Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pledged earlier this year that he would be donating $10 billion in order to tackle climate change. On Monday, it was announced that the initial grants would total $791 million and would be shared between 16 different environmental groups.
On Instagram, Bezos wrote: “I’ve spent the past several months learning from a group of incredibly smart people who’ve made it their life’s work to fight climate change and its impact on communities around the world. I’m inspired by what they’re doing, and excited to help them scale.”
The recipients of the donation will include groups that are dealing with global warming, such as ClimateWorks Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund.
Some of the funding will be put towards specific projects. The Environmental Defense Fund is believed to be receiving $100 million and the money will help in launching a satellite that measures the emission of methane, this is a greenhouse gas which has roughly 30 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientists said that they would be using $15 million of the grant to advocate for updates to the U.S. electrical grid and electrify commercial trucking, which is also a major source of emissions.
As he is the world’s wealthiest man, Bezos pledged earlier on this year that he would be giving away $10 billion to help fund the fight against climate change, he called this an “existential threat”.
This amount represents five per cent of his total net worth, as calculated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In a separate pledge, Amazon has stated it will be donating $2 billion to climate-related clauses. The first round of grants will fund startup companies that are working on new technology that aim to decarbonise the economy.
However, many environmentalists have criticised the company and its founder as they say Amazon’s own carbon emissions have increased and that those who have spoken out on the issue – who work for the company – have been silenced and in some cases, fired.
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