Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has pledged $2 billion in funding to help restore nature and transform food systems.
The funding, which will come from the Bezos Earth Fund, is part of the billionaire’s commitment to spend $10 billion on fighting climate change this decade.
“Nature is beautiful but it is also fragile,” Bezos told delegates at the COP26 climate conference on Tuesday. “I was reminded of this in July when I went into space with Blue Origin. I was told seeing the earth from space changes the lens through which you view the world, but I was not prepared for just how much that would be true.”
Describing 2021 as a critical year, Bezos urged humanity to “stand together to protect our world.”
“Each year, forests and landscapes absorb 11 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. As we destroy nature, we reverse this process,” he told the event in Glasgow, U.K. “In too many parts of the world, nature is already flipping from a carbon sink to a carbon source. This is a profound danger to us all.”
In September, the Bezos Earth Fund pledged to give away $1 billion in grants this year with a focus on conservation efforts.
“Together, this $3 billion in pledges will drive a new threefold nature agenda for the Bezos Earth Fund, focused simultaneously on conservation, restoration and food transformation,” Bezos said.
“We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we’ve lost and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations to come.”
Bezos is focusing on Blue Origin, his space exploration company, and initiatives like the Earth Fund since stepping down as Amazon CEO in July.
But there are concerns that the private space travel industry, touted by firms like Blue Origin, could become damaging to the environment as it gains traction.