Amazon CEO Pledges $10 Billion to Fight Climate Change
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he is pledging $10 billion to help fight climate change, calling it the “biggest threat to our planet.” He says the money being pledged will go towards the creation of what he is calling the “Bezos Earth Fund.”
“This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world,” he writes in an Instagram post. “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.”
Bezos currently has the highest net worth in the world, sitting atop an estimated $130 billion in personal wealth. The Amazon chief has been no stranger to recognizing the dangers that climate change poses to the planet. In 2019, Bezos announced “The Climate Pledge,” which promised that Amazon’s ultimate goal is to become carbon-neutral by 2040.
Amazon has been the source of great scrutiny when it comes to its impact on the environment. The retail giant operates hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks, and planes to ship billions of items worldwide, many of which rely on fossil fuels. Its workforce has been highly outspoken about the matter, with thousands of Amazon workers signing an open letter to Bezos and the board of directors calling for an end to contracts with oil and gas companies, donations to climate-change-denying lawmakers, and a call for setting realistic climate goals.
1,700 workers staged a global climate walkout in September. They released a statement declaring “as employees at one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, our role in facing the climate crisis is to ensure our company is leading on climate, not following.”
Nevertheless, the $10 billion pledge is one of the biggest donations we’ve seen to help fight climate change, and it is certainly a step in the right direction. Bezos says “It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals.” The scale of the problem is great, but a pledge such as this presents a great opportunity for small businesses, non-profits, and local governments to receive much-needed resources to help make this world a better place.