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Amazon’s Corporate Climate Pledge: Too Slow and Not Enough

Without detailed plans and swift and bold action to produce systemic change, these commitments are meaningless

by Valentina Stackl

June 16, 2020

Without detailed plans and swift and bold action to produce systemic change, these commitments are meaningless

In response to the announcement that Verizon, Infosys, and Reckitt Benckiser will sign on to Amazon and Global Optimism’s “Climate Pledge” to be net zero emissions by 2040 [1], Elizabeth Jardim, Greenpeace USA Senior Corporate Campaigner said:

“Amazon’s Climate Pledge raises more questions than it answers about how major companies will successfully decarbonize their operations. Science has shown the next ten years matter the most to slow the climate emergency– 2040 may be too late. 

“We’ve seen a disconnect between Amazon’s environmental goals and its actions in the past, and we continue to see this disconnect in today’s announcement. Amazon cannot credibly commit to achieving the 1.5 degree global temperature rise target while supporting the oil industry with machine learning capabilities to boost production [2].

“For Amazon’s Climate Pledge to be a credible effort we need far more transparency than simply reporting emissions data. We need concrete plans for how companies will transition off fossil fuels in the next decade, as well as commitments to prioritize deep decarbonization pathways over carbon off-setting.

“Presented as being “10 years early”, the Climate Pledge’s 2040 timeline is at best the minimum countries need to achieve to respond to the climate crisis in time, hardly the scale and speed we need to see from multi-billion and trillion dollar corporations. 

“This is another disappointing announcement that shows a major disconnect between what Amazon says and what it does behind closed doors. This month alone, Amazon issued statements in support of Black Lives Matter and announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition technology while maintaining problematic and destructive contracts with police and ICE and retaliating against Black warehouse workers for sounding the alarm on unsafe working conditions during COVID-19.

“The scale of the global climate crisis, the pandemic, and the state of policing in the U.S. calls on companies to go beyond toothless commitments. Without detailed plans and swift and bold action to produce systemic change, these commitments are meaningless.”

[1]https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/verizon-joins-amazon-and-global-optimism-signing-climate-pledge and https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/infosys-joins-climate-pledge-commitment-co-founded-amazon-and

[2] Greenpeace report: Oil in the Cloud: How Tech Companies are Helping Big Oil Profit from Climate Destruction https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/reports/oil-in-the-cloud/

[ENDS]

 

Contact: Valentina Stackl, [email protected], (734) 276 6260

 

Valentina Stackl

By Valentina Stackl

Valentina Stackl is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural communications specialist and storyteller. As Senior Communications Officer, Valentina works on Democracy (including criminalization of protest) and Climate for media, storytelling, and other communications projects.

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