Jeff Bezos pledges $1 billion to tackle climate crisis | Totally Vegan Buzz
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces $10 billion fund to tackle climate change
Image: lev radin / and @jeffbezos / Instagram

“I hope this commitment inspires others to make their own pledges to protect and conserve nature and help in the fight against climate change. A job this big needs many allies.”

 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has pledged $1 billion to protect biodiversity and carbon-saving forests in the Andes, the Congo Basin, and the tropical Pacific Ocean.

The pledge is a part of his $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund, which he formed in 2020, to back scientists, activists and non-profit organizations in the fight against climate change.

The grant, which will be distributed this year, will go towards protecting 30% of the world’s oceans and land by 2030.

According to the Earth Fund statement, Bezos specifically targeted conserving 30% of land and sea because it could protect up to 80% of plant and animal species, secure 60 % of necessary carbon stocks, and sustain two-thirds of clean water.

While it is not yet known which organizations will receive the grants, the group revealed that the money will be prioritized to regions “where there is significant need and opportunity, as well as where there is a strong political commitment to nature.”

Bezos said the pledge was the first of a three-part nature strategy to tackle the climate crisis. Further donations will focus on ecosystem restoration and food system transformation in the future.

‘Our life support system is fragile’

“Nature is our life support system and it’s fragile. I was reminded of this just this July when I went into space with Blue Origin,” the 57-year-old former Amazon CEO said at the launch event on Monday.

“Living down here, the world and the atmosphere seem vast and they seem stable. But looking back at Earth from there, the atmosphere seems thin and the world finite. Both beautiful, both fragile.”

In a statement he added: “By coming together with the right focus and ingenuity, we can have both the benefits of our modern lives and a thriving natural world.”

“I hope this commitment inspires others to make their own pledges to protect and conserve nature and help in the fight against climate change. A job this big needs many allies.”

His pledge was lauded by global leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry and United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed.

“I look forward to working more with the Bezos Earth Fund in our shared fight for the planet in the run up to COP26,” Johnson said, referring to the international climate change conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland next month.

The Amazon company’s growing carbon footprint

While the fundraising effort is certainly praiseworthy, it pales in comparison to the fact that much of Bezos’s empire has been built by companies that have staggering carbon footprints.

Although he is technically no longer part of Amazon, the company he founded has had  carbon emissions spiking every year since 2018.

Last year when global carbon emissions fell roughly 7% due to the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon’s carbon emissions grew 19% to 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s like burning 140 million barrels of oil.

Even his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin,  which recently took him to space, has raised environmental concerns.

While the space rocket used carbon-free fuels, environmentalists warn that Blue Origin rockets still leave behind particles that can harm the ecosphere.

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