The world’s richest man has announced the Bezos Earth fund, where he’ll be putting forward $10 billion towards climate change. This is more money than most of us could dream of, but is it really commendable when you look at the bigger picture?
Amazon Head Exec. Jeff Bezos has put forward $10 billion to fight climate change, but he’s making $325 million a day.
Of course, any donation to counteract the increasing threat of climate change should be praised. The effects of global warming have become more immediate, such as the devastating bushfires over this summer in Australia. Read about our observations on the bushfires and climate change here. The need to help in any way possible feels less and less like a choice. However, when you take a closer look at the reasonings for Bezos’s donation, it becomes less respectable. It appears more like a PR manoeuvre.
Recently, the Amazon CEO received an open letter from 3,541 of his employees. They asked him and other leaders to make a “company-wide” plan for climate change, such as a complete cease of fossil fuel use. Bezos has not directly responded to the letter, but likely felt the pressure from these demands. Also not aiding Bezos’ attitude towards the climate emergency is the fact that Amazon has made some questionable donations. 68 members of US Congress that have continuously dismissed climate change legislation have all received donations from Bezos.
With Bezos’ contribution of $10 billion, he still comfortably stands as world’s richest and receives media appraisal. Perhaps most importantly to Bezos, he can avoid making dramatic changes to his business model – changes that would reduce Amazon’s emissions in the long term. Jeff concluded his donation announcement with “Earth is the one thing we all have in common – let’s protect it together.”
See Bezos’ Instagram announcement below.
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Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund. 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. This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together. – Jeff