Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Monday that he is launching the Bezos Earth Fund, pledging to give $10 billion in grants to scientists, activists, and organizations trying to combat climate change.
Bezos said climate change is "the biggest threat to our planet," and he wants 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 grants will be issued this summer to "big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals," he added. Bezos is worth an estimated $130 billion.
Last year, Bezos signed a pledge saying that by 2030, Amazon will operate on 100 percent renewable electricity, The Washington Post reports. The company has also donated $100 million to reforestation projects, ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, and vowed to be plastic free in India by June.
Amazon workers who are concerned about the company's carbon footprint have launched a group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, and last year planned a walkout. The organization released a statement on Monday, saying Bezos' pledge is fine, but "one hand cannot give what the other is taking away. The people of Earth need to know: When is Amazon going to stop helping oil and gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells? Why did Amazon threaten to fire employees who were sounding the alarm about Amazon's role in the climate crisis and our oil and gas business? What this shows is that employees speaking out works — we need more of that right now."
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