In an attempt to curb carbon emissions and pollution, The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism, has announced a commitment of $10 million to C40 Cities (a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities) to launch a new initiative named "Laneshift".
According to the company's statement, the project aims to revolutionize road freight in major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, and Pune, as well as several Latin American regions.
Targeting road transport and air emissions
Amazon said that road freight, a notable contributor to air pollution, is on the brink of a transformation. The Laneshift initiative seeks to replace traditional road freight vehicles with electric alternatives, thereby reducing carbon emissions significantly.
According to Kara Hurst, the Vice President and Head of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon, cities in Latin America and India are pivotal in spearheading the transition to a greener and healthier environment. The initiative intends to foster collaboration in these regions to expedite the electrification of trucks, the company said in a statement.
How will it benefit Indian cities?
The company said the new project will provide a host of benefits, including reduced emissions, cleaner air, and the creation of green jobs.
"Mumbai is a major freight hub. With support from C40 and The Climate Pledge, we will be able to accelerate the much-needed electrification our fleet not just in the city, but across Maharashtra and beyond. Laneshift will be good for our people and our planet,” said Iqbal Singh Chahal, the municipal commissioner and administrator of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Major cities in Latin America, such as Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico, will also benefit from Laneshift.
What is the purpose of this project?
The urgency of this initiative is underscored by the alarming increase in CO2 emissions from road freight, which surpassed 2.2 billion metric tons in 2020.
The project aims to curb the projected growth of urban freight emissions, which is expected to escalate by 140% by 2030 in India and double by 2025 in Latin America.
Laneshift seeks to unite various stakeholders to collaboratively reduce greenhouse emissions and mitigate the adverse effects of pollution on vulnerable communities in these regions.
"Road freight is a high priority for decarbonisation and a difficult sector to tackle. Laneshift will bring together cities and businesses that are at the leading edge of climate action through this unique partnership between C40 and The Climate Pledge. This is the kind of collaboration that will be essential for success," said Tom Rivett-Carnac, founding partner of Global Optimism. Mayors of C40 Cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and build healthy, equitable, and resilient communities.
Amazon's journey towards decarbonization
Amazon said it has been actively working to reduce its carbon footprint through various electric vehicle (EV) partnerships globally.
In India, Amazon has incorporated over 6,000 EVs into its delivery fleet, with plans to expand to 10,000 EVs by 2025.
This development is part of Amazon's broader goal of delivering over 145 million packages using electric delivery vehicles in the U.S. and Europe.