Jeff Bezos has been criticized by some in the past for focusing his immense wealth on space exploration rather than philanthropy, but the Amazon founder and CEO recently took to Instagram to announce a significant pledge of $10 billion towards what he says is the most pressing issue facing humanity: Climate change.
Bezos says his $10 billion donation will establish the Bezos Earth Fund, which he hopes will serve as a foundation for "collective action" on the part of everyone with an interest in creating a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable world:
"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. 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. This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth. It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals."
Bezos's pledge comes as his Amazon has taken steps to address its own contributions to climate change, spurned by just the kind of "collective action" he alluded to on the part of thousands of Amazon employees. Back in September, Amazon announced its own Climate Pledge, promising to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, purchasing a fleet of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles and donating $100 million towards global reforestation. But Buzzfeed News reports that the $10 billion that will establish the Bezos Earth Fund will come out of Bezos's own personal accounts rather than from Amazon. In a press statement from Amazon, a spokesperson said this about the pledge:
"Amazon took a bold step when it announced the Climate Pledge, committing the company to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement ten years early, and we're incredibly excited about the Bezos Earth Fund…Jeff's passion and this extraordinary personal contribution to the fight against climate change are going to have a huge impact."
In his Instagram post, Bezos went on to say that the Bezos Earth Fund will start issuing grants sometime this summer.