Amazon vows to go carbon neutral 10 years ahead of Paris deadline | News | DW | 19.09.2019
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Amazon vows to go carbon neutral 10 years ahead of Paris deadline

The tech giant has vowed to go carbon neutral by 2040, beating the Paris Agreement by 10 years. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has encouraged other companies to follow suit. The move comes a day ahead of global climate protests.

Online retail giant Amazon on Thursday pledged to go completely carbon neutral by 2040. To this end, Amazon announced plans to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, a start-up in which it has also invested.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos — the richest man in modern history — encouraged other firms to follow suit and help meet the carbon neutrality goals of the Paris climate accord 10 years early. The US announced in 2017 that it would withdraw from the historic agreement, but many states and entities have vowed to follow the commitments.

Amazon delivers 10 billion items a year and has a massive carbon footprint.

"We want to use our scope and our scale to lead the way," Bezos told a news conference in Washington, announcing its "Climate Pledge." 

"We're done being in the middle of the herd on this issue.

"If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon ... can meet the Paris agreement 10 years early, then any company can."

He said other CEOs of global companies had seemed receptive to the idea when he spoke to them.

Read more: Cities key to tackling climate crisis – global climate group

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'Ripple effects'

US non-profit Ceres, which advises companies on sustainability, said Amazon was the first major corporation to announce such an initiative.

"What Amazon has announced today is groundbreaking and potentially game-changing," said Sue Reid, vice president of climate and energy at Ceres. "This will certainly have ripple effects because Amazon is so intertwined with the entire economy."

As part of the pledge, Amazon will use 100% renewable energy by 2030, up from 40% today. It will also invest $100 million (€91 million) to restore forests and wetlands and reconsider political campaign contributions to climate-change deniers.

Greenpeace USA welcomed the pledge, but said Amazon still lags behind firms such as Google, Apple and Facebook in transparency around its renewable projects.

The announcement came a day ahead of massive planned climate protests around the world.

aw/kl (AFP, Reuters)

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