(CNSNews.com) – Eighty-one major corporations with operations in the U.S.--including Google, Facebook, Apple, Coca Cola and General Motors--have taken a White House pledge “to demonstrate their support for action on climate change and the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.”
Signing the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Change Pledge shows a continuing commitment to action preventing global warming and is intended to set an example for other companies to pursue similar policies, according to a statement released by the White House.
It also shows the signatories’ support for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held this November in Paris. “The Pledge...voices support for a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations.”
The 81 companies “have operations in all 50 states, employ over 9 million people, represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion,” the White House said.
“We recognize that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms,” the pledge states.
The president announced last November that he wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
To accomplish that goal, Obama held a roundtable with top CEOs this week to discuss ways in which they can help to fight climate change in the U.S. and around the world.
“Historically when you start talking about an issue like climate change the perception is that this is an environmental issue - it’s for tree-huggers - and that hard-headed business people either don’t care about it or see it as in conflict with their bottom lines,” the president said Monday at a press briefing after the meeting.
However, the president said that the 81 companies that signed the pledge view his long-term plan to reduce carbon emissions by almost 6 million tons through 2030 as a positive step.
“This conversation has confirmed what we’ve known for quite some time, which is that considerations of climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energies are not only not contradictory to their bottom lines, but for these companies they’re discovering that it can enhance their bottom lines,” Obama said.
The American Business Act on Climate Change promises new low-carbon company investments of at least $140 billion and the use of new renewable energy totaling more than 1,600 megawatts.
Individual companies have added their own goals, such as cutting carbon emissions up to 50 percent, increasing the efficient use of water by up to 15 percent, using 100 percent renewable energy sources, and seeking zero net deforestation in their supply chains.
Some federal agencies and private-sector collaborators made previous commitments to fight climate change and support food resilience as part of the Climate Data Initiative introduced by the president in March, 2014, according to a July 29, 2014 statement from the White House.
Obama previously met with 13 major companies on July 27 to launch the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, according to a White House statement.
Three of them--Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and General Motors--received billions of taxpayer dollars in government bailouts under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
The companies that have signed the pledge are:
Abengoa Bioenergy US
Bank of America
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Campos Brothers Farms
DSM North America
EMC, Energy Optimizers
Intex Solutions, Inc.
Johnson and Johnson
Keystone Electrical Manufacturing
Kingspan Insulated Panels, Inc.
Lakeshore Learning Materials
Levi Strauss & Co.
National Label Company
Portland General Electric
Procter & Gamble
SONY Corporation of America
The Walt Disney Company