Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Climate Pledge

U.S.- Based Companies Collaborate on Climate Change 

In July the Obama administration announced a new collaboration between several major U.S.-based companies on climate change, noting that there promises to be another big push on climate change within the coming weeks.

Companies participating 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. These companies brought an estimated 1.3 trillion dollars in revenue last year. Each company to put forth voluntary commitments on climate which includes investments in renewable energy, individual emission reduction targets and reducing water use and deforestation in their operational supply chains. 

Alcoa pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emission from United States operations by 2025 to 50% of its 2005 levels. Berkshire Hathaway Energy pledged to increase its investments in renewable energy generation by $15 billion dollars. Google pledged to triple the amount of energy it purchases from renewable sources by 2025. 

The White House has posted a list of online other companies' commitments. Click here to access that list. 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 October 20-21.

During an appearance on "The Daily Show" President Obama indicated that he plans to make another large push on climate change in the coming weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release final versions of regulations on emissions from both new and existing power plants sometime within the next few weeks.

It remains unclear whether the administration will also issue a final decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which climate change advocates have been urging the White House to reject.

The Pledge states that ignoring action on climate change, will be costly in economic and human health terms and that pushing forward to a low-carbon economy will produce many benefits in terms of sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to some natural disasters, and the health of the global environment. The combined pledges can mean some major changes on this global topic.