Amazon Invests in the Amazon Rainforest Instead of Just Paying Its Damn Taxes

The corporation Amazon is investing in reforesting the Amazon rainforest. But that doesn't make it a sustainable company.

Amazon, as in the corporation, is investing in the Amazon, as in the rainforest. The multinational conglomerate announced the new initiative on Tuesday, saying it will help fight the climate crisis. But in doing so, Amazon conveniently skirted addressing its own role in fueling that crisis. Surprise, surprise.

Amazon announced a partnership with the global environmental nonprofit the Nature Conservancy, with whom it’s teamed up on reforestation work before. The groups say the project will pay local farmers in Brazil’s Amazonian state of Pará—which has been ravaged by deforestation for logging, mining, cattle ranching, and soybean farming—to restore native forests and thereby boost carbon sequestration in the region.

The initiative, called the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator, comes as a part of the company’s flashy 2019 climate pledge, in which it committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2040. But of course, like everything about that pledge, the new announcement doesn’t actually require Amazon make any changes to its business practices in the name of sustainability.

Amazon’s entire business model is high-polluting. It prides itself on its ability to deliver customers goods on the same day they place orders, which is a climate nightmare due to all the associated emissions from shipping, trucking, and aviation. Despite its showy climate promises, its carbon footprint rose by 20% last year. The year before that, it rose by 15%.