Jeff Bezos commits to fight climate crisis

The world’s largest private investor, Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has committed $10 billion of his personal wealth to a fund that will invest in companies working on solutions to the climate crisis.

Bezos announced the creation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition at an event held by The Climate Group and Bloomberg Philanthropies, which is dedicated to helping countries achieve their Paris Agreement commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Amazon founder commits £10 billion to fight climate crisis

Bezos, the world’s richest man, said in an Instagram post that he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and non-profits working to protect 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 per cent of its energy use come from solar panels and other renewable energy by 2030.

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 will call his new initiative the Bezos Earth Fund. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that Bezos will 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 like 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 non-profits that help homeless families.

Bezos, who founded Amazon 25 years ago, has a stake in the company that is worth more than $116 billion. He also owns about 30 percent of Blue Origin, a space exploration firm he launched with Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

He was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year last December after becoming the first person ever to reach $100bn in net worth.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.