Energy

Climate Activists Continue To Protest After Amazon Signs ‘Climate Pledge’

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  • Amazon employees moved forward with a Friday climate protest after the company announced its “Climate Pledge” on Thursday. 
  • Through the pledge, Amazon agreed to report greenhouse gas emissions, apply decarbonization strategies similar to those of the Paris Agreement and work to achieve decarbonization by 2040.
  • Climate activist group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said the pledge is not enough, and that they will “be in the streets to continue the fight for a livable future.”

Amazon employees took to the streets Friday after the company announced a plan to achieve complete decarbonization by 2040 — a decade before the Paris agreement’s 2050 goal.

The tech giant announced that it signed the “Climate Pledge” in a Thursday press release, just before employees protested Friday in Seattle to protest what they argue is inaction on the company’s part in addressing climate change.

An Amazon spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation the company understands that some of its employees “feel passionately about this issue,” as Amazon does, which is why the tech giant is “doing so much to address climate change,” adding that the company has “been working for years to reach this point” with the pledge.

As the first signatory of the pledge, Amazon has agreed to meet the following requirements: measure and report greenhouse gas emissions, apply decarbonization strategies similar to those of the Paris Agreement to their businesses and achieve decarbonization by 2040.

The company will also invest $100 million in reforestation projects and order 100,000 fully electric vehicles, set to be on the road by 2024  — even though FedEx’s global number of vehicles is around 180,000, according to the FedEx 2018 annual report.

“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue — we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in a statement, according to the press release. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon — which delivers more than 10 billion items a year — can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.”

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Professor Jacopo Buongiorno told the DCNF that he applauds Amazon’s pledge, which he describes as “a great goal and finally some leadership.”

“However, many studies, including a big one I led at MIT between 2016 and 2018, show that … the likelihood of decarbonizing the grid is very low and the cost of decarbonization escalates exponentially,” he continued. “The scenarios with only intermittent renewables imply massive overbuild of solar/wind capacity and associated energy storage capacity to meet demand at any given day and hour of the year, thus driving up the system cost very rapidly.”

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice are demanding more action from the company to address the issue with three demands: Stop supporting politicians and lobbyists who deny climate change, stop working with oil and gas companies and achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 — two decades before the Paris agreement’s 2050 goal.

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The climate activist group, which protested Friday along with other companies, according to CNBC, said in a statement that the pledge is a “huge win” for the tech giant but added that it doesn’t go far enough.

“The Paris Agreement, by itself, won’t get us to a livable world,” the employees wrote. “Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets to continue the fight for a livable future.” (RELATED: MIT Study Finds Nuclear Energy To Be Essential In Reducing Pollution)

Bezos said during his speech introducing the Climate Pledge that he is willing to work with energy companies to make sure they have the best tools possible to transition to clean energy, according to The New York Times.

Former U.N. Climate Change Chief and founding partner of Global Optimism — which helped write the Climate Pledge — Christiana Figueres said in a statement that the pledge will make a “huge difference” in the “development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy.”

“With this step, Amazon also helps many other companies to accelerate their own decarbonization. If Amazon can set ambitious goals like this and make significant changes at their scale, we think many more companies should be able to do the same and will accept the challenge. We are excited to have others join,” Figueres continued.

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