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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos David Ryder/Getty Images
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon to Start $2 Billion Fund to Back Climate Technologies

The fund will bet on a broad range of industries, from transportation and manufacturing to energy generation and agriculture.

Matt Day and Candy Cheng (Bloomberg) -- Inc. is investing $2 billion on “sustainable and decarbonizing technologies” in an effort to eliminate its carbon footprint.

The fund, which will be run by the company’s corporate development group, aided by Amazon’s internal sustainability team, will have a mandate to back technologies being developed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for a warming planet. The Climate Pledge Fund plans to make bets in a broad range of industries, from transportation and manufacturing to energy generation and agriculture, Amazon said in a statement Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, under pressure from employee and outside activists, last year unveiled a Climate Pledge committing his company to meet the goals of the landmark Paris climate agreement 10 years early.

On Tuesday, Amazon also announced a more aggressive schedule to power its operations with renewable energy sources -- moving forward the deadline by five years to 2025. The company retained its original commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Microsoft Corp., Amazon’s Seattle-area neighbor, in January announced its own $1 billion climate fund. It will invest in technology to remove or reduce carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, part of an effort to erase the company’s cumulative impact since its 1975 founding. The cloud-computing rivals have put public pressure on each other to fight climate change even as their employees push them to do more.

The company timed the announcements to coincide with the release of an annual sustainability report, the first since Amazon disclosed its carbon footprint and set out its sustainability goals in September.

Amazon last week announced the first signatories to what it calls the Climate Pledge, an open invitation for other companies to match Amazon’s ambitions to eliminate or offset their carbon emissions by 2040.

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