Project$ to Limit Climate Change are Popping Up

by Diana Gooding on September 28, 2020

Amazon CEO speaks in $$$dollars

Amazon names first recipients of its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund

From an Article by Annie Palmer, CNBC Media, September 17, 2020

>> Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund is investing in five start-ups.
>> One of them is Redwood Materials, the recycling start-up founded by ex-Tesla CTO JB Straubel.
>> The venture capital fund, launched in June, is designed to invest in start-ups developing “sustainable and decarbonizing” technologies.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces the co-founding of The Climate Pledge at the National Press Club on September 19, 2019, in Washington. And, on Thursday Amazon announced the first recipients of this $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund.

The Climate Pledge Fund, launched by Amazon in June, is designed to invest in “sustainable and decarbonizing technologies,” across a number of industries, such as transportation and logistics, energy generation, manufacturing and food and agriculture.

One of the recipients is Redwood Materials, founded by ex-Tesla CTO JB Straubel. Amazon is also investing in four other companies: CarbonCure Technologies, which has developed a technology to consume carbon dioxide in fresh concrete during production; climate technology start-up Pachama; smart motor start-up Turntide Technologies; and Rivian, an electric van start-up Amazon has invested in previously. Amazon also uses Rivian’s electric vans across a portion of its delivery fleet.

Amazon declined to say how much it’s investing in each company, adding that the amounts range from hundreds of thousands in seed and early-stage investments to multimillion dollar investments.

“The Climate Pledge Fund invests in visionary companies whose products and services can empower a low carbon economy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Today, I am excited to announce that we are investing in a group of companies that are channeling their entrepreneurial energy into helping Amazon and other companies reach net zero by 2040 and keep the planet safer for future generations.”

The fund is a part of Amazon’s “Climate Pledge,” which was first unveiled by Bezos last September. As part of the plan, Amazon has committed to be carbon neutral by 2040. It also pledged to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris accord’s goal. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in 2017.

Amazon previously said the $2 billion is an “initial” commitment, signaling that the fund could grow. The company said Thursday it’s looking to get other Climate Pledge signatories involved in the venture capital fund, including Verizon, India-based Infosys and German automaker Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz.

Amazon has faced mounting pressure from employees to address its environmental impact. At Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2019, thousands of employees submitted a proposal asking Bezos to develop a comprehensive climate-change plan and reduce its carbon footprint. The proposal was built on an employee letter published a month earlier that accused Amazon of donating to climate-delaying legislators and urged the company to transition away from fossil fuels.

Since then, Amazon has made several moves to advance its goal of relying on renewable energy. As part of the Climate Pledge, Amazon agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, after it invested $440 million in the company.

In April, Amazon invested $10 million to help conserve or restore forests in the U.S. Northeast. Additionally, Bezos in February pledged $10 billion to launch a new Earth Fund for combating climate change. It will issue grants to climate-oriented scientists and activists and other organizations to “preserve and protect the natural world.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Wildfire September 28, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Amazon cannot spend its way out of responsibility for an enormous carbon footprint. Those electric vans will require huge amounts of resources and fossil fuel power to build; Amazon’s whole business model is based on wasteful consumption.

Evading catastrophic climate change requires massive changes, a complete rejection of the status quo. It will not be profitable.

“Carbon neutral” often means “we keep pumping out the CO2 and other pollutants, but we spend money with some outfit that assures us it’s used to plant trees somewhere, so it evens out.”

But maybe it means indigenous people who have protected and lived with forests for millennia are evicted, the trees are cut and sold, and then a tree plantation is put in, paid for by the offset company. A tree plantation is not a forest; it’s a biological desert …

The way to reduce emissions in the global North is to reduce emissions in the global North. But those intent on business as usual are always seeking shell games and green paint.

Mary Wildfire, Roane County, WV


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