Corporate whales join climate pledge while real whales become climate refugees

Plus, the Biden plan to safeguard the U.S. electric grid

Companies join the climate pledge parade: Amazon, PepsiCo, Visa, more

In the midst of Earth Week and just ahead of the U.S. climate summit this week, 52 new companies have signed on to Amazon’s (AMZN) pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, with new signatories including Visa (V), PepsiCo (PEP), Alaska Airlines (ALK) and Colgate Palmolive (CL). Meanwhile, Verizon (VZ) announced new targets on its road to net-zero by 2035, while State Street (STT) joined BlackRock (BLK) and Vanguard on an asset-manager-specific net-zero by 2050 pledge. Taking a slightly different approach, Cisco Systems (CSCO) announced that it is committing $100 million to nonprofit grants and impact investments targeting innovative emissions reduction solutions and climate resilience. 

Whales’ songs signal climate change is impacting their migration

For the first time, bowhead whales off the west coast of Canada never completed their normally consistent annual 6,000 kilometer migration during the 2018-19 winter, according to a University of Victoria study released this morning. Through the study of data collected by recording devices all across the coastal ocean floor, the team of scientists looked for whales bellowing mating songs, and they were able to detect whale calls in areas that would typically be vacant based on the season. The variation of a typically consistent migration pattern has led the scientists to wonder if climate change is playing a role in the whale’s behavior, especially given arctic ice’s role in aiding the whales’ movements. 

White House aims to protect the grid from cybersecurity threats

The Biden administration announced a plan aimed at protecting the U.S. electrical grid from cyberattacks, reports The Hill, and the government is pitching a public-private partnership involving utilities companies to tackle the issue. A spokesperson for the National Security Council painted the responsibility to up cybersecurity as a “shared responsibility government and the owners and operators of that infrastructure,” and is calling for input from the electricity sector on supply chain security as well.