Open letter to Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Board of Directors

  • We haven’t disclosed a company-wide plan to reach zero carbon emissions within the timeline required by science. Our goal to reach 100% renewable energy does not have a date for completion. In addition, Shipment Zero does not commit to a decrease in emissions compared to current levels. Given Amazon’s rate of growth, reaching 50% net-zero shipments by 2030 could still be an increase in emissions compared to today [12].
  • Shipment Zero only commits to net carbon reductions, which allows us to continue to pollute; we recently ordered 20,000 diesel vans whose emissions will need to be offset with carbon credits [13]. Offsets can entail forest management policies that displace Indigenous communities, and they do nothing to reduce our diesel pollution which disproportionately harms communities of color [14,15].
  • We have an AWS for Oil & Gas initiative devoted to helping fossil fuel companies accelerate and expand oil and gas extraction [16,17]. To avert catastrophic warming, the science is clear: we must keep fossil fuels in the ground [18,19].
  • We donate to climate-delaying legislators: While Amazon has joined a variety of sustainability organizations like the Corporate Eco Forum and the American Council on Renewable Energy, we donated to 68 members of congress in 2018 who voted against climate legislation 100% of the time [20,21].
  • Our sustainability goals lack context. For example, we’ve set a goal of at least 50 solar installations in warehouse facilities by 2020. This represents only 6% of buildings in our global fulfillment network and a fraction of our overall carbon footprint [22].
  1. Public goals and timelines consistent with science and the IPCC report [23]. Emissions must be cut in half by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach zero by 2050. Goals must span all organizations and businesses, and cover the full supply chain.
  2. A complete transition away from fossil fuels rather than relying on carbon offsets.
  3. Prioritization of climate impact when making business decisions, including ending all custom solutions specifically designed for oil and gas extraction and exploration.
  4. Reduction of harm to the most vulnerable communities first. The pollution we generate is not equally distributed, and climate impact will be felt first and hardest by Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, particularly in the Global South. We must prioritize our pollution reduction in these communities.
  5. Advocacy for local, federal, and international policies that reduce overall carbon emissions in line with the IPCC report and withholding of support from policy makers who delay action on climate change.
  6. Fair treatment of all employees during climate disruptions and extreme weather events. Unsafe or inaccessible workplaces should not be a reason to withhold pay, terminate, or otherwise penalize employees — including hourly and contract workers.
  1. Email amazonemployeesclimatejustice@gmail.com from your Amazon work email with the subject line “signature”
  2. In the body of the email, include your name and job title as you’d like it to appear on the list of signatories
  1. “Report Chapter 5 in “Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report” “https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/SR15_Chapter5_Low_Res.pdf
  2. “Why Half a Degree of Global Warming Is a Big Deal“ https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/07/climate/ipcc-report-half-degree.html
  3. “Mozambique City Devastated by Cyclone Idai Was Working to Fight Climate Change” https://weather.com/news/news/2019-03-27-beira-mozambique-fighting-climate-change-cyclone-idai
  4. “Why the Wilder Storms? It’s a ‘Loaded Dice’ Problem” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/05/climate/rain-floods-extreme-weather.html
  5. “Tribal Nations in Nebraska Are Reeling From Midwestern Floods” https://earther.gizmodo.com/tribal-nations-in-nebraska-are-reeling-from-midwestern-1833418301
  6. “Dangerously Low on Water, Cape Town Now Faces ‘Day Zero’” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/30/world/africa/cape-town-day-zero.html
  7. “Climate change creates a new migration crisis for Bangladesh” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/climate-change-drives-migration-crisis-in-bangladesh-from-dhaka-sundabans/
  8. “See how a warmer world primed California for large fires” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/11/climate-change-california-wildfire/
  9. “The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate change” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/30/migrant-caravan-causes-climate-change-central-america?utm_medium=email&utm_source=actionkit
  10. “Cyclone Idai lays bare the fundamental injustice of climate change” https://grist.org/article/cyclone-idai-lays-bare-the-fundamental-injustice-of-climate-change/
  11. “Climate models predict increasing temperature variability in poor countries” http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/5/eaar5809
  12. “Amazon will reveal its carbon footprint … a decade after competitors” https://kuow.org/stories/amazon-plans-to-reveal-its-carbon-footprint-something-many-big-tech-firms-already-do-here-s-why-that-matters
  13. “Amazon orders 20K vans for last-mile delivery program” https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/amazon-20000-vans-mercedes-benz-delivery-last-mile/531732/
  14. “California split over carbon trading plan for tropical forests” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-climatechange-carbon-fores-idUSKCN1P31OP
  15. “Disparities in Distribution of Particulate Matter Emission Sources by Race and Poverty Status” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29470121
  16. https://aws.amazon.com/oil-and-gas/
  17. “How Google, Microsoft, and Big Tech Are Automating the Climate Crisis” https://gizmodo.com/how-google-microsoft-and-big-tech-are-automating-the-1832790799
  18. “Recalculating the Climate Math” https://newrepublic.com/article/136987/recalculating-climate-math
  19. “The Geographical Distribution of Fossil Fuels Unused When Limiting Global Warming to 2 °C.” www.nature.com/articles/nature14016
  20. Open Secrets Amazon.com Contributions to Federal Candidates https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00360354
  21. League of Conservation Voters National Environmental Scorecard (select climate change) http://scorecard.lcv.org/members-of-congress#8
  22. “Amazon Global Fulfillment Center Network” includes 850 buildings http://www.mwpvl.com/html/amazon_com.html
  23. “Global Warming of 1.5 ºC: An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.” October 2018 — https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

--

--

--

amazonemployeesclimatejustice@gmail.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

amazonemployeesclimatejustice@gmail.com

More from Medium

Making the Work Commute on Two Wheels: Worth it?

Go to two meetings at once (and let Slack help you…)

Pikaia Lodge combines luxury, nature and sustainability

A JTBD Perspective on Zendesk Acquiring SurveyMonkey