Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man, is launching a fund to fight climate change to which he will personally donate 10 billion dollars.
Called the Bezos Earth Fund, Bezos announced on Instagram the resources would go to help finance scientists, NGOs and activists in the their work to help save the planet.
The extravagant amount is a sizeable percentage of Bezos’ estimated 115 billion dollar fortune. In the post Bezos called climate change the “biggest threat to our planet” and revealed that the fund will start issuing grants this summer.
“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 dollars to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.”
The world’s largest online retailer has regularly come under scrutiny for its energy use, large carbon footprint on the environment and tax avoidance in the European Union. The Guardian, in an opinion piece, on Tuesday said: “Amazon is a great devouring beast of a business which has had a massive and not exactly positive impact on the world’s environment. Its treatment of staff is highly questionable. Bezos could also see to it that Amazon pays and treats its staff better, and expends less energy being “tax efficient”, paying its dues to state coffers around the world, in all those countries where the company is making so much money.”
While any philanthropic contribution of this size will be welcomed, it should also be noted that giving to charity is not a PR exercise. As Chris Rock once said, “behind every great fortune, there is a great crime.”
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