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Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion fund to fight climate change

Bezos Earth Fund will fund efforts to protect the planet from effects of climate change.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced a $10 billion fund to fight climate change.

Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Billionaire Jeff Bezos announced Monday he will launch a $10 billion fund to fight climate change. The Amazon CEO said in an Instagram post that the Bezos Earth Fund will provide money to "any effort that offers a real possibility" to help preserve and protect the world.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Bezos wrote in his post. "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."

Bezos, the world's richest person, has promoted his company's many climate initiatives over the years. Amazon has funded a network of wind and solar farms as part of a long-term goal of powering its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy.

In September, Bezos announced The Climate Pledge, a plan to make the sprawling e-commerce and tech company carbon-neutral by 2040 and reach a goal of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. He also asked other companies to sign the pledge too.

To reach the carbon-neutral goal, Bezos announced a new $100 million reforestation effort and a new order for 100,000 electric delivery vans to move away from diesel vehicles. Amazon also pledged to power its global infrastructure with 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% by 2030 -- up from the 40% renewable energy it uses today.

"Amazon took a bold step when it announced the Climate Pledge, committing the company to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early, and we're incredibly excited about the Bezos Earth Fund," an Amazon spokesperson said. "Jeff's passion and this extraordinary personal contribution to the fight against climate change are going to have a huge impact."

Not everyone has reacted positively. In a Tuesday release, Greenpeace said it welcomes Bezos' new recognition of the threats of climate change, but still had concerns. 

"It's hypocritical to announce that climate change is the biggest threat to our planet while at the same time boosting the fossil fuel industry by providing advanced computing technologies to the oil and gas industry so that it can discover and drill more oil, more efficiently. Amazon also still has work to do to ensure its growing network of data centers fully shifts away from fossil fuels, and the company must transparently report its energy use as Google and Apple do," Greenpeace said in its statement.

Originally published Feb. 17 at 12:08 p.m. PT.
Update Feb. 18 at 10:19 a.m. PT:
Adds comment from Greenpeace.

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