Etsy is offsetting all of its carbon dioxide emissions from shipping at an annual cost of less than $1 million, the company is announcing today.

The big picture: The e-commerce company is the latest in corporate America to ramp up action on climate change in response to the public’s growing awareness on the issue and President Trump’s dismissal of it.

The details: The company is investing in clean-energy and environmental restoration with three projects around the world that it says offsets (compensates for) its shipping emissions.

  1. Preserving a forest in Minnesota
  2. Subsidizing wind and solar energy in India
  3. Subsidizing the use of cleaner, alternative chemicals in the auto industry
“The initial thinking was that we would create an option at checkout that allows buyers to choose to offset the cost of shipping a package. When I saw it was less than a penny per package, why on Earth would we add a checkbox, why don’t we just do it.”
— Josh Silverman, Etsy CEO in Axios interview

But, but, but: The effectiveness of this type of policy, called carbon offsetting, is disputed for a few reasons. Whether the aforementioned projects are reliant on the related investment or would have happened otherwise is up for debate, though Silverman says his company is ensuring they fit the bill for genuine offsets.

  • “We don’t have 20 years. We need to move now,” said Silverman, arguing that implementing an offsetting policy is quicker than trying to reduce its supply chain emissions, which it doesn’t directly control.

What’s next: Etsy, which already has a 100% renewable-electricity goal it’s expected to meet by 2020, is offsetting the entire U.S. package-shipping industry’s emissions Thursday, at a cost Silverman says is less than $100,000, to raise awareness on the issue.

Go deeper: Taking a different route, Amazon announced earlier this month its plans to make half of all its shipments carbon-neutral within 11 years by urging suppliers to make greener packaging and investing in renewable energy, per the AP.

Go deeper

Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement Monday that police were launching a "full investigation" to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of the incident with police.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Tropical Storm Zeta nears

Municipality workers clean the streets of garbage in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday that was left by Zeta, which struck the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 Hurricane a day earlier — causing no major damage to infrastructure. Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and bring dangerous storm surge conditions to parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.

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