Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to combat climate change

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Amazon's CEO said.

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By Daniella Silva

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest person, said Monday he was committing $10 billion to combat climate change through a global initiative.

Bezos announced the initiative, called the Bezos Earth Fund, in a post Monday afternoon on Instagram. The fund will support scientists, activists, nongovernmental organizations and "any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world," he said.

Bezos said he expected to begin issuing grants this summer.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," he said. "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."

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"We can save Earth. It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals," he added.

In September, Amazon announced a pledge to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early and to be carbon neutral by 2040. In the announcement, Amazon said it was launching a $100 million fund to restore and protect forests and wetlands.

Bezos also pledged to measure and report Amazon's emissions on a regular basis, implement decarbonization strategies and alter company's business strategies to offset remaining emissions.

That announcement came as more than 1,700 Amazon employees were set to walk out on the job Sept. 20 to support global climate change marches and to call on the company to do more.

In May, thousands of employees submitted a proposal asking Bezos to develop a comprehensive climate-change plan and reduce Amazon's carbon footprint. The proposal was ultimately rejected.

Bezos' net worth is $130 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Even with the $10 billion fund, he would still be the world's richest man, according to the index, with Bill Gates second at $119 billion.