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Amazon invests $2 billion in its clean energy fund

After criticism, the company is working towards more environmentally friendly policies.
Ann Smajstrla
June 23, 2020
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BRETIGNY-SUR-ORGE, FRANCE - APRIL 21: The logo of Amazon is seen on the facade of the company logistics center on April 21, 2020 in Bretigny-sur-Orge, France. The French government has ordered the American e-commerce giant Amazon to take measures at four of its sites in France to better protect employees against Covid-19. This Tuesday, the Versailles Court of Appeal examined the appeal filed by Amazon against a decision requiring it to restrict its activity in France during this period of confinement. Amazon Logistique France has finally decided to close all of its warehouses pending the decision of the Versailles Court of Appeal, which will be made on Friday April 24. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 171,000 lives and infecting over 2.5 million people. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Chesnot via Getty Images

Amazon is committing $2 billion to companies developing clean energy technology with its Climate Pledge Fund, the company announced Tuesday. The fund is one facet of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, which aims to eliminate the company’s net carbon emissions by 2040. While it’s perhaps another step in the right direction, the fund comes after years of criticism for Amazon’s less-than-sterling environmental track record.

The Climate Pledge Fund will invest in companies of all sizes and in multiple industries, including “transportation and logistics; energy generation, storage, and utilization; manufacturing and materials; circular economy; and food and agriculture,” Amazon said in a statement. Amazon hasn’t provided a timeline for selecting beneficiaries or distributing funds.

Amazon’s changes come after more than 3,500 Amazon employees posted an open letter to Jeff Bezos and other company executives last spring calling for a company-wide climate change plan. Among the workers’ demands were a complete end to the use of fossil fuels and that Amazon Web Services end its Oil and Gas initiative.

For its part, Amazon is implementing Earth-friendly changes as part of the Climate Pledge -- albeit late. The company says it intends for its facilities to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, and it’s planning to use electric vehicles for deliveries in 2021. Further, in February Bezos pledged $10 billion of his own money to fight climate change with the Bezos Earth Fund.

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