‘We can save Earth’: Jeff Bezos says he’s committing $US10 billion to fight climate change

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Monday that he plans to spend $US10 billion ($14.9 billion) of his own fortune to help fight climate change.

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

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is using his own money to launch the Earth Fund.Credit:AP

"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 per cent of its energy use come from solar panels and other renewable energy by 2030.

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 criticising some of the company's practices, pushing it to do more to combat climate change.

Bezos said in the post Monday that 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.

Bezos, the world's richest person, has a net worth of $US130 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires' Index. Bezos, who founded Amazon 25 years ago, has a stake in the company that is worth more than $US100 billion. His wealth has grown by $US15.6 billion in 2020 alone, after Amazon stock surged following the release of bumper profit numbers in late January.

He offloaded $US4.1 billion worth of Amazon shares this month as part of a pre-arranged trading plan and last week it was revealed he had splashed out $US165 million on a new Beverly Hills home.

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 neighborhoods 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.

In 2019, Bezos's ex-wife Mackenzie committed to giving away at least half her estimated $US36 billion fortune to charity, joining more than 200 megadonors intent on using their billions to "help address society's most pressing problems" and promote a culture of philanthropy.


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