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26 February 2020

Bezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

Adam Harmsworth, Coventry Socialist Party

A $10 billion 'Bezos Earth Fund' is the biggest 'giveaway' yet by owner of Amazon and world's richest man Jeff Bezos. He has claimed the fund will go to "any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world."

Perhaps the Socialist Party should bid for the fund, having a far more sincere programme to protect the planet than any billionaire! Bezos might not be so fond of us, not least because he has repeatedly featured in the Socialist for his immense wealth and greed.

$10 billion equates to 8% of Bezos's current wealth. Losing even 8% would be ruinous for most ordinary people. But Bezos has been a billionaire for over 20 years and has been worth over $10 billion since 2010; he could have poured billions of dollars in to fight climate change years ago!

But the capitalist system grants Bezos and the rest of the capitalist class the right to choose when and how they spend 'their' money. This is despite the fact that his private fortune was made by the hard work of hundreds of thousands of Amazon employees - and could benefit all humanity and help save the planet right now.

Meanwhile, the group 'Amazon Employees for Climate Justice' has said the company threatened to fire employees when as many as 1,800 of them called on their employer to do more to fight climate change during the September climate actions. And Bezos has fought tooth and nail to avoid taxes on Amazon's profits to fund socially useful investment!

It seems this Earth Fund is little more than a publicity stunt. There is no serious intent from Bezos, Amazon, or any of the biggest polluting businesses to change their practices and risk their profits to take action that would prevent global catastrophe.

The resources exist to fight climate change right now; billionaires like Bezos are in the way, hoarding money and holding the planet to ransom. Preventing warming of more than 2C will require expenditure of $2.15 trillion every year, according to the Economist - about 2.5% of world economic output.

Socialist change is urgently needed to rid the bosses of their power, taking their money and big business into public ownership under democratic workers' control so these resources can be planned to genuinely combat climate change now.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/30339