World's richest person, Jeff Bezos gives $10 billion to fight climate change

Planet Earth with sunrise and flare glint in background.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The fight against climate change (opens in new tab) is getting a big infusion of cash.

The world's richest person, founder Jeff Bezos, announced on Monday (Feb. 17) that he's starting an organization devoted to that pressing cause — and he's putting in $10 billion of his own money to get it off the ground.

The new Bezos Earth Fund "will fund scientists, activists, NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world," the billionaire wrote in an Instagram post Monday (opens in new tab), which described climate change as "the biggest threat to our planet." 

Related: The effects of global warming (opens in new tab)

"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," Bezos added. "I'm 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."

Bezos has cited environmental concerns as a big motivator for the ambitions of his spaceflight company, Blue Origin, which aims to get millions of people living and working in space. Achieving this goal will take considerable pressure off our beleaguered Earth, Bezos has stressed. 

"Blue Origin believes that in order to preserve Earth, our home, for our grandchildren’s grandchildren, we must go to space to tap its unlimited resources and energy," the company's website reads (opens in new tab). "Like the Industrial Revolution gave way to trade, economic abundance, new communities and high-speed transportation — our road to space opens the door to the infinite and yet unimaginable future generations might enjoy."

But some people are calling for Bezos — who is worth about $130 billion (opens in new tab) — to do even more for our planet, as NPR noted (opens in new tab)

"We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away," Amazon Employees For Climate Justice said in a statement Monday, which was released via Twitter

"The people of Earth need to know: When is Amazon going to stop helping oil & gas companies ravage Earth with still more oil and gas wells?" the statement added. "When is Amazon going to stop funding climate-denying think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and climate-delaying policy? When will Amazon take responsibility for the lungs of children near its warehouses by moving from diesel to all-electric trucking?"

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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Michael was a science writer for the Idaho National Laboratory and has been an intern at, The Salinas Californian newspaper, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He has also worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Bruno Ma
    admin said:
    The world's richest man, founder Jeff Bezos, is starting an organization devoted to battling climate change — and he's putting in $10 billion of his own money to get it off the ground.

    World's richest person, Jeff Bezos gives $10 billion to fight climate change : Read more
    He did this to deflect attention of his buying a $165,000,000. Mansion. Remember a part of our society don't like successful business people.
  • Steve
    Instead of applauding this tremendous contribution (irrespective of the motivation) the radical left simply makes more “all or nine demands)
  • Aarethun
    There's a sucker born every minute. A fool and his money are soon parted. Perhaps that money wis. ll finally find the evidence they 've been searching for but the easy cost free answer is weather cycles are weather cycles are weather cycles and voodoo science with rigged statistics is better left to the pros in politics. Clean up that phony plastic in the ocean yet? No. Why> Isn't any thrre there. But something that is there is those submarines sunk by the former soviet union in the White and Barents Seas the casings slowly dissolving ......TICK tick tick. How come no one is talking about them any more? Or the stuff they claim is not going to breach the wall from the Bonneville power plant to the Columbia river