Jeff Bezos commits $1 billion to conservation as Amazon destroys the world

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Jeff Bezos is donating $1 billion of his $10 billion local weather philanthropy pledge to shield biodiversity and carbon-saving forests in the Andes, the Congo Basin, and the tropical Pacific Ocean. After practically three many years main Amazon, which has an unlimited and rising carbon footprint, Bezos appears intent on forging a new identification as an environmentalist and maybe the world’s most beneficiant financier in the struggle in opposition to local weather change. And that costly journey to house he simply took? Bezos says it was enlightening.

“Nature is our life support system and it’s fragile,” the billionaire stated Monday at a press convention. “I was reminded of this just this July when I went into space with Blue Origin. I’d heard that seeing the Earth from space changes one’s point of view of the world, but I was not prepared for just how much that would be true.”

While the fundraising effort is definitely notable, Bezos’s dedication to defending the setting serves as a stark reminder that a lot of his legacy and largely untaxed fortune was constructed by firms which have staggering carbon footprints. Amazon’s carbon emissions have grown yearly since 2018, and final yr alone, when international carbon emissions fell roughly 7 %, Amazon’s carbon emissions grew 19 % to 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s roughly equal to burning 140 million barrels of oil.

Amazon has moved to cut back its dependence on fossil fuels, like committing to electrifying its supply autos, and it has recruited dozens of firms to signal its Climate Pledge, a company dedication to attain net-zero emissions by 2040. But for now, Amazon stays reliant on huge fleets of polluting supply autos, wasteful packaging, and even a brand new fleet of jet-fuel-powered planes to maintain speedily delivering stuff to impatient web shoppers.

Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services (AWS) makes use of huge quantities of vitality to maintain its servers on-line. In 2019, Greenpeace accused the cloud computing firm of abandoning its pledge to use one hundred pc renewable vitality and stated that a few of the largest AWS knowledge facilities used simply 12 % renewable vitality. And even as different firms, like Google, have moved away from providing some cloud providers to fossil gas firms, AWS nonetheless lists Shell, Hess, and BP as prospects.

Bezos is technically now not a part of Amazon. But Blue Origin, the non-public spaceflight firm he owns that not too long ago took him to house, has raised environmental issues. While the house rocket firm has used carbon-free fuels — specifically, a mixture of liquid hydrogen and oxygen — making these fuels remains to be environmentally expensive, and environmentalists warn that Blue Origin rockets nonetheless go away behind particles that may hurt the environment.

So when seen from a sure perspective, Bezos’s environmental philanthropy feels a bit like an effort to clear up a large number his firms helped make.

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