“Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.”
Amazon workers who plan to walk off the job Friday in support of the Global Climate Strike celebrated the power of employee pressure on Thursday as CEO Jeff Bezos released a plan to combat the climate crisis—even as they and outside critics noted that the paltry proposal shows the world’s richest man still doesn’t get it when it comes to the planetary emergency.
“Yes! The worst time to cave is when they are just getting scared!”
—Naomi Klein, authorBezos said the company plans to reduce its carbon emissions over the next two decades, becoming carbon-neutral by 2040. Amazon’s operations will run on 80 percent renewable energy by 2024 according to the pledge, and Bezos plans to use electric vehicles for deliveries and regularly report on Amazon’s emissions.
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, the coalition that includes more than 15,000 workers who plan to strike on Friday, said the release of the plan demonstrates the importance and power of direct action.
Amazon’s Climate Pledge is a huge win for @AMZNforClimate & we’re thrilled at what workers have achieved in under a year. But we know it’s not enough. The Paris Agreement, by itself, won’t get us to a livable world. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.
— Amazon Employees For Climate Justice (@AMZNforClimate) September 19, 2019
Bezos stressed that under the plan, Amazon is scheduled to reach its goal ten years ahead of the timeline the Paris climate agreement put forward for world governments in 2015—but Amazon workers noted that the Paris accord’s originally stated goals are insufficient to avert climate catastrophe and called on their company to put forward a more aggressive plan.
“Amazon’s Climate Pledge is a huge win for Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and we’re thrilled at what workers have achieved in under a year,” the group tweeted. “But we know it’s not enough. The Paris Agreement, by itself, won’t get us to a livable world. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.”
As outlined in the demands they released earlier this month, Amazon workers want the company to cut all carbon emissions by 2030.
Author and Climate Strike supporter Naomi Klein applauded the employees for continuing to apply pressure to the company.
Yes! The worst time to cave is when they are just getting scared! https://t.co/owFMAgamH3
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) September 19, 2019
Greenpeace welcomed Bezos’s pledge to help meet the Paris agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but demanded transparency from the company about its carbon emissions.
“While the purchasing of one hundred thousand electric vans is certainly more than a token investment, Amazon is still one of the few companies who have not published its carbon footprint,” said Gary Cook, senior corporate campaigner at Greenpeace USA. “We are still missing how fast its emissions are rising and a sense of what effort is needed to achieve these commitments.”
“Throwing money at carbon offsets and continuing to support the oil giants find even more oil is an early indication that Jeff Bezos doesn’t understand the transition that is needed.”
—Gary Cook, Greenpeace
Bezos said earlier this year that Amazon would disclose its carbon emission levels by the end of 2019, but the company has yet to do so.
Cook also questioned Amazon’s level of commitment to reigning in all the emissions it contributes to, both directly and indirectly, considering its relationships with the oil and gas sector.
“Throwing money at carbon offsets and continuing to support the oil giants find even more oil is an early indication that Jeff Bezos doesn’t understand the transition that is needed,” Cook said.
Companies owned by this billionaire GOP governor received up to $24 million in bailout loans
Companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received up to $24 million from one of the federal government’s key coronavirus economic relief programs, according to data made public Monday.
At least six companies from Justice’s empire showed up on the list of Paycheck Protection Program aid recipients released by the Small Business Administration.
The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, Justice’s firm that owns and operates the iconic luxury resort, received a loan of between $5 million and $10 million.
Trump friends and family cleared for millions in small business bailout
Businesses tied to President Donald Trump’s family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans designed to shore up payroll expenses for companies struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released Monday.
A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.
50 dead in Japan floods as rescuers ‘race against time’
Emergency services in western Japan were "racing against time" Tuesday to rescue people stranded by devastating floods and landslides that have killed at least 50, as the country braced for more torrential downpours.
Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued its second-highest emergency warning for heavy rain and landslides over vast swathes of the country's southwest and said "risks are rising" nationwide.
Television footage showed swollen rivers breaking their banks and sweeping away bridges while landslides destroyed roads and buried houses, complicating access for the 80,000 rescue personnel battling to save lives.