Amazon vows to reduce its use of fossil fuels – Daily News

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Online shopping giant Amazon revealed a carbon footprint Thursday that rivals that of a small country and vowed to reduce the damage to the planet by cutting its use of fossil fuels.

The company, which ships more than 10 billion items a year on fuel-guzzling planes and trucks, said it has ordered 100,000 electric vans that will start delivering packages to shoppers’ doorsteps in 2021. It also plans to have 100% of its energy use come from solar panels and other renewable energy by 2030. That’s up from 40% today.

“We’ve been in the middle of the herd on this issue and we want to move to the forefront,” said Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, who announced the initiatives at an event in Washington.

Amazon said it emitted 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, a number that comes close to pollution rates of some small nations.

“Its greenhouse gas emissions are about 85% of the emissions of Switzerland or Denmark,” said Gregg Marland, a professor at the Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics at Appalachian State University.

Amazon’s employees have pressured the company to do more to combat climate change. Earlier this year, more than 8,000 Amazon staffers signed an open letter to Bezos, demanding that Amazon cut its carbon emissions, end its use of fossil fuels and stop working with oil companies who use Amazon’s technology to find drillable oil faster. More than 1,500 employees are planning a walk-out Friday to support the Global Climate Strike, a worldwide climate change protest.

Amazon plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 and wants other companies to join it. Bezos unveiled a climate pledge and said he would talk with CEOs of other large companies to get them to sign it.

“We want to use our scale and our scope to lead the way,” Bezos said.

Stocks finish mixed after early rally fades

Major U.S. stock indexes ended mixed Thursday after an early rally lost its strength toward the end of the day.

Traders were encouraged Thursday by new economic snapshots, including data indicating U.S. home sales rose sharply last month and an index of manufacturing activity that came in ahead of analysts’ forecasts. In addition, applications for U.S. unemployment aid edged higher last week, but still totaled less than what economists projected.

Recent data suggests the U.S. job market is solid, wages are rising, consumers are still spending and even such sluggish sectors as manufacturing and construction have shown signs of rebounding. Still, investors have been trying to gauge how the economy will fare amid a slowdown in economies overseas and uncertainty over the trade war between the U.S. and China.

Benchmark U.S. crude inched up 2 cents to settle at $58.13 a barrel. It’s up 6.3% this week. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 80 cents to close at $64.40.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.06 points, or less than 0.1%, to 3,006.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up an early gain, sliding 52.29 points, or 0.2%, to 27,094.79. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks also relinquished an early gain, losing 6.87 points, or 0.4%, to 1,561.47.

The Nasdaq squeaked out a gain of 5.49 points, or 0.1%, to 8,182.88.

— Compiled from news service reports.

Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 1.78%.

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