Jun 23, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Amazon's big new $2 billion climate VC fund

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Amazon is creating a $2 billion venture fund that will stake companies working on climate-friendly technologies in transportation, storage, food, power generation, waste and more, the tech giant said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The new fund will help Amazon and other companies meet the "climate pledge" that Amazon announced last year to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

  • Verizon, Infosys, and consumer goods heavyweight Reckitt Benckiser joined the pledge last week, and Amazon said this morning it will look to involve pledge signatories in the venture effort.

How it works: "Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises," Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

What's next: Amazon opened the initial application process this morning, setting up a page to accept "indications of interest." But, as the Wall Street Journal notes, Amazon didn't provide a timeline for distributing what it called the "initial" $2 billion.

The big picture: It's part of a growing move by tech giants into funding climate-friendly companies and technologies — even as they remain under fire over their business deals with oil companies.

Flashback: Microsoft, when it rolled out its January pledge to become "carbon negative" by 2030, said it was creating a $1 billion fund to "accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies."

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