13 Major Companies Join White House in American Business Act on Climate Change


In the UK we sometimes hear that while President Obama and Secretary Kerry are pushing for action on climate change, US companies are not doing their share.  No one can say that anymore.  This week, the White House announced the American Business Act on Climate Change, a big step forward.  Thirteen of the largest U.S. companies have agreed to make $140 billion in new low-carbon investment and produce over 1,600 megawatts of new renewable energy.  Check out this link that gives an overview and explains which each of them are doing!

They are supporting a strong Paris climate deal, demonstrating their commitment to climate action, and leading the way for others to follow their example. They are actively addressing the threat that President Obama has referred to as “the one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.”

A Lofty Goal

President Obama has made climate change one of his legacy issues, and his Climate Action Plan, announced in 2013, will eliminate 6 billion tons of carbon in 15 years, the equivalent of removing the pollution from all American cars for four years. President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the 13 major companies will press for an ambitious, effective and durable climate deal in the UNFCCC Conference of Parties meeting this December in Paris.

The Players

Major companies as diverse as soft drink manufacturers, parcel delivery services, and corporate finance will undertake the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Combined, these companies have revenue of US$1.3 trillion, roughly the size of Mexico’s economy. Google and Goldman Sachs are among the companies better known for their climate change activism, but others are more surprising.  Walmart has pledged to double solar energy projects at its stores and distribution centers by 2020, and collect metrics on yields, water usage, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their supply lines. The other companies involved: Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Microsoft, Pepsico, and UPS are doing their part as well.