Amazon has announced a new $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund. The fund will support the development of sustainable food and technology to combat climate change.
The new fund is part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, announced last September. The company hopes to become carbon neutral by 2040. It also aims to meet the Paris climate agreement’s goals by then.
Previously, it announced its intention to run on clean energy by 2030. It has now moved its target year for this to 2025.
The new Climate Pledge Fund will invest in companies that provide products and solutions for fighting the climate crisis and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.
It will initially focus on energy generation, storage, and utilization; transportation and logistics; manufacturing and materials; circular economy; and food and agriculture.
Plant-Based Food and Sustainability
Plant-based food is not specified in Amazon’s pledge. However, a significant body of research confirms that meat and dairy products are harmful to the environment.
Animal agriculture generates 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions every year. It is also a leading cause of deforestation and water pollution, among other environmental issues.
Vegan food is more environmentally-friendly. The largest-ever food production analysis—conducted in 2018 and led by Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore—confirmed that a plant-based diet is the most sustainable way to eat.
Poore told the Guardian: “it is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car. Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems.”
A number of entrepreneurs and major companies have invested in vegan meat. In the first quarter of 2020, nearly $1 billion was invested in the alternative protein space, according to a report by the Good Food Institute (GFI). This surpassed the entire of 2019’s $824 million in funding.
GFI’s associate director of corporate engagement Caroline Bushnell said in a statement that investors see the market opportunity.
She noted, “[they] are moving to capitalize on a global shift in the way meat is produced.”
Protecting the Planet for Future Generations
Amazon will consider companies of all sizes and stages for the new Climate Pledge Fund, from “pre-product start-ups to well-established enterprises,” confirmed CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement.
He added that the company will judge each prospective investment “on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”
The Climate Pledge Fund is now accepting indications of interest.