Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has revealed he will be committing $10bn to the cause of fighting climate change, with the launch of the Bezos Earth Fund.
The billionaire said in an Instagram post the fund would be used to provide grants to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), scientists and activists — or “any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world”.
He added that grants from the fund will start being issued this summer.
Last month Amazon was criticised for donating just $690,000 to help assist wildfire recovery after Australia’s devastating bushfires, despite the company being worth more than $1 trillion. Estimates by Business Insider calculated the donation was worth less than five minutes of Bezos’ 2018 net worth.
The wildfires devastated Australia’s natural landscape, killing at least 28 people, damaging wildlife and burning thousands of homes to the ground.
Bezos’ personal net worth is approximately $130bn. A spokesperson for Amazon told US media outlets that the funding is from Bezos’ own wealth, and will be managed separately from the foundation he has established.
He is currently an investor in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund specialising in technologies that are aimed at curbing climate change and the use of fossil fuels.