Effort to 'Save Earth' Starts With a $10B Bezos Check

Under pressure, Amazon founder says he'll fund grants for scientists and nonprofits
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2020 4:30 PM CST
Bezos Promises $10B to Fight Climate Change
Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, speaks at the Amazon Spheres in Seattle in 2018.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Saying he wants to "preserve and protect the natural world," Amazon founder Jeff Bezos kicked off the Bezos Earth Fund with an Instagram post Monday. "I'm committing $10 billion to start," he wrote, saying he wants to work with scientists, nonprofits and activists to fight the effects of climate change. Grants will be awarded starting this summer, Bezos wrote. The fund will not invest in private-sector efforts but will instead focus on charitable giving, the Verge reports. There's been no word on how to apply for the grants. A spokesman would not say exactly where the $10 billion to start the Earth Fund is coming from, though Bezos recently sold $4 billion in Amazon stock. Bezos' wealth is pegged at $130 billion.

Bezos has felt heat from inside his company and out over the impact Amazon has on the planet, Financial Times points out. Last year, hundreds of employees signed a letter critical of Amazon's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The company lags behind Microsoft by a decade in its schedule to become carbon negative—Microsoft's target is 2030. Bezos announced a Green Plan in September, just ahead of a global climate strike joined by Amazon employees. An employee group praised Bezos' newest commitment, per the Hill, but suggested hypocrisy in a statement: "The people of Earth need to know: When is Amazon going to stop helping oil & gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells?" (More Jeff Bezos stories.)

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