Climate Pledge
Source: Getty Images

The Climate Pledge: How the World's Elite Are Promising to Solve the Climate Crisis

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Aug. 30 2021, Published 3:29 p.m. ET

Despite the “best efforts” of many world leaders, businesses continue to produce untold amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gases that are warming the planet faster than science or governments can curtail. Fortunately, it seems that business owners like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos are beginning to see the writing on the melting glacier and are beginning to take steps to minimize their environmental impact. But what is The Climate Pledge, and how does it actually work?

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What is The Climate Pledge?

Started in 2019, The Climate Pledge was the brainchild of Amazon and Global Optimism. The pledge is a commitment that companies can make to reduce emissions enough that they can be considered net zero in the next few years. According to NBC News, the point of this is to reduce the number of greenhouse gases created by businesses, in particular, rather than individuals.

Melting glacier
Source: Getty Images
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Why would companies want to sign The Climate Pledge?

According to Perillion, the companies that have already taken The Climate Pledge have done so as a means of publicly declaring their commitment to stopping climate change alongside their peers. Amazon, PepsiCo, and Visa are some of the hundred or so companies to have done so.

Of course, most business owners like Jeff Bezos understand that it's more than just their company’s reputation that’s at stake here. Governments and investors are beginning to realize the reality of the climate crisis. Simply put, no Earth is bad for business. The global economy, nay, society itself, cannot survive the potential destruction that would be wrought by steadily increasing global temperatures.

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Investors, in particular, are keenly interested in seeing how profitable companies can be in the low-carbon economy of the future. If companies take the pledge and succeed in minimizing their environmental impact by lowering carbon emissions, it will prove to the banks, the world governments, and the people that such a thing is possible.

Men fighting wildfire
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Is The Climate Pledge anything like the Paris Agreement?

Originally, the Paris Agreement was designed as a way for federal governments to work together to limit global warming and reach net zero emissions or better before 2030. Thanks to lax provisions, insincere promises, zero enforcement or accountability, and continued opposition from gas-guzzling big businesses, many nations are still very far from achieving the goals laid out by the agreement.

The Climate Pledge pushes the net zero emissions goal off to 2040, giving companies and world powers a further 10 years to repair our damaged atmosphere. Considering how little progress has been made to fight off climate change since the signing of the Paris Agreement, this extra decade certainly seems like a more realistic goal. If it actually does what it’s supposed to do, The Climate Pledge could be humanity’s way of fixing the mistakes made in implementing the Paris Agreement.

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Smog-filled cityscape
Source: Getty Images

Who has signed The Climate Pledge?

According to the official Amazon Climate Pledge website, a total of 108 companies have already taken the pledge. Together, those companies generate more than $1.4 trillion in global annual revenue and employ more than 5 million people, so if they actually take the extreme action that the planet needs, they could make a real difference in fighting the climate crisis.

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Some of the companies that have signed onto The Climate Pledge so far include:

  • AECOM
  • Mace Group’
  • Visa
  • Lil Packaging Ltd.
  • The Sustainable City
  • Urenco
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Morgan Sindall Group
  • Airmee
  • Teleperformance
  • Natural Capital Partners
  • Atlantia
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Optimus Ride
  • Russell Group
  • HH Global
  • Bellrock Group
  • PepsiCo
  • Blacklane
  • Pollination
  • Telefónica
  • SecuriGroup
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Portland General Electric
  • Convoy
  • Greencore Group
  • LeasePlan
  • UST
  • Posti
  • Delphis Eco
  • Pregis
  • HEINEKEN
  • Direct Healthcare Solutions Ltd.
  • Protector Cellars
  • Sonnedix
  • Edmonton International Airport
  • Quorn Foods
  • STV Group
  • Elisa Corporation
  • Rail Delivery Group
  • EV Private Equity
  • Royal Philips
  • LifeStraw
  • FILA Solutions
  • Storegga Geotechnologies
  • Graebel
  • Springer Nature Group
  • IGS Energy
  • IMI
  • Inn at Laurel Point
  • Karma Automotive
  • Lime
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What is the climate pledge arena?

The Seattle Center Coliseum, where the 1962 World's Fair was held, is currently being converted into a brand new arena, called the Climate Pledge Arena, scheduled to open in October 2021. It will be the home of the new NHL team, the Seattle Kraken, and will also host major concerts and other events. In 2020, Amazon purchased the rights to name the new arena, and Bezos chose the name Climate Pledge Arena.

The Climate Pledge Arena has a number of initiatives in place to make its operations as sustainable as possible. According to the website, it will rely on zero fossil fuel use for energy, and will instead employ solar power. It's also designed to conserve and reuse water by harvesting rainwater from the roof to use in toilets, showers, and the indoor ice rink itself. The arena will also be zero waste and employ onsite recycling and composting for all garbage.

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