Jeff Bezos – the richest person in the world – has committed US$10bn to combat climate change.
The Amazon CEO announced his intention recently in an Instagram post where he called climate change “the biggest threat to our planet”.
Bezos said the money will go into a new initiative called the Bezos Earth Fund – a global fund that will make charitable donations toward “scientists, activists, NGOs – any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.”
The fund will begin issuing grants this summer. Bezos has faced criticism in the past because of how little he donates to charity compared with other billionaires – this latest donation represents his largest philanthropic effort to date.
Amazon has also faced criticism for its past inaction on sustainability and climate change. Last September, the company faced a walkout from more than 1,000 of its own employees because of its failure to address its huge environmental footprint.
Less than 24 hours before the staged walkout, Bezos announced the Climate Pledge, in which he promised to make the company carbon-neutral by 2040.
“Earth is the one thing we all have in common – let’s protect it, together,” Bezos wrote in his post. “It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations and individuals.”