Bezos commits Amazon to rapidly cut fossil fuels, be carbon neutral by 2040 – Seattle Times

Bezos commits Amazon to rapidly cut fossil fuels, be carbon neutral by 2040 – Seattle Times

Jeff Bezos
Two years ago, Jeff Bezos strapped himself to the top of a wind turbine and smashed a bottle of champagne to signal his company’s commitment to renewable energy, though at the time his declaration lacked the kind of transparency and rigor of corporations that were leading on climate issues.On Thursday, with the world’s attention focused on climate change like never before, Bezos announced what amounts to a wholesale repowering of Amazon, and became the first signatory to one of the world’s most ambitious and rapid corporate decarbonization plans.He said Amazon would be carbon neutral by 2040 — 10 years ahead of the 2050 timeline scientists say is necessary to stave off the worst impacts of global climate change.“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue, ” Bezos said at a Washington, D.C., news conference.The reductions will be an enormous challenge for a company whose main businesses require fleets of trucks, vans and jets, and a global network of energy-hungry data centers – all still steadily growing. Amazon said its 2018 greenhouse-gas emissions totaled 44.4 million metric tons in 2018, the first time it has disclosed its carbon footprint.Bezos outlined huge changes to the way Amazon will ....

A United Nations climate summit begins Monday.Cunningham expected the tenor of the walkout to be decidedly more positive, with a feeling of momentum building, in light of the news.Bezos unveiled a new initiative called “The Climate Pledge, ” asking other companies to join in the effort to transition away from fossil fuels and their associated emissions by 2040. Climate scientists have set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 to preserve a better-than-even chance of holding global average temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius, as called for in the 2015 Paris Agreement.Advertising Bezos said that the predicted impacts of climate change described five years ago were bad enough, “but what’s actually happening is dire.” He noted that Antarctic ice sheets were melting 70% faster than forecast and oceans are warming 40% faster. Companies that take the pledge, a new initiative announced with Global Optimism, led by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, commit to regular measurement and reporting of emissions and business changes to eliminate emissions from their operations, while using what Bezos called “credible” carbon offsets to account for remaining emissions.Throughout Amazon’s announcement is the term “net zero carbon” — indeed, that is its goal. That ....

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