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Bezos Puts $1 Billion of $10 Billion Climate Pledge Into Conservation

  • September 21, 2021

As the plan has gained momentum, one sticking point has been money to help developing countries participate. Some of these nations are far richer in biodiversity than wealthier nations, many of which have already exploited their old-growth forests and other ecosystems for profit.

Mr. Bezos has promised to give away the full $10 billion by 2030, within a decade of his announcement of the Bezos Earth Fund.

When he first presented the plan for his fund, skeptics noted that for all the headlines, it was little more than a promise to give money away. Over the past year and a half, the initiative has begun to take shape.

The first big move came in November, when Mr. Bezos announced $791 million in donations to a collection of mainstream environmental and conservation organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund. Critics of the grants viewed them as highly conventional, but supporters said the bigger, better-known groups were the ones that could absorb larger sums of money quickly.

Then in March, Mr. Bezos announced that he had hired Andrew Steer, who at the time led the World Resources Institute, a research organization, as the president and chief executive of the Bezos Earth Fund. According to its new website, Mr. Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, is vice chair of the fund.

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