What just happened? Amazon became the first company to sign The Climate Pledge, promising to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, implement decarbonization strategies and neutralize any remaining emissions to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said they are done being in the middle of the pack with regard to this issue. "We've decided to use our size and scale to make a difference," he added.
Bezos promised that Amazon will reach 80 percent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 percent by 2030 en route to being net zero carbon by 2040.
To help achieve its goal, Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from automaker Rivian. The e-commerce giant said 10,000 of the new electric vehicles will be on the road making deliveries by 2022 with the entire fleet scheduled to be in commission by 2030. Amazon expects the vehicles to collectively save four million metric tons of carbon.
Amazon is also investing $100 million into the Right Now Climate Fund, a reforestation effort in partnership with The Nature Conservancy that aims to protect forests, wetlands and peatlands around the globe.
Sally Jewell, interim CEO of The Nature Conservancy, said "healthy forests, grasslands, and wetlands are some of the most effective tools we have to address climate change---but we must act now to take natural climate solutions to scale."
Bezos said he has been talking with CEOs of other large companies and is finding a lot of interest. "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."