Deforestation, oil spills, and coronavirus: Crises converge in the Amazon



  • Brazil now has the second-highest number of documented COVID-19 cases, with 400,000 confirmed cases and 25,000 deaths
  • According to the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, an indigenous rights organization, the mortality rate among the indigenous population of nearly one million is double that experienced in Brazil overall
  • The entire Amazon region has seen an estimated 2,278 positive cases and 504 deaths across approximately 73 different Amazon indigenous nations
  • Rapid deforestation is still occurring while the pandemic spreads through the Amazon
  • Under his administration, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has granted amnesty for fines for illegal deforestation, slashed budgets for environmental law enforcement, criticized scientists, and blamed indigenous communities for last years fires
  • Other environmental threats to the Amazon include two oil pipelines that collapsed in Ecuador, releasing roughly 15,000 barrels of oil into the Amazon’s waterways

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead. There are dozens of scalable solutions available now to reverse the climate crisis. Endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to avert dire consequences and inspire greater climate action worldwide.

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How Amazon is bringing the Keystone XL Pipeline online

by Steve Horn, OneZero


  • TC Energy, a Canadian pipeline corporation that owns the Keystone XL pipeline, has partnered with Amazon Web Services 
  • The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Alberta to Nebraska but its permit was recently vacated by a federal judge
  • This announcement comes after Google declared it would not help create artificial intelligence for oil extraction companies
  • Amazon tech employees called on Jeff Bezos to adopt company-wide climate policy which resulted in a climate pledge. However, employee demands for Amazon to cancel its contracts with oil and gas companies went ignored
  • After President Barack Obama denied permitting access to the company for the pipeline, TC Energy faced a financial loss and continues to do so as the price of oil drops significantly
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney recently gave the company a $4.2 billion loan to help Keystone XL 
  • Amazon’s technology promises to make pipeline flow operations more efficient and profitable

The failure to consider consumption-based emissions such as the delivery of online purchasing ignores a significant portion of the greenhouse gases we emit out of the boundaries of the area being measured.

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Jeff Bezos of Amazon Inc. commits $10 billion for climate solutions

By Karen Weiss, The New York Times


  • Jeff Bezos announced a new initiative titled the Bezos Climate Fund that aims to fund scientists, activists and non-governmental organizations– after being pushed by employees to address the climate crisis
  • Amazon recently committed to a climate pledge, aiming to become carbon neutral by 2040– ten years ahead of the Paris Accord target
  • Though important strides have been made, Amazon employees continue to urge the company to stop working with fossil fuel companies on computing and cloud storage

The Climate Center’s Business of Clean Energy program helps businesses find ways to become more climate-friendly.

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Click, Click, Emit—The carbon cost of online shopping

by Maxine Joselow, E&E News

Thinking of ordering a holiday gift online? You might pause to consider the environmental impact of getting that product to your doorstep. Inc. and other companies are making it easier than ever to shop for the holidays. With one click of a button, you can have an item sent right to your doorstep, sometimes even with free next-day shipping.

But hidden behind this straightforward process is a big climate toll, said environmental and public health experts—the daily rumble of thousands of delivery trucks fanning out across the country.

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