• In a speech at the Vatican, Jeff Bezos addressed people who ask why he invests “so much into space.”
  • The former Amazon CEO said investing in going to space will benefit the Earth and “protect it.”
  • Bezos was at the Vatican’s ‘Faith & Philanthropy’ summit to receive a philanthropy award.

Jeff Bezos says investing in space will benefit the Earth and help preserve it.

The former Amazon CEO spoke at the Vatican last Friday to receive the Galileo Prophets of Philanthropy Award. In his acceptance speech, he talked about the challenges facing Earth, and his ideas on the short-term and long-term work needed.

“Some people ask me why,” Bezos said. “Why invest so much into space when there are so many problems to be solved on Earth?”

Bezos’s response was that investing in space would lead to preserving the Earth. 

“We go to space not to abandon our home but to protect it,” he said.

Bezos said that energy from the sun can be collected “in almost unlimited amounts,” and can be used with other resources in space “without harming the Earth.”

“Earth is a garden that should be tended,” he said.

Bezos founded aerospace company Blue Origin in 2000. He said in his speech Friday that he was “determined early on to build a path to space,” noting that as a child he watched Star Trek, made models, and turned his “garage into a laboratory for all kinds of contraptions.” Blue Origin’s motto is “For the Benefit of the Earth.”

The goal for Blue Origin, Bezos has previously said, is to make traveling to space cheaper, more frequent, and more accessible. Blue Origin builds, tests, and launches rockets that are reusable. 

In 2018, Bezos said Blue Origin was “the most important work I’m doing,” in an interview with Axel Springer’s CEO Mathias Döpfner. Axel Springer is Insider’s parent company.

“Blue Origin’s long-term goal is to move all polluting industries off Earth,” Bezos said at the Vatican. “That path is long, and we won’t see its end in my lifetime.”

For his part, Bezos said he “would like to do everything I can to build a road to space.”

Bezos also addressed his investments in the planet, pointing to threats of global warming, rising sea levels, and stronger storms.

“In almost all cases, it is the poor and vulnerable who are suffering most from these disasters, while they have done the least to cause them,” Bezos said. 

Bezos founded the Bezos Earth Fund in 2020, which will disburse $10 billion, committed by Bezos, in the current decade to fight climate change and protect nature. He serves as the executive chair of the fund.

In his speech to the Vatican, Bezos said the fund is working on making “50 key transitions” dealing with climate, nature, and development, including the decarbonization of steel and cement, and “empowering Indigenous communities to manage tropical forests.”

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