Is Jeff Bezos really serious about beating climate change?
Amazon founder is donating $791m to green charities, but it will take more than money to help the planet
If you had a billion dollars and wanted to do something about climate change, what would you do? For a handful of people that is not a rhetorical question.
An Instagram post earlier this month from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announcing he had scattered $791m (about R12bn) across various climate charities, is the latest in a trend that includes Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg. And there’s more on the way — Bezos’s donations are “just the beginning” of his $10bn (about R152bn) Bezos Earth Fund.
But the interesting thing about this exercise is that, even for the most privileged minds on the planet, it is not obvious how to approach the task. Is it better to invest in technologies that may take years to mature or to spend money on clean energy in developing countries, which can cut pollution immediately? Or perhaps political spending is the most effective approach, to push policy in a climate-friendly direction? Or would you just start building sea walls to prepare for the inevitable?..