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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.

2 hours ago - World

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.