Jeff Bezos’ Earth Fund is giving out $100 million for AI solutions to tackle climate change

One of the world’s richest people is awarding $100 million in grants for AI solutions to tackle climate change and nature loss.
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On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos’s Earth Fund announced its AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge, which is seeking proposals for how “modern AI” can be used to “address climate change and nature loss.” The challenge also wants to “inspire deeper collaboration” between groups working on environmental issues and AI developers, the Bezos Earth Fund said in a statement.
“Can modern AI help counter climate change and nature loss, and, if so, how? That’s the question we hope to answer,” Bezos, executive chair of the Earth Fund, said in the statement. “By bringing together brilliant minds across fields, we may be able to invent new ways forward.”
The Grand Challenge take place over multiple rounds, each with two funding opportunities. The first round will focus on three areas:“sustainable proteins, biodiversity conservation, and power grid optimization.” In the first phase of funding, up to 30 seed grants will be rewarded during Climate Week NYC in September, the fund said. In the second phase of funding, the awardees will be able to apply for grants of up to $2 million to fund their proposals, as well as receive mentorship and access to necessary infrastructure. The fund is not open to proposals from individuals.
“AI may have the potential to solve some of our biggest problems, and we’re calling on the planet’s brightest problem solvers to bring their visionary ideas to the table,” Lauren Sánchez, vice chair of the Earth Fund said in the statement. “Together, we can innovate and solve these challenges.”
In November 2020, Bezos announced the first round of awardees from the Earth Fund, which has committed $10 billion to tackling climate change issues. Sixteen organizations, including the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), were rewarded a total of $791 million, making Bezos the largest backer of climate activism in the world.

However, critics of the fund have accused Amazon of attempting to “greenwash” its carbon footprint and pointed out that, in many cases, well-funded institutions were chosen over grassroots groups. 

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{Author}Britney Nguyen{/Author}
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