Tech giant backs electric vehicles, carbon removal, and high efficiency motors as it forges ahead with efforts to deliver net zero emissions by 2040
Electric vehicles, carbon credit marketplace software, carbon dioxide removal and high-efficiency motors are among the technologies to secure backing from Amazon as the tech giant announced the first investments from its $2bn Climate Pledge Fund today.
Among the five companies to bag investment from the multi-billion dollar fund, which was first announced by Amazon earlier this summer, is Canadian company CarbonCure Technologies, which has developed a carbon-sequestering technology for concrete and has also previously secured backing from Shopify and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates' venture fund.
Carbon credit marketplace Pachama - which has also been endorsed by Microsoft and Shopify - as well as battery recycling start-up Redwood Materials, high-efficiency motor firm Turntide Technologies, and EV company Rivian were also announced as recipients from Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund today.
Rivian is already a key partner for Amazon in its ongoing decarbonisation drive, having agreed to produce 100,000 EVs for the tech giant last year. Amazon confirmed today that it plans to have 10,000 of those vehicles on the road "as early as 2022".
The investment marks the first tranche of funding from the venture capital programme, which is geared at supporting sustainable technologies and services that can help Amazon and other signatories to the firm's Climate Pledge meet their joint commitment of achieving net zero carbon by 2040.
Amazon's billionaire founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said the Fund "invests in visionary companies whose products and services can empower a low carbon economy".
"I am excited to announce that we are investing in a group of companies that are channelling their entrepreneurial energy into helping Amazon and other companies reach net zero by 2040 and keep the planet safer for future generations," he added.
Christina Figueres - co-founder of the Global Optimism think tank and a key architect of the Paris Agreement when she was UNFCC Executive Secretary -touted the investment as a holistic approach to tackling escalating climate impacts. "These investments will scale new technologies, helping these organisations speed up the pace at which operational emissions can be reduced," she said. "This is how a whole-economy approach to tackling the climate crisis looks."
Figueres added that the companies which have signed up to Amazon's Climate Pledge - which currently comprises US telecoms giant Verizon, Indian IT services firm Infosys and consumer goods brand Reckitt Benckiser - were demonstrating that "there are endless possibilities in the clean, healthy recovery we must create together."
Amazon confirmed today it would continue to make investments through the fund to multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilisation, manufacturing and materials, circular economy and food and agriculture.
It added that it planned to involve other Climate Pledge signatories in the venture investment programme in the future in a bid to help them find solutions to reach net zero carbon in the coming decades.
Companies clinching funding today celebrated the news. CarbonCure Technologies founder and chief executive Robert Niven welcomed the investment as a "a great endorsement of CarbonCure as the go-to carbon dioxide removal solution for the growing tech construction space and the overall shift towards low embodied carbon construction materials".
Niven added that the the investment in CO2 removal "signals a broader change for public and private infrastructure projects as industries and governments turn their focus toward the reduction of embodied carbon".
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