Jeff Bezos Says Amazon Will Hit Climate Accord Target 10 Years Early

The head of e-commerce giant, Amazon says his company will meet the obligations of the Paris Climate Accord ten-years early as part of a recent push toward environmentally-conscious practices.

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos has announced plans for his company to go carbon neutral by 2040 and meet the obligations of the Paris Climate Accord ten years early, according to reports.

Bezos announced a $100-million reforestation initiative, confirmed orders for 100,000 electric delivery vans and said the company’s global infrastructure would be powered by 80% renewable energy by 2024, and 100% by 2030; currently Amazon says it is powered by 40% renewable energy.

Bezos announced the plan while advocating other large organisations to join the environmental movement.

“We want to be leaders and role models… we’ve been in the middle of the herd on this issue, and we want to move to the forefront,” Bezos said, sharing the stage with Christiana Figueres, the United Nation’s former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism.

“This really is now an emergency,” Figueres said. “We have to operate here with rigor and with discipline.”

Employee engagement from Amazon - and now from Microsoft, too - could be the tipping point that really moves companies towards meaningful climate action.”

Just over a week ago, we reported on Amazon employees that were planning their first-ever strike over the company’s inaction on environmental management and climate change. In a statement, the group of Amazon employees said that “Amazon’s newly announced ‘Climate Pledge’ is a huge win for Amazon employees for Climate Justice, and we’re thrilled at what workers have been able to achieve in less than a year.”

Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets to continue to fight for a liveable future,” they said.

When questioned about his employee’s call to strike, Bezos said “I think it’s totally understandable people are passionate about this issue, and by the way, they should be passionate about the issue… I’m passionate about this issue.”

As one of the largest e-commerce operations in existence, Amazon delivers around 10 billion packages each year. Bezos says that if a company of Amazon’s size can make the switch, others can too. The company has committed to reporting on its environmental impact, as it tracks toward its goal of making 50% of Amazon shipments net carbon-zero emissions by 2030, more than likely through offsetting fossil fuel use, combined with sustainable methods, powered by renewable sources. Amazon has collaborated with Hasbro and other companies on innovative new product boxes that are ready for shipment, reducing the use of plastic and cardboard for shipping.

“I am an optimist,” Bezos said. “I’m an optimist of all things… I really do believe that when ingenuity gets involved, when invention gets involved, when people get determined, when their passion comes out, when they make strong goals, that you can invent your way out of any box,” he said while adding that his company will review political donations to ensure Amazon isn’t donating to ‘climate deniers’.

When asked about the Amazon employee strikes, Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director at the Environmental Defense Fund said “we’re already seeing increased pressure on companies from investors and customers, but employee engagement from Amazon - and now from Microsoft, too - could be the tipping point that really moves companies towards meaningful climate action.”

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