October 28, 2021

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Amazon, Microsoft, Breakthrough Energy share climate news as ‘Climate Week’ kicks off

The Climate Pledge Arena, home of the Seattle Kraken NHL team. (Climate Pledge Arena Photo)

Climate Week is kicking off Monday in New York City and major companies including Amazon and Microsoft as well as Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy are sharing news of their efforts to decarbonize.

Climate Week is hosted in part by the United Nations and includes forums and events where business, governments and organizations discuss and share climate initiatives and goals.

Amazon today announced that an additional 86 companies have joined its Climate Pledge, a nonbinding agreement to become net-zero carbon by 2040, which is a decade ahead of the target set by the Paris Agreement. That brings the total participation to more than 200 organizations worldwide.

If the signatories meet that goal, by cutting emissions 10 years faster they will prevent nearly 2 billion metric tons of carbon emissions from being released — which is equal to 5.4% of current global annual emissions, according to a release by Amazon. Climate Pledge, which the Seattle-based tech titan launched two years ago, is one of the top sponsors of Climate Week.

“I believe that now, more than ever, companies like Amazon have an obligation to lead the fight for our planet,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in a statement.

Microsoft, which is also a Climate Pledge participate, had its own announcement today. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is donating $100 million to Breakthrough Energy Catalyst.

“This is the decade of action and those of us who can afford to move faster and go further, should,” said Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental officer, in a blog post announcing the news.

Breakthrough Energy Catalyst is an initiative that’s part of the larger Breakthrough Energy effort. The program is pursuing public-private partnerships to develop technology to cut carbon emissions. Its initial focus areas include direct air capture of carbon, green hydrogen fuel, long duration energy storage and sustainable aviation fuel.

Breakthrough Energy in turn announced its other private sector partners in addition to Microsoft, which are American Airlines, steel and mining giant ArcelorMittal, Bank of America, global investment powerhouse BlackRock, Boston Consulting Group and General Motors. The new investments reportedly exceed $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

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