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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Hundreds of Amazon workers are pushing the company to adopt tougher policies to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Why it matters: The employees are putting their names to their comments, posted on Medium, and the move defies Amazon's corporate policy.

The big picture: Employee activism at tech companies is on the rise, both at companies known for openness, like Google, as well as at companies that don't have a long tradition of worker action, like Amazon.

  • Many of the workers are calling on Amazon’s AWS unit to stop doing business with oil and gas companies. Increasingly those concerned with climate change have been pressuring not only oil and gas companies but those companies’ partners and suppliers.
  • Microsoft, for example, was praised for its announcement earlier this month that it was working to become carbon negative, but critics pointed out that its Azure Web Services unit was still doing business with oil and gas companies.

What they're saying:

  • Michael Sokolov, Amazon principal engineer: "Expecting its employees to maintain silence on these issues, and Amazon’s impact on them, is really a reprehensible overreach, and I am proud to take this opportunity to demonstrate my unwillingness to comply."
  • Amelia Graham-McCann, Amazon senior business analyst: “The science on climate change is clear. It is unconscionable for Amazon to continue helping the oil and gas industry extract fossil fuels while trying to silence employees who speak out.”
  • Jacob Hinton, Amazon software engineer: "Contributing to climate change, supporting ICE, and brutal labor conditions in the warehouses are great for the bottom line but awful for society."

Amazon's response, from a company spokesperson: "We founded the Climate Pledge, committing to net zero carbon by 2040, which is 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. We plan to be using 100% renewable energy by 2030, and we have thousands of people working on sustainability initiatives across the company."

What's next: Amazon says, "We do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems.”

Go deeper

12 mins ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.