Philanthropists pledge to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030, as the planet’s health climbs the charity agenda
When their time comes, many of the richest people on Earth have committed to giving away the bulk of their fortunes. Education, poverty and the arts have traditionally benefited from philanthropy, attracting billions for important causes. But increasingly, nature and the climate crisis have become a focus of giving.
Last week, a group of nine philanthropic foundations made the largest ever donation to nature conservation, pledging $5bn to finance the protection of 30% of land and sea by the end of the decade. Swiss businessman Hansjörg Wyss, also a major donor to the US Democratic party, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were among the billionaires behind the Protecting our Planet challenge. In effect, the money covers the estimated cost of the 30% goal for this decade, one of the 21 targets included in the draft Paris-style UN agreement for nature currently being negotiated. It also includes plans to eliminate plastics pollution and reduce pesticide use to slow species extinctions.