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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."

Go deeper

Sep 30, 2020 - Podcasts

Palantir co-founder on its mission and controversies

Palantir Technologies today went public at an initial valuation of more than $21 billion, giving investors a chance to buy into one of Silicon Valley's most talked-about tech companies.

Axios Re:Cap dives into Palantir's mission and controversies with company co-founder Joe Lonsdale.

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.

Updated 34 mins ago - Health

Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hawaii became on Thursday the fifth state to confirm the newly discovered Omicron variant after New York announced five new cases earlier in the day.

The latest: In Hawaii, the variant was found in an unvaccinated O'ahu resident with moderate symptoms who had previously been infected with COVID-19, per a state health department statement. The variant has also been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.