Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is to donate the majority of his $124bn fortune to charities fighting climate change.
In an interview with CNN, the billionaire said he wants to support people who can unify humanity and heal social and political divisions but he didn’t release any details of possible beneficiaries.
Bezos, 58, confirmed that he will donate his wealth during his lifetime, saying: ‘The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way. It’s not easy; building Amazon was not easy.
‘It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates and I’m finding that philanthropy is very similar – it’s not easy, it’s very hard.
‘We are building the capacity to being able to give away this money. There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too.
‘So you have to think about it carefully and you have to have brilliant people on the team.’
Appearing on TV alongside his partner, journalist-turned-philanthropist Lauren Sánchez, yesterday (Monday November 14), the world’s fourth richest man told viewers he wanted to distribute the money through the Bezos Courage & Civility Award.
The announcement marks the first time Bezos has committed to using the overwhelming majority of his money for charitable causes.
Bezos Earth Fund
However, his Bezos Earth Fund, worth $10bn, which was created in 2020, has distributed about $1.5bn so far, often partnering with NGOs and governments. It aims to distribute the full sum by 2030.
Last year it gave $519.2 million to climate crisis related causes. The fund, with Bezos as executive chair, has also supported conservation projects in Africa and south America, as well as funding the creation of environmental databases.
Bezos stepped down as chief executive of Amazon last year, but continues to own around 10 per cent of the ecommerce-to-streaming business.
His other commercial interests include ownership of the Washington Post news organisation and space tourism company Blue Origin.