Jeff Bezos has pledged $10 billion to help fight the climate crisis via his new global initiative, Bezos Earth Fund. The Amazon founder (aka the richest man on the planet) made the announcement on Instagram on Monday. As Business Insider states, the $10 billion pledge accounts to roughly 7.7 percent of Bezos’ (approximate) $130 billion net worth. But is it enough? Experts think not.
The BBC consulted experts Professor Elizabeth Robinson from the University of Reading and Seamus Garvey, an energy storage expert at the University of Nottingham. In 2018, Amazon’s corporate carbon footprint was 44.4 million metric tons, which Garvey notes is “a lot, like a small country.” It’s an imprint that $10 billion in investment might not be able to offset.
“Jeff Bezos can’t solve climate problems with $10bn on its own. It could be significant, but it’s not enough to even transition the energy in the UK,” Garvey explains. Professor Robinson iterates that a company the size of Amazon has a “moral obligation” to tackling climate change and adds,”They’re making huge profits. So it wouldn’t really be that hard.”
Posting a satellite picture of the Earth on Monday, Bezos explained that the new fund will support scientists, activists, and NGOs. “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. 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.”
The Bezos Earth Fund will start issuing grants this summer. In September 2019, Bezos also launched the Climate Pledge, announcing that Amazon would become carbon-neutral by 2040.
According to the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, however, this isn’t enough. Speaking to The New York Times yesterday, they asked, “When is Amazon going to stop helping oil and gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells? When is Amazon going to stop funding climate-denying think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and climate-delaying policy?”
View Jeff Bezos’ announcement below.