Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion to Fight the Climate Crisis

Popular
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos speaks to the media on the company's sustainability efforts on Sept. 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. ERIC BARADAT / AFP via Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just pledged $10 billion to fight the climate crisis.


The world's richest man announced his Bezos Earth Fund in an Instagram post Monday.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," he wrote. "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."

The fund will donate money to scientists, activists and non-governmental organizations working to protect the environment and will begin issuing grants this summer.

The announcement is a departure for Bezos, who has historically not chosen to direct his wealth towards philanthropy, according to The New York Times. Indeed, he is the only U.S. citizen among the world's five richest people who has not signed the Giving Pledge to give away more than half his fortune during his life or in his will, Business Insider reported. His $10 billion donation now accounts for around 7.7 percent of his net worth of $130 billion, but even if he gave the whole amount away right now, he would still be the richest man on Earth, The New York Times pointed out. Still, his new fund is the third largest charitable pledge by an individual donor, CNN reported.

His foray into philanthropy comes after about a year of climate activism on the part of Amazon employees seeking to push the company in a more Earth-friendly direction. Amazon emitted 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018, according to its own figures released in September and reported by The New York Times.

"That would put them in the top 150 or 200 emitters in the world," CDP North America President Bruno Sarda told The New York Times.

Also in September, Bezos unveiled an Amazon-wide Climate Pledge, promising the company would meet the goals of the Paris agreement 10 years early and be carbon neutral by 2040. That promise was made the day before more than 1,000 Amazon employees were set to participate in a day of global climate strikes, CNN reported.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), however, want the company to go further and to stop offering cloud computing services to the oil and gas industry. Some also say they were threatened with being fired after speaking out on the company's climate policies.

In a statement responding to Bezos' announcement, the group applauded his philanthropy, but raised ongoing concerns about Amazon's business practices.

In particular, the group flagged the use of cloud computing for oil and gas exploration, the company's donations to climate-denying think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the threat that air pollution from diesel trucks poses to the health of children who live near Amazon warehouses and the threats of retaliation against employees who spoke out.

"As history has taught us, true visionaries stand up against entrenched systems, often at great cost to themselves," the group wrote. "We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Healthcare workers admit a coronavirus patient to a special intensive care unit set up outside Milan's San Raffaele hospital, where 55 percent of patients surveyed developed mental health symptoms after recovering from the new coronavirus. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP via Getty Images

A study from a hospital in Milan, Italy has uncovered another complication to the process of recovering from the new coronavirus. More than half of patients surveyed one month after their treatment had developed a psychiatric disorder.

Read More Show Less
An elephant at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. In Defense of Animals

By Marilyn Kroplick

The term "zoonotic disease" wasn't a hot topic of conversation before the novel coronavirus started spreading across the globe and upending lives. Now, people are discovering how devastating viruses that transfer from animals to humans can be. But the threat can go both ways — animals can also get sick from humans. There is no better time to reconsider the repercussions of keeping animals captive at zoos, for the sake of everyone's health.

Read More Show Less
Isiais now approaches the Carolinas, and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane again before reaching them Monday night. NOAA

Florida was spared the worst of Isaias, the earliest "I" storm on record of the Atlantic hurricane season and the second hurricane of the 2020 season.

Read More Show Less
A campaign targeting SUV advertising is a project between the New Weather Institute and climate charity Possible. New Weather Institute

To meet its climate targets, the UK should ban advertisements for gas-guzzling SUVs, according to a report from a British think tank that wants to make SUVs the new smoking, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less

A company from Ghana is making bikes out of bamboo.

By Kate Whiting

Bernice Dapaah calls bamboo "a miracle plant," because it grows so fast and absorbs carbon. But it can also work wonders for children's education and women's employment – as she's discovered.

Read More Show Less
Scientists say it will take a massive amount of collective action to reverse deforestation and save society from collapse. Big Cheese Photo / Getty Images Plus

Deforestation coupled with the rampant destruction of natural resources will soon have devastating effects on the future of society as we know it, according to two theoretical physicists who study complex systems and have concluded that greed has put us on a path to irreversible collapse within the next two to four decades, as VICE reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Researchers have turned to hydrophones, instruments that use underwater microphones to gather data beyond the reach of any camera or satellite. Pxfuel

By Kristen Pope

Melting and crumbling glaciers are largely responsible for rising sea levels, so learning more about how glaciers shrink is vital to those who hope to save coastal cities and preserve wildlife.

Read More Show Less