Amazon climate pollution is getting worse

Amazon’s greenhouse gas emissions ballooned dramatically last year despite the company’s efforts to sell itself as a leader in climate action. Carbon dioxide emissions grew 18 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the latest Sustainability Report.

Amazon produced 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, the same amount of pollution 180 gas-fired power stations can be pumped annually. This is the Second Year Consecutively, Amazon’s climate pollution has grown by double digits since it made the Climate Pact and began publicly reporting its emissions in 2019. Comparing that year to 2021, the company’s CO2 pollution grew by a whopping 40 percent.

In 2019, then-CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company plans to reach net carbon dioxide emissions for its operations by 2040. Unfortunately, this kind of pledge allows companies to get away with some misleading Carbon accounting. They could aim to achieve “zero” emissions or claim to be “carbon neutral” by purchasing carbon offsets that are supposed to offset the impact of their emissions through supposedly environmentally friendly projects. This usually includes planting trees, protecting forests, or promoting clean energy. These compensations, however, usually Does not lead to real-world cuts In heating the planet, carbon dioxide accumulates in our atmosphere.

Amazon co-founded an initiative called the Climate Pledge in 2019 to hire other companies to make similar commitments to reduce carbon dioxide and “neutralize” residual emissions through “credible” compensation. But the meaningful impact on the climate only comes from the company eliminating the vast majority of its pollution, if not all of its emissions.

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Amazon doesn’t provide a good example of this – despite the company’s best PR efforts. To take the heat off its increasing absolute carbon emissions, Amazon cites a more satisfying number in its sustainability report. “The focus should not only be on a company’s carbon footprint in terms of absolute carbon emissions, but also on whether it lowers its carbon intensity,” the report says.

Amazon says it has reduced its “carbon intensity” by a small percentage – 1.9 percent – which means the emissions it produces for every dollar of goods sold. Fell a little. But this metric can also be misleading because those reductions in carbon intensity can easily be eliminated as the company’s business grows.

This is exactly what happened at Amazon. “As we work to decarbonize our company, Amazon is growing rapidly. We have expanded our business at an unprecedented pace to help meet the needs of our customers through the pandemic,” the company says in its sustainability report. In other words, Amazon killing During the COVID-19 pandemic like E-commerce soared – Pollution has grown in Amazon with its profits.

All this explains why It is important to look at the carbon footprint of the entire company To see if it actually reduces emissions overall. To make matters worse, it’s possible that the numbers Amazon is citing underestimate how much pollution is really responsible for the e-commerce giant because – unlike some other companies, including Target – Amazon does not include emissions That comes from making many of the products they sell.

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And while tracking CO2 emissions is important to tackle the climate crisis supercharging Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms and other devastating disasters – they don’t capture the full scope Problems associated with amazon Fungi Repositories And all diesel trucks with smiley faces make delivery. For many years, many of the communities in which Amazon builds warehouses have had warehouses company call To bring more smog, soot and noise to alive. This latest report shows that Amazon still has a long way to go to prevent all the pollution it creates.

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