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article imageAmazon's sweeping plan to reach climate goals 10 years early

By Karen Graham     Sep 19, 2019 in Business
Acknowledging criticism from activists and his own employees, Amazon founder, and CEO Jeff Bezos announced a sweeping new plan called "The Climate Pledge," committing the e-commerce giant to meeting the Paris Climate Pact goals 10 years early.
In a joint press conference with Christiana Figueres, formerly the United Nation’s executive secretary for climate change, Bezos said, “We have been in the middle of the pack on this issue. We want to move to the forefront. We want to be leaders.”
As part of the company's Climate Pledge, Bezos also promised to "measure and report the company’s emissions on a regular basis, implement decarbonization strategies, and alter its business strategies to offset remaining emissions," according to CNBC News.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Mandel NGAN, AFP/File
“We want to use our scale and our scope to lead the way,” Bezos said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “One of the things we know about Amazon as a role model for this is that it’s a difficult challenge for us because we have a deep, large physical infrastructure. So, if we can do this, anyone can do this.”
Amazon will reach a goal of 80 percent renewable energy use by 2024, and 100 percent by 2030, up from 40 percent renewable energy use today. Bezos also announced that to help the company reach its goal, Amazon has placed an order for 100,000 electric vehicles from a startup it has backed, Rivian Automotive Inc. The first Rivian vehicles will arrive in 2021.
The purchase of the Rivian vehicles builds on the company's $700 million investment round in February, which was led by Amazon. Amazon has invested $440 million in Rivian, the announcement said.
As part of Amazon's Climate Pledge, a $100 million donation is being given to the Nature Conservancy to fund the Right Now Climate Fund, a reforestation effort.
Meet the Rivian R1S SUV.
Meet the Rivian R1S SUV.
Rivian
Bezos' announcement comes just one day before over 1,500 Amazon employees are scheduled to walk out of their offices to draw attention to the company’s inaction on climate change. The walkout is part of the worldwide climate strike organized by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg ahead of next week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit.
When asked about the strike, Bezos said, “The global strike tomorrow is totally understandable. People are passionate about this issue. By the way, they should be passionate about this issue. I'm passionate about this issue," reports BNN Bloomberg.
As part of its climate intiative  Amazon will purchase 100 000 electric vehicles for its deliveries ...
As part of its climate intiative, Amazon will purchase 100,000 electric vehicles for its deliveries, the first of which will begin operating in 2021
Eric BARADAT, AFP
Bezos recruited Figueres to co-found the Climate Pledge, which calls on companies to be net carbon neutral by 2040, and he is asking that other companies join in the Climate Pledge. Amazon will also work with other companies in its supply chain to help them meet their climate goals.
Bezos summed up the climate crisis, calling the situation "dire." But he has confidence humanity will prevail. “When invention gets involved, when people get determined, when passion comes out, when they make strong goals, you can invent your way out of any box. That’s what we humans need to do right now," Bezos said.
More about Amazon, jeff bezos, Paris Climate Pact, company activists, The Climate Pledge
 
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