Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder and world's wealthiest person Jeff Bezos recently pledged $10 billion of his vast fortune to address climate change. The money, which will fund the "Bezos Earth Fund," will then be granted to scientists, experts, and organizations working on various issues, both small and large.
News of Bezos' plan was generally well-received by the environmental activist community, but one of the biggest environmental organizations, Greenpeace, was not as complimentary as its contemporaries.
Calling out Amazon, Bezos' "hypocrisy," lack of transparency
In a statement, Greenpeace USA Senior Campaigner Elizabeth Jardim wrote the following:
It's hypocritical to announce that climate change is the biggest threat to our planet while at the same time boosting the fossil fuel industry by providing advanced computing technologies to the oil and gas industry so that it can discover and drill more oil, more efficiently. Amazon also still has work to do to ensure its growing network of data centers fully shifts away from fossil fuels, and the company must transparently report its energy use as Google and Apple do.
Amazon has been slowest of tech giants to embrace renewables
Amazon has been one of the slowest of the U.S. tech giants to go green, despite Bezos' long-standing position that human activity is harming the earth. By the time Amazon announced a plan to shift to 100% renewable energy, Apple had already completed its transition to 100% renewable energy in its data centers.
Amazon has made progress, but it continues to lag its big-tech peers with its actions to be carbon-neutral wit hits power use. Bezos massive $10 billion pledge is a step in the right direction, according to Greenpeace and others, but so long as Amazon trails its peers in the move away from fossil fuels, it -- and its founder Bezos -- will remain in the crosshairs of activists like Greenpeace.