Jeff Bezos’ Climate Fund pledges $ 1 billion for conservation efforts

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on climate change in 2019.

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The Bezos Earth Fund pledged $ 1 billion on Monday to protect endangered nature and indigenous peoples around the world, with an initial focus on the Congo Basin, the tropical Andes and the tropical Pacific. The goal of the $ 1 billion pledge is to protect 30% of the land and oceans from mass extinction and climate change by 2030.

The commitment is the largest to date from the $ 10 billion fund, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos launched last year to fight climate change. Payouts will begin this year, with a focus on regions where there is significant need and opportunity, as well as areas where indigenous peoples are key players in conservation programs.

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“By coming together with the right focus and ingenuity, we can reap the benefits of our modern life as well as a thriving nature,” Bezos, one of the world’s richest people, said in a statement. “I hope that this commitment inspires others to stand up for the protection and preservation of nature and to help in the fight against climate change. Such a big task needs many allies. “

Bezos, who stepped down as CEO of Amazon in July, has long promoted his company’s many climate initiatives over the years. Amazon has funded a network of wind and solar parks as part of its long-term goal to run its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy.

But the company has also come under fire for its contribution to climate change, particularly its growing carbon footprint caused by its fleet of planes, trucks, and vans that deliver packages to Amazon customers. Several Amazon employees have noted that Bezos’ September 2019 promise to make the company carbon neutral by 2040 doesn’t seem ambitious compared to Microsoft’s recent commitment to be carbon negative by 2030.

The fund announced earlier this month that it would allocate $ 203.7 million this year to tackle the climate crisis, with the bulk of it going to organizations that support the Justice40 Initiative, a program run by the Biden government that is funded by federal investments in climate and clean energy efforts aimed to benefit disadvantaged communities.

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