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Amazon's climate pollution is getting way worse - The Verge

Amazon's pollution continues to grow despite its promises to address climate change. The company's carbon footprint is significantly larger since pledging to reach net-zero emissions.

Amazon's greenhouse gas emissions ballooned big time last year despite the company's efforts to sell itself as a leader in climate action. Its carbon dioxide emissions grew an eye-popping 18 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, according to its latest sustainability report.

Amazon generated 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, about as much pollution as 180 gas-fired power plants might pump out annually. This is the second year in a row that Amazon's climate pollution has grown by double digits since it made a splashy climate pledge and started reporting its emissions publicly in 2019. Comparing that year to 2021, the company's CO2 pollution has actually grown a whopping 40 percent.

Back in 2019, then-CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company planned to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions for its operations by 2040. Unfortunately, that kind of pledge allows companies to get away with some misleading carbon accounting. They can aim to reach “net-zero” emissions or claim to be “carbon-neutral” by purchasing carbon offsets that are supposed to cancel out the impact of their emissions through supposedly eco-friendly projects. That usually involves planting trees, protecting forests, or promoting clean energy. Those offsets, however, typically don't result in real-world reductions in the planet-heating CO2 building up in our atmosphere.

Amazon co-founded an initiative called the “Climate Pledge” in 2019 to recruit other businesses to make similar commitments to reduce CO2 and “neutralize” leftover emissions with “credible” offsets. But a meaningful impact on the climate only comes from a company getting rid of the vast majority of its pollution, if not eliminating all of its emissions.

Amazon isn't setting a good example of that — despite the company's best PR efforts. To take the heat off its growing absolute carbon emissions, Amazon points to a more flattering number in its sustainability report. “The focus should not be solely on a company’s carbon footprint in terms of absolute carbon emissions, but also on whether it’s lowering its carbon intensity,” the report says.

Post ID: c0eaf066-5247-4094-a291-720b9cfa0ff2
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Lima, Lima

Seattle, Washington
Member since Feb 2021

Posted in categories:
Business U.S. World

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