THE wealthiest man in the world today is a stingy man. Jeff Bezos, the amazing owner of Amazon, tops the list of world’s richest persons with a net worth of over $130bn.
Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, the most charitable billionaire, has given away a total of $45.5bn of his wealth since 1994 (a lot of which was dedicated to the eradication of malaria in Africa) and created the Giving Pledge project along with Warren Buffet which encourages billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes while alive.
Bezos, on the other hand, had sat on his pile of cash in spite of many walk-outs by staff of the company over his reluctance to give to charity. But the sleeping giant is finally awake.
He has committed to the fight to save Mother Earth by pledging a whopping $10 bn “to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change”.
The fight to limit climate change is a universal one which involves individuals, groups and countries of the world working in concert to ensure the Green House Gases, GHG, do not exceed 1.55 per cent of pre-industrial levels.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, identified the dangers that face all living dwellers of Mother Earth.
It outlined measures that must be collectively pursued to ensure that dramatic rises in ocean levels do not lead to disappearance of coastal lands and the death and homelessness of hundreds of millions of people, along with precious flora and fauna.
Most countries have signed up to the Paris Accord on Climate Change initiated in 2016, and millions of youths, in the wave of Greta Thunberg’s international campaigns, annually stage protests to persuade their governments to do more to avert the disaster which the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, warns is now “within sight”.
The fight to prevent the temperature of the earth from tipping over requires huge sums of money to research into. It is a means by which the objective can be met even in the face of recalcitrance by some powerful leaders.
We welcome Bezos’ gesture, but we believe that those who have benefited much more from the bounties of Mother Earth have an obligation to commit more of their financial resources to this fight.
Nigeria’s biggest climate change headaches is the project to recharge the almost depleted Lake Chad which is responsible for mass poverty, suffering and insurgency there. It will cost over $23bn to transfer water from the Ubangi River in the Congo Basin to refill Lake Chad.
More financial commitment is required to save the earth, and those who have it must remember that if the crisis tips over their wealth would lose all value.