Why Amazon committed $2 billion to fund clean energy technology
Matt Peterson, a senior Amazon exec, joined the "Axios Re:Cap" podcast to explain the thinking behind the tech and commerce giant's climate venture capital fund, which rolled out its first investments on Thursday.
Why it matters: The fund, $2 billion to start, is beginning to invest on the heels of Amazon's late 2019 pledge to be net-zero emissions by 2040.
The big picture: Peterson, their director of new initiatives, made the case that today's clean tech VC investing isn't akin to the meltdown of a decade ago.
- One reason, he said, is that it will help Amazon and other companies obtain new tech to fulfill emissions pledges.
- “The way we are approaching this is from a demand perspective, not a supply perspective. We are asking ourselves, what does Amazon need as a company to decarbonize, then we are finding companies that produce those products,” Peterson said.
- “We’re coming at it from the standpoint of, we will be a customer of this technology today if we can find the right company, and I think that’s a much more sustainable way to invest."
The intrigue: He said one kind of important tech they will be decarbonized aviation. "That is one of our biggest challenges, and there is really nothing out there today that can address that," Peterson said.
- Electrified jets that could meet the needs of their operations are likely decades away, he said.