The big picture: Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos this week announced the launch of a global initiative to help fight the devastating impact of climate change on Earth. The Bezos Earth Fund will empower scientists, activists and non-governmental organizations to both amplify know methods and explore new ways to combat what is described by some as the biggest threat to our planet.
Bezos in announcing the initiative on Instagram said he is contributing $10 billion to start with and will begin issuing grants this summer.
Climate change aside, the size of the gift and the fact that it is coming from Bezos is noteworthy in itself. According to Vox, the only other larger pledge of the 21st century came when Warren Buffett pledged to give the bulk of his net worth to the Gates Foundation back in 2006.
Critics for years have said Bezos hasn’t done enough charitable work with the wealth he has amassed. Donating what roughly amounts to 7.5 percent of his net worth to a charitable cause should certainly hush the critics.
Last year, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to donate at least half of her net worth to charity. As part of their divorce agreement, MacKenzie received roughly 19.7 million shares of Amazon stock that’s worth north of $42 billion today.