Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos on Monday announced the first round of recipients that will receive $791 million from the “Jeff Bezos Earth Fund” to fight climate change.
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Five of the organizations named Monday will each receive $100 million while 11 will be awarded grants ranging from $5 million to $50 million.
Those landing grants of $100 million are long-established organizations with track records in environmental protection. These are the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund.
“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,” said Bezos in an Instagram post. “I’m inspired by what they’re doing, and excited to help them scale.”
The $10 billion committed by Bezos to his Earth Fund is the largest amount pledged to climate change spending by American philanthropists in recent years.
Bezos, the richest person in the world, has a net worth estimated at $184 billion. The entire Jeff Bezos Earth Fund is only 5% of Bezos’ net worth.
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos said. “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.”
He said he was “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.”
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