Amazon is putting two billion dollars in a climate fund that the retailer plans to use for investing in 'clean' technologies. In doing so, the e-commerce giant wants to offset its huge ecological footprint, which appears difficult to reduce.
Objective: climate neutrality by 2040
Amazon plans to invest the two billion dollars (just under two billion euros) in companies that develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the MIT Technology Review reports. The e-commerce giant is under pressure as more and more people and organisations are calling for more aggressive measures to combat climate change, but it is struggling to reduce its own carbon emissions.
Last September, hundreds of employees walked out of the company's offices to take part in the global climate strike in preparation for the UN climate summit that was to be held that same month. A few days later, Amazon pledged to reduce its net emissions to zero by 2040, which means it will have to offset emissions from its operations through investments in reforestation or carbon capture, for example.
15 % more emissions
The new fund will therefore focus on start-ups that can help: Amazon wants to invest in a wide range of sectors, including transportation, power generation, energy storage, manufacturing, materials and agriculture. In February, Jeff Bezos had already announced a donation of ten billion donation dollars from his personal fortune to scientists, activists and NGOs fighting climate change.
But much remains to be done: despite the promises, Amazon's greenhouse gas emissions rose by 15 % last year to more than 50 million tonnes. The strategy of offsetting these emissions by planting trees, for example, is also criticised for the uncertainties surrounding its effectiveness and sustainability. And out of an annual turnover of 281 billion dollars, a two billion dollar investment is like a drop in the ocean - which is getting hotter and hotter?