Less than five months away from the United Nations Global climate change conference in Paris, the White House has organized a coalition of private-sector companies to substantially fund solutions to the dire problem.
More than a dozen major U.S. companies had pledged a combined $140 billion to combat climate change.
“They’re not just committing to support a successful outcome in Paris, they’re walking the walk,” said Brian Deese, the president’s senior climate change advisor on Monday. “Commitments are varied, but the thing they all share is that they’re innovative and ambitious.”
The 13 companies are as prominent as they are diverse. Banking institutions have signed on, including Goldman Sach’s and Bank of America, financing renewable energy plants. Retailer Walmart and Pepsico have agreed to retool portions of their supply chain through an environmentally-conscious lens.
Google and Microsoft, meanwhile, have committed to purchasing all of their energy for their data centers from renewable sources. Apple, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and others joined Secretary of State John Kerry at the White House Monday for the announcement.
“What’s exciting about this is these commitments are new and push beyond what has been done,” said Deese. “They are accountable, measurable and verifiable.”
Cargill Inc. stated 18 percent of its energy use will come from renewable sources, while Alcoa Inc. has agreed to reduce emissions from its 2005 levels by 50 percent. General Motors and United Parcel Services are also participating.
However, while the companies on the list have a combined wroth of more than $2.5 trillion, not one of them is from the oil sector.
The White House did say, though, it expects to announced a second round of commitments by other companies this fall.
“We hope this is the beginning of a substantial mobilization effort,” Brian Deese. Later this week, the Environmental Protection Agency will announce its final regulation intended to reduce carbon emissions.