A number of companies are making moves and weighing in on climate issues ahead of a series of worldwide protests and strikes keyed to the subject and what many perceive as governments' insufficient actions in this area.

• Amazon yesterday announced that it is committing that it will meet the Paris Climate Accord's goals by 2040, 10 years earlier than the Accord's goal of 2050.

The move comes in spite of the fact that the Trump administration has pulled the US out of the Paris Accords.

In making the commitment, Amazon is signing onto what is called the Climate Pledge, which requires signatories to "measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis … Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies …
Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040."

In a statement, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, "We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue—we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference. If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon—which delivers more than 10 billion items a year—can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can."

As part of its commitment, Amazon "announced the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles, with vans starting to deliver packages to customers in 2021. Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030 – saving 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030."

In its analysis, the Seattle Times writes that "the reductions described by Bezos will be an enormous challenge for a company whose main businesses are energy intensive – Amazon has fleets of trucks and jets, as well as a global network of data centers — and steadily growing. Amazon said its 2018 greenhouse gas emissions totaled 44.4 million metric tons in 2018, the first time it has disclosed its carbon footprint."

USA Today reports that a number of retailers, including Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's plan to close for at least part of the day today in recognition of the Global Climate Strike. The businesses say that they want to "encourage their employees and customers to participate in the strike."

According to the story, "The protests are timed to begin a week of activism at the United Nations, including a Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and a U.N. Climate Action Summit on Monday. A second strike is planned for Sept. 27."

In a statement, Ben & Jerry's said, "We’re going to disrupt our 'business as usual' on Sept 20 to demonstrate our solidarity with global climate strikers. We believe we all must change the way we live, and the way we do business."

And Patagonia has dedicated its entire home page to the issue and the protestors.

KC's View: It falls to companies and citizens to lead the charge on these issues, I'm afraid, since some governments seem to believe it is not their responsibility to take leadership on this critical issue. I'm sure there will be naysayers about these moves from all sorts of folks citing all sorts of reasons, but I believe that it is important to do whatever we can to stave off what could be global disaster.