Sep 19, 2019

Jeff Bezos promises Amazon will hit carbon neutrality 10 years early

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos announced Amazon’s Climate Pledge — to hit the Paris climate accord goal of carbon neutrality in 2040, 10 years early — Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: More than 1,000 Amazon employees in Seattle plan to walk out Friday as part of the Global Climate Strike, CNBC reports. And over 8,200 have signed an open letter to Bezos to lower Amazon's carbon footprint.

  • "We've been in the middle of the herd on this issue, and we want to move to the forefront," Bezos said.

As part of Amazon's plan, Bezos commits to...

  • Speaking with CEOs of other major companies to get them to sign the Climate Pledge.
  • Adding 100,000 electric delivery vehicles to Amazon's fleet by 2024. The cars will be built by Rivian, an EV startup in which Amazon has invested.
  • Regularly measuring and reporting Amazon's emissions.
  • Working with Amazon's suppliers and third-party deliverers to get them to cut their carbon emissions.
  • Getting to 100% renewable energy in Amazon's facilities and operations by 2030.

The bottom line: "We're going to take a hard look at our own campaign contributions, and if there are any climate deniers in there, we're going to have very carefully at that," Bezos said.

Go deeper: The climate stakes of speedy delivery

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The war on Amazon

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For the last 2 years, Amazon has largely been a subplot in the global backlash against Big Tech, with much of the scrutiny on Facebook, Uber and Google — until now.

Why it matters: Amazon is one of the richest companies in history, and for decades, no amount of bad news has stuck to it. Now, an onslaught of regulatory investigations and critical coverage is putting the behemoth on the defensive.

Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019

Massive companies' green commitments can't save the planet

Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon unveiled sweeping new energy and climate plans yesterday, and hours later, Google announced its biggest renewable power buys ever.

Why it matters: While the announcements by 2 of the world's biggest companies are stark signs that corporate giants are getting more aggressive about climate change, corporate commitments won't change the underlying trend of global carbon emissions on track to bring warming that blows past the Paris Agreement's temperature goals.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

Retail's climate change moment

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As world leaders waffle on policies to head off the extraordinary climate change threat, the retail sector — America’s largest private employer — is moving on its own to cut back its environmental harm.

Why it matters: E-commerce and retail giants pump out emissions and pollution through mass manufacturing, incessant speedy shipping and uncurbed waste. Per one estimate, the fashion industry alone will burn up a quarter of the world's carbon budget by 2050.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019