The Bezos Earth Fund, plus European Day of Parks, Why The Climate Daily reforestation campaign matters so much
The Bezos Earth Fund, European Day of Parks, Why The Climate Daily Reforestation Campaign Matters So Much
THE BEZOS EARTH FUND
You know, we at The Climate Daily have mentioned the name Bezos twice before on this podcast. Once when we pointed out how Jeff Bezos missed the mark upon returning to Earth after his first space flight, when he said, “We live on this beautiful planet. We have to build a road to Space so that our kids and their kids can build a future.” And a second time when his Bezos Earth Fund pledged over $200 million dollars back in 2021 to fund climate justice initiatives. But we never actually profiled the Bezos Earth Fund. Our bad.
What is the Bezos Earth Fund and why does it matter to us? The Earth Fund was created by a commitment of $10 billion from Jeff Bezos in 2020 to be disbursed as grants to address climate and nature within the current decade. According to its website, to deliver this vision, “we are building a diverse team inspired by the belief that there is a better way, and committed to being part of it.”
The Earth Fund’s philosophy is, “Incremental steps and half-measures will not bring about the transformational change the world so desperately needs. If we are to quicken the pace and scale of change, we must pursue new strategies and invest in bold concepts. Explore these big ideas and see how the Bezos Earth Fund is working to help the world take major leaps forward in the fight for our planet.” And that’s why it matters to us. Few people or groups are positioned to invest huge sums in huge ideas.
How’s it doing? Again, according to its website, the Earth Fund has made over 100 grants, committing over $1.63B so far through seven programs. Those programs broadly include Conserving & Restoring Nature, Future of Food, Environmental Justice, Decarbonizing Energy & Industry, Economics, Finance & Markets, Next Technology, and finally Monitoring, Data & Accountability.
DEEPER DIVE: The Earth Fund
MAY 24–EUROPEAN DAY OF PARKS!
You did it again!
(Now whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?!)
Today is European Day of Parks, and well… So anyway, Happy European Day of Parks! The day was started by the EUROPARC Federation. As we all are being reminded, nature knows no boundaries. That’s why EUROPARC facilitates international co-operation in all aspects of protected area management to further improve and conserve Europe’s shared natural inheritance. EUROPARC Federation was founded in 1973 in Basel, Switzerland. It touts itself as the network for Europe’s natural and cultural heritage. According to its website, EUROPARC Federation is “dedicated to practical nature conservation and sustainable development of Europe’s biodiversity, fostering holistic landscape approaches in its management.”
Why does EUROPARC matter to us? The Federation has long recognized the need to take care of both the land and the people who live and work there and often derive their livelihoods from those who come to appreciate these special places. In an effort to boost European park awareness, EUROPARC hosts a variety of programs and events through its website, including the annual European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas awards.
After all, tourism is a booming business. It produces almost 5% of the world’s economic turnover, employs around 200 million people globally and is the fastest growing industry. Tourism is also one of the main economic drivers of Europe’s rural economies; directly and indirectly, it accounts for around 10% of European GDP and 20 million jobs. EUROPARC understands that not only are parks themselves facing challenges and pressure from visitation and misuse on the land they manage but parks also have the opportunity and potential to act as catalysts for sustainability and lifestyle changes at a local and regional and indeed national level.
Hence the awards. The last ECST awards were in December 2022. I can’t wait until the next ceremony this year. The slogan for 2023 European Day of Parks is, “Building on Our Roots!” Check out their YouTube channel by clicking on the link in the deeper dive section of this show at theclimate.org/episodes.
THE CLIMATE DAILY 50/100 REFORESTATION CAMPAIGN, OR, THINGS JUST GOT SUPER REAL
For many years, scientists have been warning that the rise in global temperature must be kept to below 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. It’s so important a benchmark, it’s been a rallying cry in the climate activist community since the Paris Accords of 2015.
According to a report released last week by the World Metrological Organization, that limit is about to be breached. It estimates there is a 66% chance that global temperatures will breach the 1.5⁰C limit by 2027. Depending upon who you talk to, that’s either three or thirteen years sooner than predicted. That’s not good. But there is hope. In the form of trees. Trillions of them.
The reality is trees are currently the best technology for capturing carbon dioxide, that greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming. It’s possible human beings will develop and scale up a technology that can rival the efficiency of Nature. But until then, our best hope is to plant a trillion trees by 2030, or sooner. That’s why we’re asking you to join our crowdfunding campaign—and our 30 tree planting partners to plant 10,000 trees at one time in one of seven regions around the world. Of course the tree-planting professionals will do all the planting.
That’s right. Join our other 201 crowdfunder partners and make a one time donation of $50 or $100 and become a climate champion. Go to www.theclimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champion” and donate today. What’s a climate champion? A Climate Champion is someone who sees the impacts of climate change, experiences those changes themselves, and knows we cannot continue the way we have. They’re someone who loves our green, blue and beautiful planet and wants the things they love about it to be there – just as green, blue and beautiful – for their children and their children’s children.
A climate champion is one willing to take action to help change the current direction – so our fears don’t come to pass. We’re proud to be a champion for the earth and for the climate. Come join us! Donate today. Go to www.theclimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champion” and donate today