Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

Dozens of environmental activists from a group called the Troublemakers blocked entrances at Amazon’s Day 1 building at its Seattle headquarters on March 27, 2024. They were protesting the tech giant’s plans to use natural gas from a new pipeline in Oregon to power three data centers in the state, calling out Amazon’s hypocrisy in supporting fossil fuel expansion while claiming to address climate change. The group, led by Emily Johnston, said about 50-60 people participated in the protest, which involved banners and bicycles blocking doors and garage entrances at the building.

In response to the protest, Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski highlighted the company’s initiatives to address climate change, including becoming carbon neutral by 2040 and creating the Climate Pledge. However, since the announcement of these initiatives, Amazon’s carbon footprint has increased by 39%. Activists have criticized Amazon’s involvement in gas pipelines and lobbying against clean energy regulations, despite its efforts in renewable energy. The group, along with Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and other organizations, sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, urging him to reconsider plans to tap into the GTN Xpress gas pipeline for its data centers.

Amazon’s pledge to use all renewables to power its operations by next year has led to questions about how the company plans to achieve this goal while using natural gas. Charley Daitch, AWS director of energy and water strategy, stated that the use of natural gas in Oregon is a short-term solution and does not align with the company’s core strategy. The protesters argue that Amazon’s reliance on fossil fuels goes against the company’s reputation for innovation and is harmful to the planet. Unlike Microsoft and Google, which are pursuing 24/7 renewable energy, Amazon has taken a different approach called “carbon matching”, prioritizing projects in areas with dirtier grids.

While Amazon has focused on wind and solar power, it recently announced plans to buy a Pennsylvania data center powered by nuclear energy. Despite these efforts, the company has faced multiple environmental protests in recent years, including spray painting messages at its headquarters and organizing employee walkouts. Activists are calling on Amazon to prioritize climate action in its decision-making processes. Johnston emphasized the importance of holding Amazon and other big polluters accountable for their environmental impact and shedding light on their actions. The ongoing protests highlight the challenges that tech giants face in balancing environmental responsibility with business operations.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.