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Amazon pledges $2bn investment to fight climate change

Amazon pledges $2bn investment to fight climate change

WASHINGTON: Amazon on Tuesday pledged to invest $2 billion in projects aimed at combating climate change, stepping up efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the tech giant and others.

The Climate Pledge Fund will back efforts by startups and other firms in multiple sectors to “facilitate the transition to a zero carbon economy”, Amazon said in a statement.

The initiative “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 Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

“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 move follows an announcement by Bezos last year that Amazon would accelerate its own efforts to cut its carbon footprint while encouraging others to join his “Climate Pledge” aimed at meeting goals of the Paris accord on climate ahead of schedule.

Since then, the pledge has been joined by other companies including US-based telecom giant Verizon, British consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser and India-based tech giant Infosys.

Amazon has said it is on track to run on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and would become carbon neutral by 2040.

It also will deploy more than 100,000 electric delivery vans to replace gasoline-powered vehicles for its logistic operations. The first will hit the road in 2021, with the fleet to be fully operational in 2030.

The new fund will invest in companies in multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilisation, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture.

Amazon will also seek other investors to add to the fund which is aimed at efforts to “de-carbonise the economy and protect the planet”.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020

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