After the meeting, the Amazon employees held a press conference behind a banner reading ‘Climate Leadership Now,’ where they detailed how each of them—from a Bangladeshi immigrant concerned for his relatives to a North Carolinian who had lost a home in a hurricane—had already felt the impacts of climate change. They signaled that their movement was just beginning, and saw the shareholder resolution as merely early steps forward.


“For me this just shows we need to redouble our efforts to communicate the need for immediate action from Jeff Bezos and leadership,” Rebecca Sheppard, a 28-year-old senior product manager at Amazon, told me after the conference had ended. “We have already won in so many ways and ultimately this request is what’s required for all companies. I am hopeful to see Amazon lead that path forward soon, rather than paying the consequences of waiting too long to commit to zero emissions.”

“It’s disappointing that he couldn’t let us ask the question and look us in the eye directly,” Cunningham told me.


“I feel like we’ve won in so many ways already. It was because of our pressure that Amazon said it will announce its carbon footprint for the first time. We really set the model for the kind of leadership that employees can take with their employers—because it’s going to take every one of us to face the climate crisis.”

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Rebecca Sheppard’s surname as “Shephard.” We regret the error.