WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Monday announced a new collaboration between major U.S.-based companies on climate change, teasing what has been promised to be another big push on climate change in the coming weeks.
Participants in the "American Business Act on Climate Pledge" include Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS and Walmart, which combined brought in $1.3 trillion in revenue last year. The companies together called for a "strong outcome" at the climate negotiation in Paris at the end of this year, and each put forward voluntary commitments on climate, which include investments in renewable energy, individual emissions reduction targets and reducing water use and deforestation in their operations and supply chain.
"We recognize that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment," states the pledge.
Alcoa pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. operations by 2025 to 50 percent of its 2005 levels. Berkshire Hathaway Energy pledged to increase its investments in renewable energy generation by $15 billion. Google pledged to triple the amount of energy it purchases from renewable sources by 2025. The White House has posted a list online of other company-specific commitments.
The White House said it intends to release a second round of pledges from businesses this fall, and that Secretary of State John Kerry would host an event on the role of businesses in climate efforts on Oct. 20-21.
President Barack Obama indicated in an appearance on "The Daily Show" that he plans to make another big push on climate change in the coming weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency is due to release final versions of regulations on emissions from both new and existing power plants sometime in the next few weeks, though the exact dates are still unclear. Best estimates range from Aug. 3-11. It remains to be seen whether the administration at the same time will also issue a final decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which climate change advocates have been urging the administration to reject.