Jeff Bezos, the 58-year-old founder of Amazon, announced the plans in a new interview, explaining that he wants to contribute the majority of his wealth to philanthropic initiatives, having made billions from Amazon’s founding in 1994.
Donations will be directed towards fighting climate change, as well as supporting individuals who are working to unify mankind as social and political divisions continue to create barriers between people.
During an interview with CNN, Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, explained that the couple are building the capacity to be able to give away this large sum of money in the future.
Upon being asked directly whether he intends to donate the majority of his wealth during his lifetime, Jeff Bezos replied: “Yeah, I do.”
Bezos, however, refused to disclose how much of his wealth he intends to give away or where the money will go.
Nevertheless, Bezos and Sanchez have committed to giving 8% of their net worth to the Bezos Earth Fund, which amounts to $10 billion.
A key objective of the Fund is to reduce the carbon footprint associated with construction-grade cement and steel, encourage financial regulators to take climate-related risks into account in their activities, develop data and mapping technologies to measure carbon emissions, and construct a large number of natural and plant-based carbon sinks.
As he stated in the interview: “The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a leveraged way. It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates, and I’m finding and I think Lauren is finding the same thing that charity, philanthropy, is very similar.”
Bezos’ decision comes after he and Sanchez gave Dolly Parton a $100 million prize for her philanthropy, and Bezos added that he and his partner agreed to complete their first interview together since their relationship began in 2019 to raise awareness of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award, which was granted to the musician this year.
As Sanchez said: “When you think of Dolly. Look, everyone smiles, right? She is just beaming with light. And all she wants to do is bring light into other people’s worlds. And so we couldn’t have thought of someone better than to give this award to Dolly, and we know she’s going to do amazing things with it.”
As Jeff Bezos and Sánchez conversed in a CNN interview, they discussed a wide range of topics, including Bezos’s views on political dialogue and the possibility of an economic recession as well as Sánchez’s plans to go to outer space with an all-female crew and her reflections on a successful business partnership with him.