Fighting climate change using the Sun comes in all forms: from using solar panels to generate electricity to using the sun to cook food (a method we are very fond of here).
But what happens when fighting climate change gets a $10 billion boost? That's, fortunately, a question we will have an answer to. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, and the world's richest person has made a donation that size to do just that.
Bezos announced at the end of February that he would give away $10 billion to fund a new initiative to support programs that combat the effects of climate change. The details of this fund and its structure are scarce, but we can look at past examples to get an idea. Warren Buffet promised to give away most of his net worth in 2006 (which currently amounts to $43 billion) to the Gates Foundation, which focuses on sustainability and public health in the developing world.
"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact change on this planet we all share," he said in the announcement of the donation on his Instagram page. "This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs -- any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world."
The Amazon founder has drawn criticism for his lack of philanthropy in the past and Amazon has been criticized for its levels of carbon output and contribution to climate change.
Still, the amount of change that $10 billion could make is worth considering.
“My first reaction is that $10 billion is not going to solve climate change, but that $10 billion is more money than is usually being put into climate change,” said Kenneth Gillingham, a Yale professor, to Slate Magazine. He noted this amount is on the order of what international institutions routinely cobble together for the environment.
Bezos said he would start issuing grants in the summer to scientists, activists, and nongovernmental organizations. Some think it will also go to innovation in public engagement, new technologies, policy frameworks, clean energy financing, and scientific research to improve understandings of climate change.
It will be interesting to see how the investment makes a difference. Whatever happens, GoSun is excited to see the growing public interest in fighting climate change, whether from a person with a normal income to a CEO with billions to spare.