SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS | Amazon’s Bezos Pledges $10 Billion To Climate Change Fight

MILAN | ITALY – – Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofit and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday.

Cutting emissions will be challenging for Amazon. The e-commerce company delivers 10 billion items a year, has  a massive transportation and data center footprint, and has faced criticism from within its own workforce.

Bezos, the world’s richest man, is among a growing list of billionaires to dedicate substantial funds to battling the impact of global warming.

‘Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet’, Bezos said in an Instagram post. ‘I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share’.

The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative.

‘It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals’, Bezos said.

Counteracting climate change has become a popular cause for U.S. billionaires in recent years, with Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer counted among the world’s wealthiest environmental philanthropists. Last year, Bezos pledged to make online retailer Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040 – the first major corporation to announce such a goal – and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from U.S. vehicle design and manufacturing startup Rivian Automotive LLC.

Bezos also said at the time that Amazon would meet the goals of the Paris climate accord 10 years ahead of the accord’s schedule and invest $100 million to restore forests and wetlands.

Amazon has faces protests by environmental activists and pressure from its employees to take action on climate change.

Amazon workers were among hundreds of employees of big technology companies to join climate-change marches in San Francisco and Seattle late last year, saying their employers had been too slow to tackle global warming and needed to take more drastic action.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, an activist workers group, welcomed the Bezos Earth Fund announcement, but said it did not make up for the company’s consumption of fossil fuel and other activities that contribute to climate change.

‘We applaud Jeff Bezos’ philanthropy, but one hand cannot give what the other is taking away’, the group said on Twitter.


SPORTS | UEFA Suspends Champions League ‘Until Further Notice’

BUCHAREST | UEFA bowed to the inevitable on Wednesday and suspended all Champions League and European League matches ‘until further notice’ due to the coronavirus pandemic. European soccer’s governing body also said all national team games scheduled for June have been postponed, including playoff matches for Euro 2020, which has been moved to 2021. The … Continue reading SPORTS | UEFA Suspends Champions League ‘Until Further Notice’

WORLD NEWS | New York Deaths Double In 3 Days, With Worst To Come

NEW YORK  – New York authorities rushed to bring in an army of medical volunteers Wednesday as the statewide death toll from the coronavirus doubled in three days to more than 1,900 and the wail of ambulances in the otherwise eerily quiet streets of the city became the heartbreaking soundtrack of the crisis. As hot … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | New York Deaths Double In 3 Days, With Worst To Come

NEWS | Merkel Tells Germans To Stay Home Until After Easter To Beat Virus

BERLIN – Germany will extend social distancing measures introduced last month to slow the spread of the coronavirus to April 19 and the government will re-evaluate the situation the Easter holiday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday. Germany has closed schools, shops, restaurants, playgrounds and sports  facilities and many companies have stopped production to help … Continue reading NEWS | Merkel Tells Germans To Stay Home Until After Easter To Beat Virus

BUSINESS | Russia, Saudi Not Holding Oil Talks At The Moment: Kremlin

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – Russia and Saudi Arabia are not holding talks regarding the oil market at the moment and Russian President Vladimir Putin has no immediate plans to have a phone call with Saudi leadership, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Such talks could be set up quickly if necessary, Peskov added.

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