Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday that longtime sustainability advocate Andrew Steer will serve as the first CEO of his Earth Fund, an initiative the billionaire launched last year to combat the effects of climate change.
Steer will assume leadership of the Bezos Earth Fund after holding the same role at the environmental nonprofit World Resources Institute. The executive said Bezos has set a goal for the Earth Fund to spend $10 billion by 2030 in order to hit sustainability development goals established by the United Nations General Assembly.
“The Earth Fund will invest in scientists, NGOs, activists, and the private sector to help drive new technologies, investments, policy change and behavior,” Steer said. “We will emphasize social justice, as climate change disproportionately hurts poor and marginalized communities.”
Bezos established the Earth Fund in February 2020. At the time, the Amazon founder described climate change as “the biggest threat to our planet” and vowed to help fund efforts that offered “a real possibility to preserve and protect the natural world."
Bezos said he and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez were “thrilled” to hire Steer for the role.
“Andrew has decades of experience in environmental and climate science as well as economic and social policy in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa,” Bezos said in an Instagram post announcing the hire. “Most recently, he has been President and CEO of World Resources Institute, where he leads over 1,400 experts working to alleviate poverty while protecting the natural world. Lauren and I are thrilled to have Andrew aboard and very energized about what lies ahead for the Fund and our partners.”
Aside from his personal philanthropic efforts, Bezos led Amazon to establish the $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund last June. The initiative will support the development of clean and sustainable technologies.
Bezos announced last February his intention to step down as Amazon CEO. The world’s richest man cited a desire to spend more time on other projects, including his philanthropic efforts.