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Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 22, 2019 © MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon boss pledges $10bn of his $100bn+ fortune to tackle climate change

Published: 18th February, 2020 at 09:08
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Jeff Bezos announced on Instagram that he will call his new initiative the Bezos Earth Fund.

  • Amazon boss pledges $10bn to fight climate change.
  • Calls climate change "the biggest threat to our planet" in Instagram post.
  • Company to have 100 per cent solar and other renewable energy by 2030.
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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says that he plans to spend $10bn (£7.7bn) of his own fortune to help fight climate change.

Mr Bezos, the world’s richest man, said in an Instagram post that he will start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the 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,” Mr Bezos said in the post.

Amazon, the company Mr 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.

Mr Bezos said in the post that he will call his new initiative the Bezos Earth Fund.

Read more about the effects of climate change:

An Amazon spokesman confirmed that Mr Bezos will be using his own money for the fund.

Despite being among the richest people in the world, Mr Bezos only recently became active in donating money to causes as other billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have done.

In 2018, he started another fund, committing £2bn (£1.5bn) of his own money to open preschools in low-income neighbourhoods and give money to nonprofits that help homeless families.

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Mr Bezos, who founded Amazon 25 years ago, has a stake in the company that is worth more than 100 billion US dollars (£77bn).

Reader Q&A: Do we really know what climate change will do to our planet?

Asked by: Jennifer Cowsill, via email

There is no doubt that greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are changing our climate, resulting in a progressive rise in global average temperatures. The scientific consensus on this is comparable to the scientific consensus that smoking causes lung cancer.

Our climate is a hugely intricate system of interlinking processes, so forecasting exactly how this temperature increase will play out across the globe is a complex task. Scientists base their predictions on powerful computer models that combine our understanding of climatic processes with past climate data.

Many large-scale trends can now be calculated with a high degree of certainty: for instance, warmer temperatures will cause seawater to expand and glaciers to melt, resulting in higher sea levels and flooding. More localised predictions are often subject to greater uncertainty.

Read more:

Authors

Alexander McNamaraOnline Editor, BBC Science Focus

Alexander is the former Online Editor at BBC Science Focus.

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