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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon Monday morning announced investments in several new utility-scale wind and solar projects and said it's now Europe's largest corporate renewable power buyer.

The big picture: Look for a burst of corporate clean energy and climate pledges this week as companies hope to show their bona fides alongside this week's White House global climate summit and Earth Day.

Driving the news: Amazon said it is investing in nine new projects in North America and Europe.

  • They include a California project that Amazon's first solar development paired with battery storage. Others include a U.K. offshore wind project and new projects in Spain and Sweden.
  • Amazon said the new developments bring its global renewables portfolio to 206 projects with a generating capacity of 8.5 gigawatts — including 2.5 GW in Europe it calls enough to power over 2 million homes annually.

Why it matters: Companies' renewables procurement is now an important driver of wind and solar development. The tech industry overall has been the largest buyer.

The intrigue: Companies are using the political spotlight on global warming to tout their clean-tech investments and climate pledges.

  • But environmentalists say expanded corporate efforts are not enough — they want Big Tech to stop providing sophisticated computing services tailored to oil companies.
  • JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup last week expanded their sustainable financing pledges through 2030, but activists highlighted their continued work with fossil clients.

Go deeper

Apr 19, 2021 - Technology

States court tech money even as they bash companies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Some of the country's fastest-growing states are publicly attacking the tech industry's business practices on one hand while courting its investment on the other.

Why it matters: Attracting technology companies is a holy grail for economic development because they bring high-paying jobs and prestige to aspiring tech hubs. But that project is now colliding with some state leaders' efforts to rein in tech companies' growing power.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.

John Frank, author of Denver
Apr 19, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado CEOs take lead role on climate activism

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Colorado's corporate leaders are becoming increasingly engaged on political issues — particularly when it comes to climate and the environment.

Why it matters: It reflects a national trend that has seen CEOs of respected brands move into a role as the 4th branch of government, serving both as a spur and a check on politicians.