Amazon Announces $2 Billion Fund To Invest In Climate Change Mitigation

Daniel Fowler
June 25, 2020

The e-Retailer giant has launched a US$2 billion venture which is meant to fund the companies which are developing ways of cutting greenhouse gas emissions which makes Amazon one of the latest corporate effort allocating a large sum of resources to combat climate change.

"Bezos said the fund would look to invest in visionary entrepreneurs and innovators".

The dedicated fund will build on Amazon's previous investment in a number of clean tech ventures, including electric truck specialist Rivian, which is in the process of delivering thousands of new zero emission delivery vehicles to the tech giant.

Amazon also pledged to meet the standards established under the Paris climate agreement by 2040, a full ten years ahead of the Paris accord's timeline.

The company timed the announcements to coincide with the release of an annual sustainability report, the first since Amazon disclosed its carbon footprint and set out its sustainability goals in September.

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Emissions did grow more slowly than net sales, which increased 22% past year from 2018, but the increase illustrates the challenge the company faces in its quest to go carbon neutral. "Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations". The fund would invest in companies and several industries such as energy generation; storage & utilization, transportation & logistics, manufacturing & materials, food & agriculture, and circular economy.

Bezos said the commitments by companies of that size send an important signal to the market that there will be rapid growth in demand for products and services that help reduce carbon emissions. "We're excited about a future of decarbonized delivery services".

Amazon made two investments from its $100 million Right Now Climate Fund in nature-based solutions and reforestation projects around the world, including a reforestation project in the Appalachians in the USA and an urban greening initiative in Berlin, Germany.

Amazon disclosed its carbon footprint for the first time past year after employees pressured the company to do more to combat climate change. Delivery on this scale inevitably leaves behind a hefty carbon footprint, something Amazon has frequently been criticised for. While the company's overall emissions are up from 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e) two years ago to 51.2 MMT CO2e last year, the report said that its "carbon intensity metric" - a measure of pollution per dollar earned - had decreased.

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