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Amazon boss Bezos launches US$10b fund to combat climate change
[WASHINGTON] Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and the world's richest man, said on Monday he was committing US$10 billion to a new fund to tackle climate change.
In a post to his 1.4 million followers on Instagram, the e-commerce tycoon said the Bezos Earth Fund would "fund scientists, activists, NGOs - any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world."
"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," said Mr Bezos, whose net worth is estimated to be around US$130 billion.
"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."
Mr Bezos, who maintained his status as the world's richest person despite an expensive divorce last year, said his new foundation would begin issuing grants this summer.
Last September, Mr Bezos said Amazon would pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040 and said the company would order 100,000 electric delivery trucks.
Rather than make investments which the business guru might profit from, the fund will allocate grant money to projects, the New York Times said, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the initiative.
Mr Bezos divulged few details on his social media post, which attracted overwhelmingly positive responses from his followers.
Amazon has been criticised for creating large amounts of waste from the packaging it delivers its products in, as well as for the emissions from huge fleets of delivery vehicles.
The New York Times said that even if Mr Bezos spent the full US$10 billion immediately, he would still be the world's richest person.
Last week, the billionaire reportedly agreed to buy a Beverly Hills mansion built in the 1930s by Hollywood movie mogul Jack Warner for US$165 million, a record price for a California home.