Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced he will give away 99 per cent of his Facebook shares over the course of his lifetime to fund a new charity promoting green causes.
His wife Priscilla Chan, who has just had a baby girl, will also donate her shares. The combined value of the couple’s stock currently amounts to £30bn.
The charity, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, will be used to further a number of causes globally including harnessing green energy, curing diseases, reducing poverty and promoting equality.
The release of Facebook shares will be staggered across their lifetime, but they plan to gift up to $1bn annually for the next three years.
In a Facebook post on Zuckerberg’s page, the couple wrote: "We are committed to doing our small part to help create this world for all children.
"We will give 99 per cent of our Facebook shares - currently about $45bn - during our lives to join many others in improving this world for the next generation.
"Thank you to everyone in this community for all your love and support during the pregnancy. You've given us hope that together we can build this world for Max and all children."
Continuing, the couple said they wanted to promote equality and explained how they believe in medical advances and a vision of a world without disease. They believe that the internet is an effective tool to bring global equality to poorer areas of the world without easy access to education and information.
Last year, Facebook announced plans to deliver Internet access to remote corners of the world using a fleet of solar-powered drones.
Zuckerberg has said he will continue to remain in his role as Facebook CEO for "many, many years".
The announcement echoes similar moves from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who is planning to launch a multi-billion dollar clean energy research initiative to support the global efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.