Jeff Bezos Announces Nearly $800 Million In Donations To Climate Change Organizations

Jeff Bezos announced on Monday morning in an Instagram post that he has given $791 million to 16 organizations working on fighting climate change. The donations are the first gifts he’s making as part of his Bezos Earth Fund, a pledge he made in February to give $10 billion to fight climate change. 

“I’ve spent the past several months learning from a group of incredibly smart people who’ve made it their life’s work to fight climate change and its impact on communities around the world,” Bezos wrote in his Instagram post. “Today, I’m pleased to announce the first Bezos Earth Fund recipients—16 organizations working on innovative, ambitious and needle-moving solutions. . . . We can all protect Earth’s future by taking bold action now.”

The biggest gifts include $100 million to the World Wildlife Fund, which stated that it will deploy the gift to focus on three nature-based solutions to climate change: protecting and restoring mangroves in Colombia, Fiji, Madagascar and Mexico; scaling sustainable seaweed farming in the North Atlantic; and restoring and protecting forests and other ecosystems in the Amazon, Africa and Central America. 

Bezos also gave $100 million to the Environmental Defense Fund, which said it will use the money to complete and launch MethaneSAT, a satellite that will locate and measure sources of methane pollution around the world, while providing public access to data “that ensures accountability and drives deep reductions of this pollution,” according to a press release from EDF. It will also use the funds to research and “build confidence” in carbon credits, which are bought by companies who want to offset their carbon footprint. These “credits” are then used on environmental projects, such as planting trees in forests or implementing manure digesters—machines that absorb and convert methane into clean energy—in feedlots. 

Amazon is one company that purchases carbon credits to offset its carbon footprint. Amazon revealed that, in 2019, its total carbon footprint was 51.17 million metric tons. According to the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator in the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, that is the same as 13 coal-fired power plants running for a year, or 11 million cars driven for one year.

The ClimateWorks Foundation received $50 million from the Bezos Earth Fund, and said it will use the grant to “drive climate action in the transportation and industrial sectors, which combined generate half of global greenhouse-gas emissions,” according to a press release. This is relevant to Amazon, which uses delivery vehicles to move products to and from warehouses and to customers’ homes and Amazon pickup points.

Bezos also gave $100 million to the Natural Resources Defense Council, $100 million to The Nature Conservancy, $43 million to The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, and $15 million to the Union of Concerned Scientists.  

Prior to announcing the Bezos Earth Fund, in September 2019 Amazon announced The Climate Pledge, a commitment to have a net zero carbon footprintCK across its businesses by 2040, a decade earlier than promised in the Paris Accord. 

Bezos, the richest person in the world, is currently worth an estimated $183 billion, according to Forbes estimates. He has sold $10 billion worth of Amazon shares in 2020 alone. 

Here is the full list of Bezos Earth Fund recipients:

  • The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund: $43 million
  • ClimateWorks Foundation: $50 million
  • Dream Corps Green For All: $10 million
  • Eden Reforestation Projects: $5 million
  • Energy Foundation: $30 million
  • Environmental Defense Fund: $100 million
  • The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice: $43 million
  • Natural Resources Defense Council: $100 million
  • The Nature Conservancy: $100 million
  • NDN Collective: $12 million
  • Rocky Mountain Institute: $10 million
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies: $30 million
  • The Solutions Project: $43 million
  • Union of Concerned Scientists: $15 million
  • World Resources Institute: $100 million
  • World Wildlife Fund: $100 million

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: