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World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos Pledges $10B to Fight Climate Change
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Photo by Seattle City Council – CC BY SA 2.0

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man has pledged $10bn to help fight climate change and save the Earth’s environment. 

Amazon CEO announced on Monday in an Instagram post he is committing $10 billion to fight climate change, which he describes as “the biggest threat to our planet.”

‘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.

  
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Bezos said the money will go into the Bezos Earth Fund, which would finance work by activists, scientists, and other groups. 

This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world,” he writes in an Instagram post. “We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals” Amazon boss added.

Speaking of ‘action from big companies,’ Amazon’s employees, critical of their boss’ environmental record, claim it’s the company itself that has been complicit in the climate crisis and must change its ways. 

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In response to the pledge, Amazon Employees For Climate Justice said in a statement ‘We applaud Jeff Bezos’ philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away.” 

When is Amazon going to stop helping oil & gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells? When is Amazon going to stop funding climate-denying think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and climate-delaying policy? When will Amazon take responsibility for the lungs of children near its warehouses by moving from diesel to all-electric trucking?



On Sept,20, around 1,700 Amazon’s employers joined a global climate walkout.”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.” they said in a statement.

Announcing its Climate Pledge, Amazon addressed the demands, committing to reach carbon neutrality by 2040 and use 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The Amazon founder said the Bezos Earth Fund would start distributing money this summer.

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.’ the Amazon founder wrote.

While $10 billion might seem like a staggering amount of money for the ‘Average Joe,’ the e-commerce behemoth has an estimated net worth of more than $130bn, so the pledge represents 8% of his fortune.

In recent years, counteracting climate change has become a popular cause for American billionaires, with Bill Gates, Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg, counted among the world’s richest environmental philanthropists.

Bezos, however, has been largely criticized for his limited environmental philanthropy. His biggest donation before Monday’s pledge is thought to have been $2bn to the homeless in September 2018. The world’s richest man has also been criticized for refusing to sign the Giving Pledge, the commitment where the world’s wealthiest people promise to donate the majority of their wealth during their lifetimes.

We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals.  Bezos optimistically concluded.



 

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