Chief Executive Officer at Amazon, Jeff Bezos, announced in an Instagram post on Monday that he would launch the Bezos Earth Fund and thus commit $10 billion to combat climate change. This sum of money represents only 8% of Mr. Bezos’ fortune as his estimated net worth makes up $130 billion.
The world’s richest person and a billionaire said that climate change is “the biggest threat to our planet.” His new initiative will be aimed at scientists, activists, and non-governmental organizations that contribute to researching the issue of global warming and fight climate change.
The fund will begin issuing grants this summer, although it is unknown who and when may apply yet.
Bezos said in an Instagram post: "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.”
He also added: "We can save Earth. It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals.”
Jeff Bezos’ decision to launch a new fund comes after several Amazon employees urged their employer to take action regarding the company’s contribution to global warming. Last year, the company announced the plan to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2040.
Even though Amazon CEO’s initiative might seem like a big step towards protecting the environment, some of the workers said more still needs to be done.
"We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away," said the group of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice in a statement, bearing in mind Amazon’s help in creating more oil and gas wells.