Amazon launches US$2bn climate venture investment program

USA – Global retail and e-commerce giant, Amazon has launched ‘The Climate Pledge Fund’ to support the development of sustainable technologies and services that will enable the retailer and other companies to meet The Climate Pledge – a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040.

Amazon said that the dedicated venture investment program – with an initial US$2 billion in funding – will back visionary companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

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Last year, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement ten years early and be net zero carbon by 2040. The initiative has also attracted other multinational companies to accelerate global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

With the new Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon said that it will accelerate investment in innovations for the zero carbon economy of the future.

“The Climate Pledge Fund will look to invest in the visionary entrepreneurs and innovators who are building products and services to help companies reduce their carbon impact and operate more sustainably,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO.

“Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises. Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”

The retail giant explained that the venture investment program will invest in companies in multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture.

Over time, the company added that it will also look for opportunities to involve other Climate Pledge signatories in the venture investment program.

Amazon has also released its 2019 sustainability report and an update on the company’s sustainability goals and programs, including reinforcing its commitment to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the initial schedule.

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As part of The Climate Pledge, Amazon had previously committed to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030.

To date, the company said that it has invested in 91 renewable energy projects around the globe. Together, the e-commerce firm said that these projects totaling over 2,900 MW of capacity will deliver more than 7.6 million MWh of renewable energy annually, enough to power 680,000 U.S. homes.

Amazon has also made two investments from its US$100 million Right Now Climate Fund in nature-based solutions and reforestation projects around the world, including a reforestation project in the Appalachians in the US and an urban greening initiative in Berlin, Germany.

Over the last five years, Amazon has also reduced the weight of outbound packaging by 33% and eliminated more than 880,000 tons of packaging material, the equivalent of 1.5 billion shipping boxes.

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