Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to Launch a $2 Billion “Climate Pledge Fund” to Support Green Technologies and Ventures
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) appears to be upscaling its environmental commitments with the imminent launch of a $2 billion “Climate Pledge Fund” meant to invest in green technologies and ventures.
As per the reporting by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon will initially allocate $2 billion to the fund which, in turn, will invest in companies working on environment-friendly technologies across diverse sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, energy, battery storage, etc.
Bear in mind that Amazon has a sizable environment footprint given that it delivers around 10 billion items annually, racking up considerable carbon emissions in the process.
This latest development comes in the wake of a damning Greenpeace report, published in May 2020, that detailed how the three big tech companies – Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amazon – aid oil and gas exploration by providing tailored AI and cloud solutions.
The Greenpeace report – titled “How Tech Companies are Helping Big Oil Profit from Climate Destruction” – noted:
“Contracts between tech firms and oil and gas companies are now found in every phase of the oil and gas production chain and are significantly undermining the climate commitments that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have made.”
As a refresher, Amazon’s AWS currently controls around 33 percent of the global cloud market, followed by Microsoft’s Azure at 18 percent, and then Google at 8 percent. The lucrative nature of the tech sector’s dealings with the oil and gas industry provides an impetus for continued engagement. As an illustration, the Greenpeace report quoted a finding by the consulting firm Accenture that predicts the generation of $425 billion in value for the oil and gas sector by 2025 from the continued use of advanced analytics and modeling. Moreover, BloombergNEF has estimated that the oil sector’s expenditure on cloud computing and advanced analytics will balloon from $2.5 billion in 2020 to $15.7 billion by 2030, an average increase of $1.32 billion per year.
Citing Amazon specifically, the report alleged that the e-commerce giant has linkages to the midstream and downstream phases of oil exploration, pipelines, shipping, and even storage.
Perhaps in cognition of Amazon’s ever-growing carbon footprint, its CEO Jeff Bezos committed to the goal of net-zero carbon emissions demanded by the Paris Climate Accord.
In a sweeping plan unveiled in September 2019, Bezos said that Amazon would become carbon neutral by 2040. Moreover, he promised to regularly publish the quantum of Amazon’s carbon emissions, adopt green technologies and methods, and offset any residual carbon emissions.
While delving into the details, Bezos said that 80 percent of Amazon’s total energy use will be derived from renewable sources by 2024, as opposed to the current renewable contribution of 40 percent.
Finally, Amazon also provided a commitment to purchase 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans, with the first such vans appearing on the road in 2021 and the entire fleet being deployed by 2024. It should be noted though that this commitment was made prior to the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that the ensuing manufacturing and economic retrenchment may result in a delay. Additionally, our readers should note that Amazon is a significant backer of Rivian, having participated in a $700 million funding round back in 2019.