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Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos pledges to tackle climate change head-on

Amazon boss and world’s richest man unveils ambitious measures to meet climate goals ahead of schedule.

Jeff Bezos pledges to meet climate goals ahead of schedule

Multinational technology company Amazon has just announced that it plans to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. Thursday morning, CEO Jeff Bezos pledged that Amazon will measure and report emissions on a regular basis, work to further cut carbon emissions, and use offsets for any remaining emissions. He said that the company would move to 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian—a Michigan-based company that Amazon invested in this year—among other measures. “We want to use our scale and our scope to lead the way,” Bezos declared at a press conference.“We have to do it.”

The company seeks to become carbon neutral by 2040, helped by a $100 million reforestation program and the purchase of 100,000 electric delivery vans.
Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon’s Climate Pledge in Washington, DC, on Thursday 25 September The company seeks to become carbon neutral by 2040, helped by a $100 million reforestation program and the purchase of 100,000 electric delivery vans. Source: BenFoxRubin/CNET

Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon’s Climate Pledge

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday announced The Climate Pledge, a plan to make the sprawling e-commerce and tech company carbon neutral by 2040 and reach a goal of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. — reported CNET. Amazon is asking other companies to sign the pledge too.

To reach the carbon-neutral goal, Bezos announced a new $100 million reforestation effort and a new order for 100,000 electric delivery vans to move away from diesel vehicles. Amazon also pledged to power its global infrastructure with 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% by 2030 — up from the 40% renewable energy it uses today.

Bezos said he will reach out to the CEOs of other major companies to join the agreement, saying collaboration is the only way to achieve success since all these businesses’ supply chains are interconnected. 

"We want to be leaders and role models," Bezos said on a small stage in front of a white "The Climate Pledge" banner. "We’ve been in the middle of the herd on this issue. And we want to move to the forefront." 

Source: CNET

Amazon has funded a network of wind and solar farms as part of a long-term goal of powering its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy.
Bezos, the world’s richest person, has promoted his company’s many climate initiatives over the years. Amazon has funded a network of wind and solar farms as part of a long-term goal of powering its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy. Source: Unsplash/DanielEledut

Announcement comes ahead of Global Climate Strike by 1500 Amazon workers

Thursday’s announcement at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, came one day before the start of the Global Climate Strike, in which people will protest for greater action to fight climate change. — reported CNET.

Among those planning to demonstrate Friday are 1,500 Amazon workers organised by the group Amazon Employees For Climate Justice. Both events come just before the UN Climate Action Summit next week.

When asked about that strike, Bezos signaled his support for the demonstrations. "I think it’s totally understandable people are passionate about this issue and, by the way, they should be passionate about this issue," he said. "I’m passionate about this issue."

The employee group said Thursday in a statement: "Amazon’s newly announced ‘Climate Pledge’ is a huge win for Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, and we’re thrilled at what workers [have] been able to achieve in less than a year."

The statement added that more work needs to be done: "Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets to continue the fight for a livable future."

Bezos, the world’s richest person, has promoted his company’s many climate initiatives over the years. Amazon has funded a network of wind and solar farms as part of a long-term goal of powering its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced a new program called Shipment Zero, with a plan to make 50% of all Amazon shipments net zero carbon by 2030, likely by offsetting fossil fuel use with other sustainability efforts. 

To track its progress, the company committed to reporting its total carbon footprint by year’s end. The company has also worked with Hasbro and other companies to create product boxes that can be shipped, reducing the need for additional packaging. 

Source: CNET

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos steps up fight to tackle climate change Amazon chief Jeff Bezos pledged on Thursday (Sept 19) the US technology and retail giant would become carbon neutral by 2040 and encourage other firms to do the same, in a bid to help meet the goals of the Paris climate accord 10 years early. Source: YouTube/ST/Reuters

The Climate Pledge represents Amazon’s most ambitious and far-reaching effort on climate so far.

Companies that join the new pledge will promise to hit net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris climate accord’s 2050 goal.

As part of Amazon’s new efforts, Bezos said his company invested $440 million in Rivian, the Michigan company that will make Amazon’s new fleet of electric vehicles. Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new vans on the road as soon as 2022 and the whole 100,000 fleet operational by 2030.

Amazon isn’t the only tech titan to promote its climate efforts, with Apple, Google and others touting their work to move toward more renewable sources and reduce their carbon footprints. 

Additionally, Amazon’s move follows the "We Are Still In" campaign, in which hundreds of companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Uber and eBay agreed to support the Paris Agreement despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw.

But with greater attention on climate change this year, Amazon has been called on to do more. Hundreds of Amazon workers have already joined the employee climate group. 

As part of Friday’s strike, they’re demanding the company stop donating to politicians and lobbying groups that deny the existence of climate change, restrict its work with oil and gas companies and cut down its carbon emissions to zero by 2030 — notably without using carbon offsets to reach that goal.

Over 1,500 Amazon workers have signed up to walk out of work on Friday to push for more climate action. Separately, the group Microsoft Workers 4 Good said it’ll be joining the demonstrations too.

These protests are part of the broader Global Climate Strike, a student-led movement, held 20–27 September that was sparked by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The demonstrations were held during the United Nations Climate Action Summit on 23 September. 

Source: CNET

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