Jeff Bezos has announced the Bezos Earth Fund, an initiative that will fund efforts working to mitigate the growing concerns of climate change.
56-year-old Jeff Bezos has decided to give away 7.7% of his estimated net worth ($130 billion) to address the global climate crisis.
Announcing the news in an Instagram post, he wrote that he was “launching the Bezos Earth Fund,” committing $10 billion to “fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.”
“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.
“We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals,” he added in the post.
According to rankings by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Amazon founder’s $10 billion commitment is one of the biggest charitable pledges in recent times behind Warren Buffett’s $36 billion pledge in 2006 and Helen Walton’s(late wife of Walmart (WMT) founder Sam Walton ) commitment of $16.4 billion in 2007.
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Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund. 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. We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. 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. – Jeff
Bezos’ eco-friendly initiatives
Last September, Mr. Bezos signed a climate pledge committing to go carbon neutral by 2040. He also announced that he would bring into service 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2024.
At the time, he emphasized on the dire need for constructive strategies since Earth’s climate was deteriorating faster than what the scientific community anticipated five years ago. “Those predictions were bad but what is actually happening is dire,” he said.
Apart from the climate change fund, Bezos has also invested in start-ups working to introduce sustainable alternatives to meat in the food industry.
Last year, he invested in the Boston-based food technology company Motif along with Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. The company focuses on fermentation techniques to develop animal protein that mimic eggs, meat, and cheese and will be probably ready to introduce their alt-meat protein products in early 2021.
“Sustainability and accessible nutrition are among the biggest challenges facing the food industry today. Consumers are demanding mindful food options, but there’s a reigning myth that healthy and plant-based foods must come at a higher price, or cannot taste or function like the animal-based foods they aim to replicate,” said Motif CEO Jonathan McIntyre at the time.
“Biotechnology and fermentation is our answer, and Motif will be key to propelling the next food revolution with affordable, sustainable, and accessible ingredients that meet the standards of chefs, food developers, and visionary brands.”
In March last year, Bezos also funded Chilean startup NotCo that develops sustainable non-animal protein using a combination of food technology, artificial intelligence, and plant-based ingredients.
- Read: EU spends €200m a year promoting meat, despite being urged to implement ‘meat tax’ for the climate
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