Amazon unveils $2 billion fund to invest in startups building sustainable technology - GeekWire
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announcing the Climate Pledge in September 2019. (Amazon Photo)

Amazon on Tuesday launched The Climate Pledge Fund, a new venture capital investment program that will funnel an initial $2 billion into startups building sustainable technologies across various industries such as transportation, food, manufacturing, and more.

The fund is part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge announced by the tech giant last year as the company promised to become net carbon neutral by 2040.

“The Climate Pledge Fund 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,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “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 Climate Pledge aims to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change 10 years ahead of schedule.

Amazon’s announcement last year came amid public pressure from the group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, which urged the company to set more specific goals on climate change. Bezos said in announcing the pledge that the company was “done being in the middle of the herd on this issue.”

Amazon today also released its 2019 sustainability report and said it would run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its previous goal.

Earlier this month telecom giant Verizon, tech powerhouse Infosys, and Lysol and Calgon parent Reckitt Benckiser (RB) became the first global companies to join Amazon in the Climate Pledge.

Amazon said it will look to involve “other Climate Pledge signatories” for the fund’s investments.

This past April Amazon launched a $10 million grant program designed to help family forest owners conserve their land and participate in carbon credit markets. It was the first donation from Amazon’s $100 million Right Now Climate Fund, part of the Climate Pledge initiative.

The company previously led a $700 million investment round in electric car company Rivian.

Amazon has 91 renewable energy projects worldwide.

Bezos in February launched his own $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund that will issue grants aimed at addressing climate change. He has not released further details on where the money will go.

Amazon’s other venture investment programs include the $200 million Alexa Fund.

In January, Microsoft announced that it intends be carbon negative by 2030, removing more carbon from the environment than it emits each year, and said it plans to remove enough carbon by 2050 to make up for all of its emissions and electrical consumption since its founding 45 years ago.

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