Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to combat climate change

WION Web Team California, United States Feb 18, 2020, 02.15 PM(IST)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Photograph:( AFP )

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The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative.

Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday.

The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative.

"It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals," Bezos said.

Cutting emissions will be challenging for Amazon. The e-commerce company delivers 10 billion items a year, has a massive transportation and data center footprint, and has faced criticism from within its own workforce.

Also read: Hundreds of Amazon employees criticize firm's climate stance

Counteracting climate change has become a popular cause for US billionaires in recent years, with Microsoft's Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer counted among the world's wealthiest environmental philanthropists. ⁣⁣⁣

Last year, Bezos pledged to make online retailer Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040 the first major corporation to announce such a goal and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from US vehicle design and manufacturing startup Rivian Automotive LLC.

Bezos also said at the time that his company would meet the goals of the Paris climate accord 10 years ahead of the accord's schedule and invest $100 million to restore forests and wetlands.

Amazon has faced protests by environmental activists and pressure from its employees to take action on climate change.

Also read: Amazon's slow climate action: Defying company policy, over 300 employees speak out

Hundreds of its employees last month started a blog criticizing the online retail giant's climate policies and demanding it do more to tackle climate change.

Amazon has been accused of creating vast amounts of waste from the packaging it uses for doorstep deliveries, as well as for the greenhouse gas emissions from huge fleets of vehicles.

The company, which in December said its workforce had hit 750,000, has also been denounced over its carbon footprint because of the high energy consumption of its server farms for its lucrative cloud computing activities.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, an activist workers group, welcomed the Bezos Earth Fund announcement, but said it did not make up for the company's consumption of fossil fuels and other activities that contribute to climate change.