News: About 1,000 Amazon employees plan to walkout for ‘climate justice’

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About 1,000 Amazon employees plan to walkout for ‘climate justice’

The walkout is scheduled for 20th September, before the Global Climate Strike, a week-long international event that encourages employees to walk out from their workplaces to raise awareness.
About 1,000 Amazon employees plan to walkout for ‘climate justice’

To protest the Amazon’s inaction over climate change, nearly 1,000 Amazon employees have pledged to walk out. This group of employees are being referred as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) and is making big demands.

Firstly, the group wants Amazon to stop donating to politicians and lobbyists who deny climate change. It also wants the company to stop awarding contracts to fossil fuel companies. Further, the group wants Amazon to test electric vehicles in cities that are most affected by the company's environmental impact. The group has raised their concern and said it is "critical" for Amazon to emit zero emissions by 2030.

The Amazon Employees for Climate Justice claim that, “This will be the first time that Amazon workers at corporate offices are walking out, and it’s the first walkout in the tech industry over the climate crisis.”

Last year, AECJ encouraged Amazon’s board of directors and Jeff Bezos to adopt a climate plan resolution—undersigned by 8,215 employee. This resolution included promises like making public commitments to cut emissions and reduce pollution in communities impacted most by climate change. However, the resolution never passed. But there are some other steps Amazon has taken for the benefit of the climate, including its adoption of “frustration-free” packaging and the recent announcement of its “Shipment Zero” project. 

Shipment Zero aims to produce net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for half of its shipments. The company also maintains that e-commerce and cloud computing inherently emit less carbon than personal shopping trips and on-premises data centers.

The protest by Amazon employees is part of a much larger ongoing movement at a global level. The climate crisis has been evident. The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. In fact, the rate in the last two decades, is nearly double that of the last century and is accelerating slightly every year. 

However, the world’s readiness for the inevitable effects of the climate crisis is “gravely insufficient”, according to a report from global leaders. 

Why should businesses worry about the climate crisis?

“No one will be spared from the effects of unmitigated climate change, and that includes the business community.”

While the statement is rather dramatic, it is true and relevant as well.

As per a report, trillion-dollar investment is needed to avert “climate apartheid”. It is not only money but a lot of political support and business innovation that can help the entire world tackle the climate crisis. 

Patrick Verkooijen, the Chief Executive of the Global Center on Adaptation said, “It is a nation’s self-interest to invest in adaptation,” Verkooijen said. The report estimates spending $1.8 Tn by 2030 in five key areas could yield $7.1tn in net benefits, by avoiding damages and increasing economic growth.”

To make it a big movement, the global climate strike, led by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, is planned to start from 20th September. It is a week long protest against the continued use of fossil fuels and their role in the climate crisis. Employees from many companies have decided to join these protests. Ben & Jerry’s is encouraging staff to take part in the strike, however, their attendance is not compulsory. Australian marketing agency Republic of Everyone is closing its business for the day and software giant Atlassian are making it as easy as possible for staff to attend.

As what the world requires is a large movement to bring in change, it is time for corporates to join in with their workforces and invest in driving the world towards a better climate, not only by joining the protests but also by adopting more environment friendly practices. 

 

Image source:  Common Dreams

Topics: #GlobalPerspective, Employee Relations

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