Ironically, space traveller Jeff Bezos says world should ‘reduce our carbon footprint’

CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos delivers his message during a session on Action on Forests and Land Use, during the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (Paul Ellis/Pool Photo via AP)
Jeff Bezos delivers his message during a session on Action on Forests and Land Use at COP26 (Credits: AP)

Jeff Bezos has spoken to delegates at the COP26 climate change conference about how his recent trip to space gave him a new perspective.

The billionaire founder of Amazon said going to space let him see ‘how thin the globe’s atmosphere is’.

He urged the world to ‘reduce our carbon foorprint’ during a lecture to the world’s leaders at COP26 today.

Seemingly, he was unaware of the irony of travelling to the climate conference on a carbon-emitting private Gulfstream jet. Or, you know, spewing out tonnes of CO2 launching himself into space aboard a private rocket ship. Which is something even Prince William has taken issue with.

Bezos said: ‘I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you see the world. But I was not prepared for how much that would be true.

‘Looking back at earth from up there, the atmosphere seems so thin. The world so finite and so fragile. Now in this critical year, and what we all know is a decisive decade, we must all stand together to protect our world.’

epa09355036 A handout photo made available by Blue Origin shows Jeff Bezos (R) reacting inside the capsule after Blue Origin New Shepard with Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen returned to earth following a trip to space after lift off from Launch Site One, Texas, USA, 20 July 2021. EPA/BLUE ORIGIN / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
Jeff Bezos went up to space with his company Blue Origin earlier this year (Credits: EPA)

To be fair to Bezos, he did pledge to give $2 billion (£1.47 billion) for land restoration in Africa through his Bezos Earth Fund climate organisation.

Bezos had previously indicated the investment would be $1 billion (£732 million) at an event with the Prince of Wales on Monday which focused on the Great Green Wall initiative to plant more than 20 million trees across Africa to counter desertification on the continent.

On Tuesday, speaking at an event on protecting and restoring forests and land, Mr Bezos said: ‘We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we’ve lost and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations to come.’

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (L) leaves the stage with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) following an Action on Forests and Land Use event on day three of COP26 at SECC on November 2, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 2021 sees the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference. The conference will run from 31 October for two weeks, finishing on 12 November. It was meant to take place in 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images)
Jeff Bezos was on stage with Boris Johnson at the conference in Glasgow (Getty)

‘Two-thirds of the land in Africa is degraded, but this can be reversed.

‘Restoration can improve soil fertility, raise yields and improve food security, make water more reliable, create jobs and boost economic growth, while also sequestering carbon.’

His contribution is part of £5.3 billion in private investment and public funding worth £8.75 billion backing a declaration by 110 nations – covering 85% of the world’s forests – to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

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