be won. “It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations and individuals.”
Bezos has amassed a personal fortune estimated at $150 billion since setting up Amazon in 1994. Last September he pledged the world’s biggest retailer would meet its power needs entirely from renewables by 2030. Amazon is contracted to buy 100,000 delivery electric vans from supplier Rivian, as it targets full carbon-neutrality by 2040.
Cash for the new project will be sourced from the tycoon’s personal private wealth, rather from his family foundation, according to reports.
Amazon employees in the US last month alleged the firm had threatened to sack them for protesting against the retailer’s business practices, including putting more fossil-fuelled delivery vehicles on the road.
Bezos, owner of the Washington Post and space flight operator Blue Origin, also invests in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a US fund developing low carbon technologies intended to reduce the use of fossil fuels in generation and industrial processes. Co-investors include Bill Gates and Richard Branson.