Bezos Earth Fund to Commit $100 Million for AI Solutions to Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON – The Bezos Earth Fund has launched an AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge – under which up to $100 million in grants will be awarded. Its goal is to see how modern AI might help address climate change and nature loss and inspire deeper collaboration between groups on the front line of environmental solutions and leading AI technology providers. Applications open in May 2024.

“Can modern AI help counter climate change and nature loss, and, if so, how? That’s the question we hope to answer,” said Jeff Bezos, Executive Chair of the Fund. Bezos is the founder of and owner of the Washington Post. “By bringing together brilliant minds across fields, we may be able to invent new ways forward.”

In its first round, the Grand Challenge will advance solutions in three focus areas: sustainable proteins, biodiversity conservation, and power grid optimization. It will also include a “Wild Card” category for powerful ideas outside the focus areas. Subsequent rounds will address other priorities. Each round will include two funding opportunities. In the first phase, up to 30 seed grants will be awarded for promising AI ideas addressing the focus areas. Awardees will be announced at a Bezos Earth Fund-TED event during Climate Week NYC in late September. In phase two, these awardees will be eligible to apply for grants up to $2 million to grow their concepts into viable solutions, receiving mentorship, support from technology leaders, and access to computing infrastructure and relevant datasets.

“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,” said Vice Chair Lauren Sánchez, who is Bezos’ girlfriend. “Together, we can innovate and solve these challenges.”

The Bezos Earth Fund invites proposals from practitioners, researchers, and innovators in universities, NGOs, private companies, and global organizations. It is likely that selected proposals will involve partnerships between organizations addressing climate and nature problems, and organizations bringing AI expertise. Proposals from individuals will not be considered.

Bezos Earth Fund President and CEO Dr. Andrew Steer said, “The future is unlikely to be characterized by straight lines and gentle curves, but rather by unexpected changes and tipping points, good or bad. The arrival of AI will potentially help solve very difficult challenges. With this program we hope to make a helpful contribution.”

Learn more about the Grand Challenge and sign up for updates on proposal submissions here.

The Earth Fund was created with $10 billion from Jeff Bezos in 2020 to be disbursed as grants to address climate and nature within the current decade.