AMAZON founder Jeff Bezos has pledged a staggering $10billion (£7.69billion) to "save Earth" from climate apocalypse.
The uber-wealthy tech billionaire will hand out the cash through his new Bezos Earth Fund.
His doomsday fund was announced in an Instagram post where he called climate change "the biggest threat to our planet".
And Bezos promised to distribute massive sums of money to "scientists, activists" and anyone else trying to save 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 on this planet we all share," Bezos wrote.
"It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations, and individuals."
He added: "We can save Earth."
Bezos vowed to begin giving grants this summer, but didn't reveal who would be getting them.
Importantly, the initiative appears to be a grant fund and not an investment – meaning Bezos wouldn't profit from his donations.
And he even admitted that his fund could grow over time, saying that the $10billion figure would only be "to start".
The sum of money is enormous, but it's still technically small change for super-rich Bezos.
His hand-out accounts for roughly 7.7% of the Amazon founder's estimated $129.9billion (£99.7billion) net worth.
Even giving away that amount, he would still remain the richest man in the world.
Bezos has already faced criticism from his own employees in the wake of the announcement.
"We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away," said Amazon Employees For Climate Justice, an action group who say they represent disgruntled Amazon workers, in a statement.
"When is Amazon going to stop oil and gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells?
"Will Jeff Bezos shows us true leadership or will he continue to be complicit in the acceleration of the climate crisis, while supposedly trying to help?"
We've asked Amazon for a statement on these complaints and will update this story with any response.
Jeff Bezos – who is he?
Here's what you need to know…
- Jeffrey Preston Bezos, better known as Jeff Bezos, is an American tech billionaire
- He made his fortune by founding online retail giant Amazon
- Bezos became the first centi-billionaire according to the Forbes wealth index
- And he was named the 'richest man in history' when his net worth grew to $150 billion in the summer of 2018
- Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then raised in Houston, Texas
- He graduated in 1986 with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University
- Bezos went on to work on Wall Street until 1994, before founding Amazon
- Amazon began as an online bookstore but has since become a global tech giant in retail, streaming, cloud computing and gadgets
- And the billionaire also runs spaceflight firm Blue Origin, which has been operating since 2000
- Estimates in February 2020 put his net worth at $130billion
- Bezos' personal life came under scrutiny in 2019 after he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, announced their decision to divorce
- The divorce was finalised on April 4, 2019
Activists have questioned whether Bezos' billions are enough to tackle the climate crisis.
"Whilst we thank Jef Bezos for acknowledging the climate emergency, his donation is a drop in the ocean," said Rob Cooper, former chief superintendent and member of Extinction Rebellion, speaking to The Sun.
"It grabs headlines while our government gives more than £10.5bn every year in subsidies to fossil fuel companies that are driving climate breakdown.
"Money is needed, of course. But why is the government subsidising oil giants when they could be supporting flood victims?
"What we really need are leaders prepared to make brave choices. We can’t buy our way out of the climate crisis, we urgently need government leadership."
Tech firms are under increasing pressure to reduce their impact on the environment.
A recent report revealed that a third of all animal and plant species could disappear by 2070 due to climate change and human impact.
And Antarctica was hotter than some parts of Spain last week as the mercury hit 20.75C for the first time.
It follows a terrifying report that suggested humanity risks "global system collapse" due to climate change, decreasing wildlife populations and food shortages.
In other news, a giant slab of ice has been caught on camera toppling from the William Glacier on Anvers Island in Antarctica.
An amazing animation has revealed what Earth would look like if we drained its oceans.
And, here's how Antarctica's ‘Doomsday Glacier’ Thwaites could collapse and send sea levels soaring.
Do you think Bezos' mammoth climate fund will make a difference? Let us know in the comments!
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