Apr 10, 2019

More than 3,500 Amazon employees demand corporate climate change plan

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

More than 3,500 Amazon employees have signed a demand letter to develop a detailed climate plan based on the e-commerce giant's current and future environmental impacts, outlining 6 demands to reduce their collective carbon footprint.

Our thought bubble: The letter, including the criticism of Amazon’s services for oil companies, underscores the complicated relationship between Big Tech and climate change, per Axios' Ben Geman. Tech giants have been some of the biggest players driving the growth in corporate renewable power procurement and making sustainability commitments.

But, but, but: They also have large carbon footprints from powering data centers, manufacturing and, in Amazon’s case, deliveries. And Amazon isn’t the only Big Tech company working with the oil and gas industry.

In late February, ExxonMobil announced a partnership with Microsoft in cloud technology and data aimed at helping boost production in the Permian Basin region. A recent story in Gizmodo, which is cited in the Amazon workers’ letter, delves into services that Google, Amazon and other tech firms provide to oil companies.

The big picture: A glaring difference about this movement, compared to Google's sexual harassment walkout last year, is that Amazon workers posted their names alongside criticisms of the employer, a rarity in the tech industry, the New York Times reports. The post is the largest employee-based call to action on climate change in the tech industry to date.

  • Flashback: In December 2018, only 16 Amazon employee shareholders asked the board of directors for a resolution to address climate change.

Read their requests here.

Amazon's statement:

“Earlier this year, we announced that we will share our company-wide carbon footprint, along with related goals and programs. ... Our dedication to ensuring that our customers understand how we are addressing environmental issues has been unwavering – we look forward to launching more work and sharing more this year. ... We have a long term commitment to powering our global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy.”

Go deeper: Google staff walkout protests sexual harassment

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Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken to the intensive care unit of St. Thomas Hospital in London due to increasingly severe coronavirus symptoms.

The backdrop: Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for what Downing Street called "routine tests" because his condition had not improved ten days after he tested positive for the virus. His condition has since "worsened," according to a statement, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will step into his place "where necessary."

StatementArrow9 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,309,439 — Total deaths: 73,703 — Total recoveries: 273,546Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 352,546 — Total deaths: 10,389 — Total recoveries: 18,953Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor issues executive order to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  4. Public health latest: Asymptomatic children could play important role in coronavirus spread, new data from the CDC shows.
  5. States' latest: West coast states send ventilators to New York and other states experiencing a more immediate need — Data suggests coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. Jobs latest: Unemployment could already be at 13% "and moving higher," per former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Wisconsin governor issues order to delay in-person primary voting until June

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order Monday delaying in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Why it matters: Wisconsin was slated to be the only state to vote on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite having a stay-at-home order in place.