Jeff Bezos commits US$10 billion to fight climate change

Amazon founder says he will use his own money to provide grants to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the earth

Photo courtesy of Amazon.Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Monday that he plans to spend US$10 billion of his own fortune to help fight climate change.

Bezos, the world’s richest person, said in an Instagram post that he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the earth.

“I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change,” Bezos said in the post.

Amazon, the company Bezos runs, has an enormous carbon footprint. Last year, Amazon officials said the company would work to have 100% of its energy use come from solar panels and other renewable energy by 2030.

READ: Amazon aims to cut its carbon footprint

The online retailer relies on fossil fuels to power planes, trucks and vans in order to ship billions of items all around the world. Amazon workers in its Seattle headquarters have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices, pushing it to do more to combat climate change.

Bezos said in the post Monday that he would call his new initiative the Bezos Earth Fund. An Amazon spokesman confirmed that Bezos would be using his own money for the fund.

Despite being among the richest people in the world, Bezos only recently became active in donating money to causes as other billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have done. In 2018, Bezos started another fund, committing $2 billion of his own money to open preschools in low-income neighbourhoods and give money to nonprofits that help homeless families.

Bezos announced his commitment on Monday, the day before PBS aired Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos—a two-hour documentary that explores areas of the company including worker conditions at fulfillment, data collection and Alexa.