Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pledged $2 billion in funding to help save the environment. It includes helping restore nature and transform food systems. The fund is part of the $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund. This is the billionaire’s commitment to spend his own money on fighting climate change.
‘Protect Our World’
Speaking in front of delegates of the COP26 climate conference last Tuesday. “Nature is beautiful but it is also fragile. I was reminded of this in July when I went into space with Blue Origin,” he said.
He recalled that someone told him that viewing Earth from space changes how people see the world. Bezos said he wasn’t prepared for how much that was true.
Describing 2021 as a critical year, Bezos then called for the world to “stand together to protect our world.”
“Each year, forests and landscapes absorb 11 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. As we destroy nature, we reverse this process,” he told attendees of the UK event.
“In too many parts of the world, nature is already flipping from a carbon sink to a carbon source. This is a profound danger to us all,” he added.
Bezos Earth Fund
Earlier last month, the Bezos Earth Fund also pledged $1 billion in grants to focus on conservation efforts. With the $2 billion donations, Bezos has now committee a total of $3 billion of his Earth fund.
“Together, this $3 billion in pledges will drive a new threefold nature agenda for the Bezos Earth Fund, focused simultaneously on conservation, restoration, and food transformation,” Bezos said.
“We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we’ve lost and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations to come.”
Bezos Focused On Blue Origin and Earth Fund
After stepping down as Amazon CEO last July, Bezos turned his sights on Blue Origin. This is the space exploration company he owned.
Last July, Bezos joined a crew and flew into space aboard one of his company’s rockets. He also set up the Bezos Earth Fund with $10 billion in seed money to fight climate change, “the biggest threat to our planet.”
“This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world,” he wrote in an Instagram 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,” he explained.
“It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation-states, global organizations, and individuals,” he added.
Concerns Over Space Travel
However, many people expressed concerns over the effects of the private space travel industry. Firms like Blue Origin are damaging the environment as it takes on paying passengers.
This includes some Amazon workers who are deeply critical of their employer's own environmental record. In addition, these employees said that Amazon remains complicit in the climate crisis. To make this environmental crusade work, Amazon itself must change its ways.
“We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away,” Amazon Employees For Climate Justice said in a statement in response to the pledge.
Watch the Associated Press video reporting that Jeff Bezos pledges $2bn to combat climate change:
What do you think of Jeff Bezos’s $2 billion donations to help fight climate change? Do you think this will actually help in reversing the effects of climate change?
Let us know what you think about funding environmental efforts? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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