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Amazon Workers Criticize Company's Climate Change Policy

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Hundreds of Amazon workers have openly criticized the company's record on climate change by intentionally defying a company-wide ban against speaking out.

More than 350 employees of the e-commerce giant criticized the company's climate change policy in a Medium blog post Sunday, putting their jobs at risk for violating the company's corporate communications policy.

"The science on climate change is clear. It is unconscionable for Amazon to continue helping the oil and gas industry extract fossil fuels while trying to silence employees who speak out," wrote Amelia Graham-McCann, a senior business analyst at Amazon.

"We have a responsibility to protect our climate and future generations, and this includes looking back critically on our contributions to the Climate Crisis," said Griffin Ham, an account manager at Amazon.

The employees' comments were published by the Amazon Employees For Climate Justice, an advocacy group founded by Amazon employees to show solidarity with workers who said they were threatened with termination for violating the company's communications policy.

However, Amazon's external communications policy forbids employees from speaking about the company's business without prior approval from management.

Reports quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying that all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics.

The spokesperson added that Amazon will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of colleagues who are developing "solutions to these hard problems."

In September 2019, Amazon unveiled its ambitious plans to combat climate change, with the announcement coming just a day before its employees planned to walk out of the Seattle headquarters to protest its climate policies.

Amazon said it has co-founded the Climate Pledge, a plan to make companies carbon neutral by 2040 and reach the goal of the Paris Accord ten years ahead of schedule. The company is the first signatory to the Climate Pledge and urged other large companies too to sign the agreement.

Amazon has pledged to reach 80 percent renewable energy by 2024 and run the company entirely on renewable energy by 2030.

Among other tech giants, Microsoft recently announced plans to reduce its carbon emissions by more than half, and to be carbon negative by 2030. This means the company will remove more carbon than it emits each year.

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