Amazon launches $ 2 billion fund to invest in climate change


TOP LINE

After facing criticism of its environmental record in recent years, Amazon is launching a new $ 2 billion venture capital fund – as part of its “Climate Pledge” announced last September – which will invest in energy clean and other technologies to reduce the impact of climate change. , The Wall Street Journal first reported.

HIGHLIGHTS

Amazon’s carbon footprint increased last year, but on Tuesday, the Seattle-based tech company announcement plans for an internal Climate Pledge Fund that will invest in companies across various industries including transportation, energy, battery storage, manufacturing, food and agriculture.

The fund is part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, which was introduced for the first time by CEO Jeff Bezos last September, with the goal of bringing the company to “net zero” carbon emissions by 2040.

As part of this promise, the company also hopes to meet the carbon reduction targets of the Paris Climate Agreement by 2040, ten years ahead; President Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2017.

Amazon noted While its net sales increased by 22% in 2019, its total carbon footprint increased by 15% during the same period.

The new Climate Pledge Fund “will support the development of sustainable and carbon-free technologies” by investing in “visionary companies whose products and solutions will facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Amazon said in a statement. declaration.

Amazon described the fund’s $ 2 billion as “seed” funding that could grow over time, although the company did not provide details over a time horizon for investments.

The company also announcement On Tuesday, it expects to be running on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of schedule (the Climate Pledge said it will do so by 2030).

Crucial quote

“Businesses around the world of all sizes and at all stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to established companies,” Bezos said in a statement. declaration. “Each potential investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations. “

Key context

Amazon and Bezos have been the subject of criticism in the past regarding sustainability and climate change policies. Amazon, which delivers more than a billion packages a year, has subsequently been criticized for its large carbon footprint. Last year, the company faced increasing pressure from its employees, thousands of whom submitted a proposal asking Bezos to develop a comprehensive plan on climate change. Since then, the company has stepped up its efforts: in February, for example, Bezos pledged $ 10 billion—almost 10% of his own wealth at the time, towards a new “Earth Fund” which will provide grants to scientists and other organizations in the hope of “preserving and protecting” the natural world.

Big figure: $ 165 billion

Bezos is the richest person in the world, with a net value of $ 165.2 billion, according to Forbes. He owns 11% of the capital of Amazon, which he founded in 1994, as well as the company Washington post.

Further reading

We are all affected by The Climate Pledge: net zero carbon by 2040 (Amazon)

Climate Commitment Fund (Amazon)

Bezos Pledges $ 10 Billion, Almost 10% of Net Worth, to Solve Climate Change Problem (Forbes)

Jeff Bezos grows richer by $ 6.4 billion as Amazon stock hits new record (Forbes)

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