Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has pledged to make the tech giant carbon neutral and meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement by 2040.
On Thursday, Amazon and Global Optimism announced The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 – ten years before the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.
Two fifths (20%) of the energy Amazon uses currently comes from renewable sources – sources that last for ever. The company is now pledging to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. The company announced the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian – vans are expected to to begin delivering packages to customers in 2021.
In addition, the company said it is committing $100 million to restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands around the world in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue—we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.
“If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon—which delivers more than 10 billion items a year—can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can. I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies, and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge. Large companies signing The Climate Pledge will send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in the products and services the signatories will need to meet their commitments.”
“Bold steps by big companies will make a huge difference in the development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism.
“With this step, Amazon also helps many other companies to accelerate their own decarbonization. If Amazon can set ambitious goals like this and make significant changes at their scale, we think many more companies should be able to do the same and will accept the challenge. We are excited to have others join.”
The announcement comes a day before 1,500 Amazon employees plan to stage a “walkout” protest over the company’s climate policies.
Organizers welcomed the company’s climate-related action, but say it does not go far enough.
Amazon’s Climate Pledge is a huge win for @AMZNforClimate & we’re thrilled at what workers have achieved in under a year. But we know it’s not enough. The Paris Agreement, by itself, won’t get us to a livable world. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets. pic.twitter.com/vTMzGKahTR
— Amazon Employees For Climate Justice (@AMZNforClimate) September 19, 2019
Amazon Employees For Climate Change said in a tweet: “Amazon’s Climate Pledge is a huge win for @AMZNforClimate & we’re thrilled at what workers have achieved in under a year. But we know it’s not enough. The Paris Agreement, by itself, won’t get us to a livable world. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.”