With the world’s focus on climate crisis and the environment, billionaire Jeff Bezos has pledged $2 billion for restoring nature and transforming food systems. This funding comes from the Bezos Earth Fund, which is part of the Amazon founder’s commitment to spend $10 billion on fighting climate change this decade. In September, he had pledged to give away $1 billion in grants with a focus on conservation efforts.
Speaking to delegates at the COP26 climate conference, Bezos acknowledged the fact that nature is beautiful but very much fragile. “I was reminded of this in July when I went into space with Blue Origin. I was told seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you view the world, but I was not prepared for just how much that would be true.”
Bezos urged humanity to stand together to protect the world. “Each year, forests and landscapes absorb 11 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. As we destroy nature, we reverse this process,” he said. “In too many parts of the world, nature is already flipping from a carbon sink to a carbon source. This is a profound danger to us all.”
The Amazon founder highlighted that the $3 billion in pledges will drive a new threefold nature agenda for the Bezos Earth Fund – focused on conservation, restoration and food transformation. “We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we have lost and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations to come,” the billionaire said.
Looking ahead to COP27 next year, Bezos said his fund would be eager to participate in a concerted strategy led by African nations to seriously and effectively ramp up support for restoration on the continent. He called on private companies to engage in the fight against climate change saying – “We cannot rely only on governments, philanthropy and NGOs to fix the climate crisis. The private sector also has to play its part. Companies need to take leadership positions.”
Overall, at least 30 financial institutions including Aviva, Schroders and Axa are due to contribute a total $7.2 billion to newly launched global efforts against deforestation.