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The Bezos Earth Fund's $57+ Million Investment in Global Food Systems Transformation

The Bezos Earth Fund, established by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2020 with a $10 billion endowment, has recently made a significant commitment towards transforming global food systems in response to the escalating climate crisis and biodiversity loss. In a move aligning with the recent declaration signed at COP28, which emphasizes the integration of food into climate goals, the Fund has earmarked $57 million in food-related grants.

This $57 million is part of the Earth Fund’s broader $1 billion commitment, aimed at mitigating the impact of food systems on climate change and nature. The remaining $850 million is slated for allocation by 2030, supporting the implementation of a global agenda focused on food systems and their impact on climate.

Dr. Andrew Steer, the President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, stressed the urgency of addressing food's role in climate and nature crises, stating, “We cannot afford for food to be on the sidelines of climate and nature conversations any longer. Food is a victim, problem and solution in the climate and nature crises, and we must raise its profile in the discussion.” He called for countries to elevate their ambitions, prioritizing food in their climate goals and advocating for bold, transformative actions to feed the growing global population without further degrading the planet.

In a collaborative effort, the Bezos Earth Fund joined forces with over 16 philanthropies, signing a new statement of action. This collective commitment focuses on investing, advocating, and partnering to address food security and sustainability, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement goals which aim to limit global warming.

The Fund’s investment supports a variety of innovations, including the development of low-cost virtual livestock fencing and the promotion of plant-rich diets and alternative proteins. A significant portion of the funding, amounting to $30 million, is dedicated to making livestock more sustainable. In collaboration with the Global Methane Hub’s Enteric Methane R&D Accelerator, this investment targets a reduction in methane emissions from livestock by up to 30% over the next 10-15 years. This initiative encompasses the development of low-methane feed and cattle breeds, as well as the deployment of wearable sensors for measuring cow methane emissions.

Additionally, the Fund is allocating $16.3 million towards the protection of the Brazilian Amazon, aiming to limit deforestation. This involves supporting initiatives in Pará, Brazil, to achieve zero illegal deforestation in the next three years. The strategy includes creating the world’s largest animal traceability system in collaboration with partners such as The Nature Conservancy, IMAFLORA, Earth Innovation Institute, and Aliança da Terra. The goal is to trace meat, dairy, and leather products to their sources, thereby eliminating deforestation from their value chains and promoting incentives for cattle farmers and ranchers that are positive for forest conservation.

Another $8.3 million is directed towards promoting climate-smart agricultural practices. This includes partnerships with the Earth Rover Program to use seismology in assessing the potential of soil to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide. The Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation (PACT) is also involved, ensuring that U.S. federal funding for reducing farmland methane emissions reaches farmers and ranchers who adopt climate-friendly agricultural practices.

The Bezos Earth Fund is also investing $2.6 million in catalyzing food systems transformation. This involves tackling food loss and waste in collaboration with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) and establishing an alliance of countries focused on transforming food systems. Furthermore, the partnership with Clim-Eat aims to identify and nurture bold technological innovations in food systems, bringing together key actors to accelerate their development and deployment.

Andy Jarvis, director of future of food at the Bezos Earth Fund, highlighted the significance of COP28, stating, “At COP28, it’s time to turn pledges and commitments into action and funding for innovative food solutions and food systems transformation. Food isn’t just having a moment in COP28 — it’s the start of real moment-um, and through the grants we are announcing we will deliver that.”

Through these initiatives, the Bezos Earth Fund is not only addressing immediate environmental concerns but also paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient global food system, essential for the well-being of both the planet and its inhabitants.


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