Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to climate change fund

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 20, 2020

The world's richest person, founder Jeff Bezos, announced on Monday (Feb. 17) that he's starting an organization devoted to that pressing cause - and he's putting in $10 billion of his own money to get it off the ground. He's committed $10 billion to start the fund, making it one of the largest charitable pledges to date. This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs - any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. However, critics of the company, such as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) and Greenpeace, nonetheless warn that Amazon is still heavily invested in fossil fuels and thus can not be a bona fide climate champion.

While the $10 billion fund could have an impact on mitigating climate change, Bezos' backbreaking employment conditions at Amazon and the company's growing carbon footprint have led to widespread condemnation.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet", Bezos said in the post. "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", Bezos captioned a photo of the Earth on Instagram.

"We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand can not give what the other is taking away", Amazon Employees For Climate Justice said in a statement Monday, which was released via Twitter.

"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?" the statement added. We can save Earth. "When will Amazon take responsibility for the lungs of children near its warehouses by moving from diesel to all-electric trucking?" Bezos also participated in a $30 million investment round raised previous year by The Not Company, a Chilean startup that makes vegan NotMayo and is using its artificial intelligence-powered discovery platform "Guiseppe" to identify plant-based proteins that can mimic animal products. "Why did Amazon threaten to fire employees who were sounding the alarm about Amazon's role in the climate crisis and our oil and gas business?"

Greenpeace USA Senior Campaigner Elizabeth Jardim explained, "It's hypocritical to announce that climate change is the biggest threat to our planet while at the same time boosting the fossil fuel industry by providing advanced computing technologies to the oil and gas industry so that it can discover and drill more oil, more efficiently". Last year, Amazon officials said the company would work to have 100% of its energy use come from solar panels and other renewable energy by 2030.

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