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Jeff Bezos commits US$10B to fight climate change

The billionaire will start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the planet.

February 18, 2020  by Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press

Jeff Bezos PHOTO: Seattle City Council

NEW YORK — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he plans to spend US$10 billion of his own fortune to help fight climate change.

Bezos, the world’s richest person, said in an Instagram post that he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect Earth.

“I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change,” Bezos said in the post.

Amazon, the company Bezos runs, has an enormous carbon footprint. 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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The online retailer relies on fossil fuels to power planes, trucks and vans in order to ship billions of items all around the world. Amazon workers in its Seattle headquarters have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices, pushing it to do more to combat climate change.

Bezos said in the post he will call his new initiative the Bezos Earth Fund. An Amazon spokesman confirmed that Bezos will be using his own money for the fund.

Despite being among the richest people in the world, Bezos only recently became active in donating money to causes as other billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have done. In 2018, Bezos started another fund, committing $2 billion of his own money to open preschools in low-income neighbourhoods and give money to nonprofits that help homeless families.

Bezos, who founded Amazon 25 years ago, has a stake in the company that is worth more than $100 billion.

 


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