By Rachel Koning Beals
Technology rivals are aligning on a major climate pledge with Wednesday's announcement that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will join Amazon.com's ambitious year-old Climate Pledge.
Consumer conglomerate Unilever PLC(ULVR.LN) and a handful of others, including mostly international firms, are also among the latest signatories on the Jeff Bezos-led voluntary program that has a target of net-zero carbon emissions at its center (). See the full list ( ).
Amazon(AMZN), long considered a laggard among its technology peers in addressing its impact on the environment, especially because of its fast delivery service, in 2019 rolled out The Climate Pledge (/). The program is a commitment to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2040 -- 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
The voluntary Paris pact that includes major governments and private companies alike will mark five years on Saturday. It aims to hold the increase in average global temperatures "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and ideally no more than 1.5C (2.7 F), compared to pre-industrial levels.
Read: Biden pledges to return No. 2 polluter U.S. to the defining Paris climate pact Trump just dropped ()
Over the past year, Amazon has announced a commitment to put 100,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, 100% renewable energy powering all of Amazon by 2025 and new packaging reduction innovations The company also invited others interested in matching that commitment to sign on to the Climate Pledge ().
"There are now 31 companies from around the world that have signed The Climate Pledge, and collectively we are sending an important signal to the market that there is significant and rapidly growing demand for technologies that can help us build a zero-carbon economy," Bezos said in a release.
Also joining Wednesday, Coca-Cola European Partners, the largest Coca-Cola(KO) bottler based on revenue, joined. And Neste Oyj, Finland's state-backed oil refiner, became the first signatory with such deep ties to the fossil fuels industry.
Related:Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé top '10 worst plastic polluters' of 2020 ( )
Bezos has also made climate pledges from his personal wealth. Last month, he announced the inaugural round of recipients () of the $10 billion Earth Fund that taps his fortune to fight the effects of man-made climate change, a looming global crisis that his critics say is aggravated by the size of the retail giant that made him a billionaire.
The first $791 million of the campaign will be released to 16 mostly established environmental concerns.
-Rachel Koning Beals; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 09, 2020 15:40 ET (20:40 GMT)
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