A $100 million initiative to protect our planet

A $100 million initiative to protect our planet

The Bezos Earth Fund launches a Grand Challenge to multiply the impact of climate and nature efforts using modern AI.

Climate change and nature loss are among the most difficult problems facing our planet. Extreme weather events, critical changes to Earth systems, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem collapse pose significant risk to humanity over the next decade. At the same time, the emergence and rapid advancement of artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize our response to the climate crisis, enabling more effective and efficient solutions. Across sectors and industries, some of the biggest problems and opportunities lie at the nexus of climate, AI, and equity; our ability to identify uses of AI to help solve problems — while mitigating risk — may define our future.

Strategic applications of AI can improve our ability to understand and respond to climate change and nature loss, but organizations already addressing the climate crisis may not have access to the resources or expertise needed to take advantage of modern AI solutions. What if more frontline climate and nature organizations were supported to develop ideas for potentially impactful applications of artificial intelligence? The AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge seeks to answer that question.

The AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge is a global $100 million initiative from the Bezos Earth Fund to explore new ideas for multiplying the impact of climate and nature efforts using modern AI. Designed and produced by Luminary Labs, the Grand Challenge will provide funding and resources to help organizations explore how the responsible use of modern AI may supercharge efforts to help protect our planet and our future. Launched this week, the Grand Challenge will unfold over three rounds. The first round will invite proposals in three key focus areas while also embracing visionary wildcard solutions that use AI to protect the planet. Round 1 focus areas include sustainable proteins, power grid optimization, and biodiversity conservation.

The first round of the Grand Challenge will include two phases. Each phase is designed to help potential applicants advance promising ideas from concept to implementation. In Phase 1, the Grand Challenge will offer virtual events and curated resources to support 501(c)(3) organizations and global academic institutions prepare their proposals. (Individuals and organizations interested in participating as collaborators, reviewers, or mentors are invited to complete this interest form.) Eligible applicants are invited to submit Phase 1 proposals by Tuesday, July 30. The first phase will award $50,000 to up to 30 Seed Grantees.

In Phase 2, Seed Grantees will participate in a virtual Innovation Sprint, receiving targeted support and resources from climate, nature, and AI experts as they develop detailed implementation plans. Seed Grantees may receive access to additional resources, including computing infrastructure or relevant datasets. Phase 2 will culminate with the announcement of up to 15 Implementation Grantees; each team will receive up to $2 million to close the gap between concept and viability.

In 2025, the Bezos Earth Fund and its partners will convene Implementation Grantees as well as private-sector and public-sector stakeholders for a summit to collaborate on AI solutions for climate and nature. During the summit, Implementation Grantees may have an opportunity to showcase their solutions, progress, and early findings in front of a live audience. Following Phase 2, Implementation Grantees will bring their solutions to life; during this time, they will test, iterate, and report on the effectiveness of their approaches.

Find out more about the AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge and register for the June 20 virtual information session.