Since billionaire Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of multinational Amazon, he will reportedly focus on his climate-change focussed Bezos Earth Fund. He has been urged to use it as an investment in plant-based meat companies.
In a Wired article with the headline ‘So Jeff Bezos, You Really Want To Save The Planet?’, a journalist urged Bezos to divert his riches into eco-friendly organizations, including cell-grown meat. However, he claimed it was not clear whether cell-grown meat would be better for the environment.
What is the Bezos Earth Fund?
The $10 billion dollar fund was launched last February to ‘protect’ the planet and fight climate change. Since then, he has donated to a range of organizations including Dream Corps Green For All, The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, Eden Reforestation Projects, The Nature Conservatory, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Announcing its inception on his Instagram account, Bezos said: “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet.
“I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.”
In the article featured on Wired, science journalist Matt Simon suggested one idea to ‘decarbonize’ the planet would be to invest in plant-based meat companies such as the Impossible Burger.
Another concept would be to invest in cell-based meat, Matt adds: “However, when it comes to lab-grown meat, we don’t yet have a good idea how much better it’ll end up being for the environment since the industry is still in its infancy.”
What is cell-grown meat?
Cell-grown meat is created in laboratories by harvesting animal cells. It has been applauded as an alternative to animal agriculture – which was recently reported to account for 87 percent GHG emissions annually.
Some don’t class laboratory-produced meat as vegan-friendly as it is derived from animal cells.
A report by tech firm, IDTehcEx, claimed cell-grown meat would reduce the reliance on animal agriculture. As a result, the risk of further zoonotic disease outbreaks would be reduced, it also claimed.
The report states ‘cultured meat could solve many of the problems associated with the global meat industry’, but accepts there are ‘many unanswered questions’ around it.
Matt also suggested Bezos help tackle the biodiversity crisis. He suggested one way of doing this would be to look at coastlines and manage kelp forests.
A recent report by think tank Chatham House claimed plant-based diets are necessary to protect global biodiversity. They are also needed to overhaul the current food system, the report added.
Jeff Bezos’ current plant-based investments
Jeff Bezos has already invested part of his fortune into one plant-based company.
Last year, he funneled funds into vegan mayonnaise company, NotCo – contributing to a $30 million investment.