Global retail giant Amazon has pledged US$2 billion for a new Climate Pledge Fund to foster sustainable technologies and services that will enable it to achieve net zero carbon by 2040.
The US-headquartered company says it will “back visionary companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero-carbon economy”.
Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says the fund will accept applications for grants from companies of any size worldwide, 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,” he said in a statement.
Companies operating in industries including transportation and logistics, energy, manufacturing, the circular economy and food will be eligible.
The Climate Pledge was founded by Amazon in partnership with Global Optimism last year with a commitment to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement 10 years early – by 2040. Other companies have since signed on to the pledge, including consumer-goods company Reckitt Benckiser, tech giant Infosys and US telco Verizon.
Bezos said the commitments by companies of that size send an important signal to the market that there will be rapid growth in demand for products and services that help reduce carbon emissions.
Amazon has already invested in a company called Rivian, ordering 100,000 electric-powered delivery vans as a step towards reducing its carbon footprint.
“Amazon has demonstrated its leadership in adopting low carbon technologies at scale,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. “We’re excited about a future of decarbonised delivery services.”
The e-commerce company says it expects to run on 100-per-cent renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original target date.
It has also invested in nature-based solutions and reforestation projects around the world from its $100 million Right Now Climate Fund.