Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his “Climate Pledge” on Thursday, committing the world’s largest Internet company to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement 10 years early.
Bezos’ plans to help tackle climate change by transitioning Amazon to renewable energy and working to make the company carbon-neutral. CNBC reported that Bezos expects 80% of Amazon’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2024, and predicts the company will be zero-emission by 2030.
To make this goal possible, Amazon has committed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from vehicle manufacturer Rivian. Amazon has invested $440 million in Rivian, and will be putting these vans on the road starting in 2021.
Dave Clark, Senior VP of Operations at Amazon, announced the new sustainable fleet in a Tweet on September 19th, calling it the largest order of electric vehicles ever.
In addition to the electric delivery vehicles, Amazon’s Climate Pledge promises that the company will measure and report emissions regularly, and shift its business strategies to reduce emissions overall.
The Pledge also calls for other companies to pledge for zero carbon emissions by 2040, which would help the US meet the Paris Climate Accord’s goal a decade early.
Bezos called Amazon a role model for these changes at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. He reminded the audience that Amazon has a huge infrastructure, so if they can transition to carbon neutrality, other companies can, too. He also announced that Amazon has donated $100 million to The Nature Conservancy for their Right Now Climate Fund. The donation will go toward the restoration and protection of forests and wetlands around the world.
The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from in 2017, seeks to limit global warming and man-made emissions by 2050. The BBC reported last year that in response to a US government report on the potentially devastating effects of climate change, President Trump said, “I don’t believe it.”
Nevertheless, Amazon’s sustainability team does believe the science and has built a new carbon accounting system that can handle data from such a large company. Executives are planning to meet with other large corporations to get them on board, and threatening to pull their campaign contributions from “active climate deniers.” In February, Amazon announced that the company was transitioning to eco-friendly packaging and wind power to make at least half of its shipments carbon neutral by 2030.