Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10bn to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday.
Bezos, who is the world’s richest man, is among a growing list of billionaires who have pledged to dedicate substantial funds towards combating the impact of global warming.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos said 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 we all share.”
The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants in mid-2020 as part of the initiative.
“It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals,” Bezos said.
Counteracting climate change has become a popular cause for United States billionaires in recent years, with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, financial-data company founder Mike Bloomberg, and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer counted among the world’s wealthiest environmental philanthropists.
Last year, Bezos pledged to make online retailer Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040 – the first major corporation to announce such a goal – and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from US vehicle design and manufacturing startup Rivian Automotive LLC.
Bezos also said at the time that Amazon would meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord ten years ahead of the accord’s schedule and invest $100m to restore forests and wetlands.
Cutting emissions related to Amazon, which delivers 10 billion items a year and has a massive transportation and data centre footprint, will be challenging.
The company has faced recent protests by environmental activists in France and rising pressure from its employees to take action on climate change.