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Amazon aims to be a carbon zero company by 2040

Amazon has set a new company goal to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement 10 years early. The online shopping giant aims to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Amazon announced its carbon neutral goal at a press conference Thursday morning. Its Climate Pledge calls on other companies to join Amazon in becoming net zero carbon operations. The announcement was made at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. alongside Christiana Figueres, former climate change chief with the United Nations.

Why Jeff Bezos named his space company “Blue Origin”

“As this economy develops and people get serious about being carbon zero through real changes to their real business activities, that is going to be a gigantic signal to the marketplace to start inventing, developing these new technologies that these global companies will need to be able to meet this commitment,” CEO Jeff Bezos said at the press conference. “Amazon is large, but if we get lots of large companies to agree to the same thing, that will be an even stronger signal to the market. Together with the fact that the supply chains are so interconnected, it becomes the only way to do it, and that is with collaboration.”

“The last thing I have to announce is that we are, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, funding something called the Right Now Climate Fund,” he added. “We are funding $100 million to reforestation. Reforestation is a great example of a nature-based solution for removing carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Included in the announcement:

  • Amazon has already purchased 100,000 all-electric delivery vehicles as part of the effort.
  • The company will invest in wind and solar energy to help the company use 80 percent renewable energy by 2024, and 100 percent by 2030.
  • Amazon has a goal of making all shipments net zero carbon by 2030.
  • Amazon packaging will be redesigned to reduce waste.

Bezos has previously expressed environmental concerns, noting that he named his space company “Blue Origin” because “this is the blue planet and this is the planet that we have to save. This is the good planet in our solar system. We’ve sent robotic probes to all the planets now, this is the only good one.”

But Thursday’s announcement signals a major push the company is making toward sustainable goals and addressing climate change. Amazon Web Services already attained 50 percent renewable energy in 2018, The Seattle Times reports.

The Climate Pledge announcement also comes a day ahead of the national Climate Strike in which 1,000 Amazon employees are reportedly planning on taking part by walking out of work. The walkout is meant to compel the company to “demonstrate real climate leadership.” The walkout is organized by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. That group has demanded the company meet a goal of zero emissions by 2030.

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