Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos speaks to the media on the companys sustainability efforts on September 19, 2019 in Washington,DC. Picture: ERIC BARADAT / AFP
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos speaks to the media on the companys sustainability efforts on September 19, 2019 in Washington,DC. Picture: ERIC BARADAT / AFP

Washington — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has committed the online retailer to being carbon neutral by 2040 and says it will order 100,000 electric delivery vehicles as part of that pledge.

Cutting emissions is a challenging goal for Amazon, which delivers 10-billion items a year.

Bezos announced a number of actions at a media conference in Washington on Thursday, ahead of Climate Week in New York next week, a global gathering of world and company leaders seeking ways to fight climate change.

The Trump administration said in June 2017 it was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Bezos also said Amazon was placing an order to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles (EVs) from US vehicle designer and manufacturer Rivian Automotive, and to use 100% renewable energy by 2030, up from 40% today. Amazon and Ford are among the investors in the EV start-up. Amazon will also invest $100m to restore forests and wetlands.

Bezos says the first delivery EVs will be on the road in 2021, with the 100,000 vehicles deployed by 2024. Bezos also said the company would take a “careful look” at the political campaign contributions it makes.

He vowed to try to convince other company CEOs to sign “The Climate Pledge”.

A Rivian spokesperson said the vehicles for Amazon would be assembled in Illinois, US, and 10,000 would be on the road by late 2022.

Reuters