Amazon is Launching a $2 Billion Venture Capital Fund to Invest in Clean Energy

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Amazon is launching this venture-capital fund to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Amazon.com Inc. is launching a $2 billion internal venture-capital fund that will focus on tech investments that mitigate the effects of climate change, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is the latest move from Amazon to address growing criticism of its carbon footprint. The fund will be called the Climate Pledge Fund with the mission of investing in companies across different industries that are committed to reducing climate impacts. This move will help Amazon reach its goal of "net-zero" carbon emissions by 2040.

“Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises,” Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said. “Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”

There is not a definite timeline for the $2 billion but was described as the initial funding that could grow over time. In 2019, venture capital and private-equity investments in clean energy grew to $10.5 billion, increasing 6 percent from the previous year.

Amazon has faced growing criticism in recent years for its effects on climate change. The company delivers millions of cardboard packages to customers each year. Last year, a group called the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice wrote a letter urging the company to switch to renewable energy sources.

Last year, Amazon co-founded an initiative called "The Climate Pledge," which follows guidelines and goals derived from the Paris Climate Agreement. The Climat Pledge Fund will “support the development of sustainable and decarbonizing technologies and services that will enable Amazon and other companies to meet The Climate Pledge.”

Last year, Amazon also led a $700 million financing round for electric-vehicle startup Rivian. Not long after, Amazon committed to purchasing 100,000 electric vehicles that are expected to be on roads in 2021. The company also expects its facilities to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2025. Bezos also pledged $10 billion of his personal capital to start the Bezos Earth Fund.

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