81 Major Corporations--Including Google, Facebook, Coca Cola, General Motors--Sign WH Pledge to Back Global Climate Change Deal

By Mairead McArdle | October 20, 2015 | 5:21 PM EDT
President Obama meets with top business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Oct. 19, 2015. (AP photo)

(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

Aemetis, Alcoa

American Express

Apple

AT&T

Autodesk

Bank of America

Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Best Buy

Biogen

Bloomberg

Cargill

CA Technologies

Calpine

Campos Brothers Farms

Coca-Cola

Cox Enterprises

Dell

DSM North America

EMC, Energy Optimizers

Ener-G Rudox

Facebook

Fulcrum Bioenergy

GE

General Mills

General Motors

Goldman Sachs

Google

Hershey’s

Hewlett Packard

Iberdrola USA

IBM

IKEA USA

Ingersoll Rand

International Paper

Intel

Intex Solutions, Inc.

Intren

Invenergy

Johnson and Johnson

Johnson Controls

Kellogg’s

Keystone Electrical Manufacturing

Kingspan Insulated Panels, Inc.

Lakeshore Learning Materials

LAM Research

Levi Strauss & Co.

L’Oreal USA

Mars

McDonalds Corporation

Microsoft

Monsanto

National Label Company

Nike

Nestle

Novozymes

One3LED

Pacific Ethanol

Pepsi-Co

PG&E

POET

Portland General Electric

PwC US

Procter & Gamble

Qualcomm

Ricoh USA

Salesforce.com

Schneider Electric

Siemens Corporation

SONY Corporation of America

Starbucks

Syngenta/QCCP

Target

Tri-Global Energy

Unilever

UPS

Walmart

The Walt Disney Company

Xerox Corporation

Mairead McArdle
Mairead McArdle
Mairead McArdle