Brewing Storm: Thousands Of Amazon Employees Urge Jeff Bezos To Take Aggressive Action On Climate Change


Amazon employees have recently signed an open letter urging Jeff Bezos and other leaders of the company to do more about climate change.

The letter went live on Wednesday, April 10, and over 4,200 workers signed the petition. The employees signed with their full names, an infrequent move for tech employee activists.

Shipment Zero

According to the letter, Amazon employees are urging the Amazon leaders to "disclose a company-wide plan to reach zero carbon emissions within the timeline required by science."

Although Amazon announced "Shipment Zero" in 2014, an initiative to make all shipments net zero carbon, employees argue that Shipment Zero doesn't really have an effect in emissions reduction from the current levels. Apparently, Amazon's plan to commit to 100 percent renewable energy doesn't have an exact deadline.

Sam Kennedy, an Amazon spokesperson, stated that Amazon is actually working on addressing climate change in many ways, including Shipment Zero.

"Earlier this year, we announced that we will share our company wide carbon footprint, along with related goals and programs," said Kennedy in a statement. "We also announced Shipment Zero, our vision to make all Amazon shipments net-zero carbon, with 50 percent of all shipments net zero by 2030."

Largest Climate-Focused Campaign

Amazon employees' campaign to address climate change is the largest move made by tech workers to date. The letter also states that Amazon should stop donating to legislators who vote against climate-delaying legislation, something that Amazon did last year. In 2018, the tech company donated to 68 members of the Congress who vote for climate-delaying legislations 100 percent of the time.

Amazon workers are very specific in their plan stated in the letter. They said that Amazon's obsession with customer service also equates to climate obsession.

Employees state that the company should immediately implement a company-wide plan that addresses a couple of principles that help combat climate change. This includes a complete conversion from fossil fuels, making business decisions with climate impact in their first agenda, and stopping the company's support from Congress members who don't advocate for action in climate change.

The letter also states that in case of extreme weather events and climate disruptions that make workplaces inaccessible or unsafe, Amazon shouldn't penalize, withhold pay, or terminate the affected employees, especially the contractual or hourly workers.

Climate change is something they should think about whenever a business decision is being made," said Ranjit Iftikhar, a software engineer in Amazon's retail business. "We want to make Amazon a better company. It is a natural extension of that."

The open letter was first posted on the online publishing platform Medium.

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