Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion To Fight Climate Crisis, Critics Slam Move As 'Greenwash'
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced, on Monday, that he is committing $10 billion to fight climate change, which he calls "the biggest threat to our planet."
In a 127-word Instagram post that doubled as a press release, he said that a new entity, the Bezos Earth Fund, would support "scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world."
View this post on Instagram
Today, I'm thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund. 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. I'm committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let's protect it, together. - Jeff
Earlier, in September 2019, Bezos had announced a plan to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early and to be carbon neutral by 2040.
He had also pledged to measure and report the company's emissions on a regular basis, implement decarbonization strategies and alter its business strategies to offset remaining emissions.
Bezos' net worth is $130 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The $10 billion fund is about 7.7% of it.
Bezos would still be the world's richest man, according to the index, with Bill Gates second at $119 billion.
Jeff Bezos's pledge of $10bn to save the environment would be the third biggest philanthropic donation in the US this century.
The only larger pledge of the 21st century was Warren Buffett's 2006 promise to give the bulk of his net worth — that amounts to $43 billion — to the Gates Foundation, according to records from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Bezos still has not signed The Giving Pledge, the promise by some of the world's billionaires to donate most of their money in their lifetimes or in their wills.
Amazon has been heavily criticized for its own contributions to the climate crisis.
In May, 2019, thousands of employees submitted a proposal asking Bezos to develop a comprehensive climate-change plan and reduce Amazon's carbon footprint. The proposal was ultimately rejected.
The move is being slammed as a 'greenwash' by critics who say Amazon pumps out massive amounts of carbon.
The effort may be the beginning of a turnaround in Bezos's reputation for being tight-fisted with his billions.