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Amazon and the climate

Online retail giant Amazon, which delivers more than 10 billion items a year on fuel-guzzling planes, vans and trucks, vowed earlier today to cut the amount of damage it does to the environment and report its greenhouse gas emissions regularly.
The company has been facing pressure from its own employees to do more to combat the climate crisis and rely less on fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, more than 80 advocacy, environmental, faith, student, and labor organizations published an open letter to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, slamming what it called the company’s damaging effects on the climate, workers and local communities.

The letter is part of coordinated actions throughout the country to support youth leading global climate strikes tomorrow. Amazon workers are expected to walk out demanding the company do more to combat the climate crisis and implement a policy for zero emissions by 2030.

Earlier today, Bezos committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. The company ordered 100,000 electric vehicles, which it asserted was the largest order ever for electric delivery vehicles. It also said it would invest $100 million in reforestation projects internationally.

More than 1,500 Amazon employees have pledged to walk off their jobs tomorrow as part of the Global Climate Strike, in which millions of people around the world are expected to protest human-caused global heating and delay and intransigence from many governments.

The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, reported that: Amazon will become the first signatory of the newly formed “Climate Pledge,” a pact announced by company founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. It noted that Amazon employees are walking out tomorrow amid criticism of the company.

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Bezos was speaking at an event in Washington with former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.

She said: “When it comes to climate change, it is critical that national policy as well as corporate decision-making and planning is science-driven.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian has launched a Covering Climate Now initiative, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate emergency.

United Nations secretary general António Guterres yesterday warned that humans were losing the race to prevent the kind of climate catastrophe by 2030 that the intergovernmental panel on climate change warned about last year and which activist Greta Thunberg has been reiterating to the US Congress all week in hearings and addresses.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief, at the event in Washington earlier today.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief, at the event in Washington earlier today. Photograph: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Amazon


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