Amazon workers to strike over company's climate change inaction

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Reports of strikes by Amazon warehouse workers, especially on Prime Day, are common, but this will mark the first time in the company’s history that employees from its Seattle headquarters are walking out.

The protest is scheduled to begin at 11:30 am Pacific time on September 20 and is part of a general strike taking place ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23rd. That protest is being led by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg.

“It’s incredibly important that we show up and support the youth who are organizing this kind of thing, because I think it’s really important to show them, hey, you have allies in tech,” Weston Fribley, a software engineer who has worked at Amazon for over four years, told Wired.

According to Vice, Amazon strikers will be joined by Microsoft workers in Seattle, and Google employees could also join.

Amazon Employees For Climate Justice, which is organizing the strike, shared its three demands in a Medium post. It wants Amazon to become a zero-emissions company by 2030, end its partnerships with oil and gas companies, and stop giving money to lobbyists and politicians who deny climate change is real.

Earlier this year, over 4,000 Amazon employees co-signed an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos and the company's board of directors asking them to adopt a company-wide, comprehensive climate plan, which involves completely transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Amazon says it has numerous initiatives in place to counter its impact on the environment. “Playing a significant role in helping to reduce the sources of human-induced climate change is an important commitment for Amazon. We have dedicated sustainability teams who have been working for years on initiatives to reduce our environmental impact," the company said, in a statement.

Permalink to story.

 
By 2030? Some say highly optimistic goal.... when in reality it's probably already too late anyways.
Incorrect. There is actually plenty of time to stop man contributed climate change after 2030 without zero emissions according to estimates and projections.

Several developed countries set 2050 as a goal for zero or significantly reduced emissions....which is far more realistic. Many countries have a target of carbon "peak" (no longer increasing carbon emissions) of around 2030 (eg. China) or large reductions from current or earlier levels (eg. EU countries).

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/16/uk/net-zero-emission-target-gbr-intl/index.html

"The EU’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, under its wider 2030 climate and energy framework."

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris_en

Zero emissions by 2030 is completely unrealistic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trillionsin

Trillionsin

TS Evangelist
Incorrect. There is actually plenty of time to stop man contributed climate change after 2030 without zero emissions according to estimates and projections.

Several developed countries set 2050 as a goal for zero or significantly reduced emissions....which is far more realistic. Many countries have a target of carbon "peak" (no longer increasing carbon emissions) of around 2030 (eg. China) or large reductions from current or earlier levels (eg. EU countries).

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/16/uk/net-zero-emission-target-gbr-intl/index.html

"The EU’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, under its wider 2030 climate and energy framework."

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris_en

Zero emissions by 2030 is completely unrealistic.
I had only said "probably" I have no sources, I was just upset. Good reply though!
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Zero emissions by 2030? They want a company to do that within a decade?
I wonder how many of them are willing to sacrifice a decent chunk of their salary to achieve such a highly optimistic goal.
No liberal thinking there, in fact there have been several companies that have achieved that although not on that scale. Still, with the amount of cash on hand, Amazon could easily make the investment and get it done; but there is one fly in the ointment. Many utility companies have been successful in lobbying for payments to allow a client to "go green". Legality of this is still being hammered out in the courts, but if the utilities continue to get their way the payoff could be decades away, thus making the imitative unprofitable. But, let's not forget the reasoning behind this has nothing to do with profits or loss, it's all about decreasing carbon emissions, etc, etc.

Never fear, once the investigations of Google are completed, Amazon could well be the next target. Their anti-competitive practices are well known and depending upon the courts, that little nest egg of theirs could be leaving sooner rather than later.
 
No liberal thinking there,
I think you're trying to quote someone else as the person below me said something about liberals.
in fact there have been several companies that have achieved that although not on that scale..
Which large companies have achieved zero emissions? Amazon is also a company that relies on deliveries of products and providing web and IT services, powered by thousands of servers and computing clusters...so they seem to be far more energy hungry than say, a company providing legal services.
Still, with the amount of cash on hand, Amazon could easily make the investment and get it done; but there is one fly in the ointment. Many utility companies have been successful in lobbying for payments to allow a client to "go green". Legality of this is still being hammered out in the courts, but if the utilities continue to get their way the payoff could be decades away, thus making the imitative unprofitable. But, let's not forget the reasoning behind this has nothing to do with profits or loss, it's all about decreasing carbon emissions, etc, etc.
Amazon currently has a target of 50% carbon neutrality for its shipping sector by 2030...this is roughly comparable with the EU's plans to cut their carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. That is realistic and in line with Paris Accord goals.
Zero emissions by 2030? No, I don't think it would be "easy" for them and nor does it seem realistic.
Amazon made a small profit for most of its first 15 years of existence and even suffered losses for several years. Around 2016, it started consistently generating profits of over 1 billion per year. Amazon's best year was 2018, where it made around 10-11 billion in profit. Amazon's revenue is about 230 billion a year and their accumulated cash over the decade is about 40 billion. 40 billion is a lot, but I doubt it is enough to make any zero emissions investments "easy."

For comparison, the UK's government has proposed a zero emissions plan by 2050, which is projected to cost about 50-70 billion pounds a year....so close to 2 trillion pounds. The UK government budget is around 750 billion pounds, so it would be spending almost 9-10% of its yearly revenue.

This is just a hypothetical, but if Amazon has to spend 10% of its yearly revenue (23 billion) for a year for a 2050 target (let alone a 2030 target where it would have to spend a much greater percent of its revenue) then that spending would exceed its best year's yearly profits by 10 billion.

Never fear, once the investigations of Google are completed, Amazon could well be the next target. Their anti-competitive practices are well known and depending upon the courts, that little nest egg of theirs could be leaving sooner rather than later.
It's great that these investigations are happening. Won't do much about renewable energy or climate change though.
 
I don’t give a hoot about the environment, minimum wages, or child labor laws.....just get me my friggin’ package delivered tomorrow by 9pm.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
You'd think people wearing diapers to work so they don't get fired for using the bathroom would have been the tipping point. To much fake junk on Amazon. Fake pics, fake reviews, fast delivery!. Oh I have to drop it off to return it? mm I guess I'll just lose $10, Amazons new business model.
 

mbk34

TS Member
It would be nice if these companies became responsible for the packaging they put their products in. How many of us have received a USB memory stick in a small box that's then placed inside a huge box, that's then filled with plastic bubble filler, then wrapped again in a protective envelope. At the moment this all goes in the bin. If the companies had to accept their old packaging back and reuse it then we'd have some progress.
 

sac39507

TS Maniac
So there are 900 non meat eating, non gasoline driving, non travel flying employees at Amazon? Shouldn't the cost of ribeyes, v-8 muscle cars, and travel packages be dropping in price like crazy? Something doesn't add up Bernie Sanders.

Amazon can start the 0 emissions initiative by getting rid of 900 employees that fart too much
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Seraphim401