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Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to combat climate change

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Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC on Oct. 22, 2019.   -   Copyright  Mandel Ngan
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Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and 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 on Instagram Monday afternoon. The fund will support scientists, activists, non-governmental organizations and "any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world," he said.

Bezos said he was committing $10 billion through the initiative to start and 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."

"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 Paris climate agreement 10 years early and be carbon neutral by 2040. In that announcement, Amazon said it was launching a fund committing $100 million to restore and protect forests and wetlands.

He 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 the global climate change marches and call on the company to do more to combat the climate crisis.

In May, thousands of employees submitted a proposal asking Bezos to develop a comprehensive climate-change plan and reduce its carbon footprint, though it was ultimately rejected.

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