Amazon and Global Optimism — an organisation focused on social and environmental change — announced overnight, The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early.

Amazon is the first company to sign this pledge, which calls on signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 — a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.

“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue — we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive officer.

“If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon — which delivers more than 10 billion items a year — can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can. I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge.

“Large companies signing The Climate Pledge will send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in the products and services the signatories will need to meet their commitments,” Bezos said.

Companies that sign The Climate Pledge agree to the following measures:

  • Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis;
  • Implement decarbonisation strategies inline with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies;
  • Neutralise any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

The idea behind The Climate Pledge is bold steps by big companies agreeing to decarbonise on a faster time horizon will make an enormous difference in stimulating the investment and development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy.

Signing The Climate Pledge was part of a raft of initiatives Bezos announced overnight outlining how his company intends to address climate change. The Amazon chief said he would build on the previously announced $UDS440 million investment in Rivian, a producer of emissions-free electric vehicles, by ordering 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from the car manufacturer.

Amazon said this is the most significant order of electric delivery vehicles, and intends to start using these emissions-free vans to deliver customer packages from 2021, with all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030 — saving 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.

Other new green initiatives announced by Bezos include launching the Right Now Climate Fund, with a $USD100 million investment in reforestation to restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands around the world in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. According to Bezos, the Right Now Climate Fund will help remove millions of metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere over the project’s lifetime, and create economic opportunity for thousands of people.

And finally to help keep tabs on all Amazon’s green investments, the company launched a new sustainability website to report on its commitments, initiatives, and performance. The site includes information on Amazon’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics that share the progress the company is making towards reaching The Climate Pledge.

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