Today, the White House announced that 81 companies have signed on to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, with specific details. A few weeks ago, we announced that the tally had risen to 34, with huge names like J&J, Nike and Starbucks having added their names. But now, it’s become the Who’s Who of global corporate brands, each making specific commitments of varying degrees to cut climate-warming impacts like carbon & methane emissions, deforestation and waste throughout the supply chain.
The White House announcement summarized the 81 commitments as follows:
These 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.
By signing the American Business Act on Climate pledge, these companies are:
- Voicing support for a strong Paris outcome. The pledge recognizes those countries that have already put forward climate targets, and voices support for a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations.
- Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action. As part of this initiative, each company is announcing significant pledges to reduce their emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses and tackle climate change.
In fairness, the commitments vary. They range from Ag giant Cargill (5% energy efficiency improvement by 2020 — begging for more muscle) to Apple (already 100% carbon-free, committing to more clean power). While Congress tries to undermine the Paris commitments before they’re finalized, industry leaders are acting despite government resistance.
Leaders from three signatories — IKEA, Best Buy and PG&E — held a round table discussion today on their plans. It’s clear that they’re way ahead of US lawmakers on the need for bold action. Each agreed that the ultimate success of these plans hinges on some level of government action to place a price on carbon emissions, so that climate pollution is no longer free.
Still, without any legislative action, and despite congressional threats to torpedo global agreements in Paris this year, industry sees what has to be done, and they’re beginning to act. We’ve prayed, and we’ve demanded action. We’re thankful today for hopeful answers.