COP26: Jeff Bezos announces $2bn pledge to restore nature and change food systems
The Bezos Earth Fund will put forward $2bn (£1.5bn) towards landscape restoration and improving food systems, the charity’s founder Jeff Bezos announced today at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
Bezos Earth Fund are planning to join up with Africa-owned partners AFR100 to help restore African landscapes by planting trees, strengthening grasslands, and bringing more trees into farmland. It is predicted these actions will bring climate benefits, food security, jobs, economic growth, soil fertility and better connectivity between conserved areas to protect their biodiversity.
The pledged amount is also going to be used to create better food and agricultural systems that won’t damage the environment. Some of the funds will go towards increasing crop yields in ways that decrease levels of food loss and waste, encourage people to eat diets richer in plant-based foods, and that make agricultural supply chains more sustainable.
Speaking at COP26 today, Bezos said: “Today I am pleased to announce a $2B pledge allocated directly to restoring nature and transforming food systems. This is part of the Bezos Earth Fund’s $10B commitment to fight climate change, enhance nature, and advance environmental justice and economic opportunity.
“Together this $3B in pledges will drive a new three-fold nature agenda for the Bezos Earth Fund, focused simultaneously on conservation, restoration and food transformation.
“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”.
This new pledge adds onto a previous $1B commitment announced in September at Climate Week NYC, to help communities protect and preserve nature in areas that are important for biodiversity and carbon stocks.
Chief Executive Officer of The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki said: “Africa is home to the world’s greatest restoration opportunity, with more than 700 million hectares of degraded land that can be restored,
“Africa is the continent most dependent on the land for livelihoods and most vulnerable to climate change. Africa must therefore lead the way. We warmly welcome partnership with ambitious funders like the Bezos Earth Fund.”
Christiana Figueres, former U.N. climate chief and founding partner of Global Optimism said: “For too long we have ignored the solutions that nature provides for us. Protection and restoration of our Earth is key to protecting and restoring our future.
“Key to our success will be reforming the way in which we produce and consume food, which is driving global warming, species loss, and inequality, rather than nourishing ourselves and our planet.”
The Bezos Earth Fund is a $10 billion commitment launched by Bezos in February 2020, to support scientists, NGOs, activists and other important figures to help produce positive climate and nature-based solutions.
These funds will be allocated between now and 2030, the year in which the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals must be met.