White House Announces 73 New Companies to Join Climate Pledge – Bloomberg Business

Source: By Justin Sink, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, December 3, 2015

Another 73 companies joined a White House pledge to reduce emissions and water usage, buy renewable energy or take other climate-friendly steps as part of President Barack Obama’s effort to enlist corporate backing for his efforts to combat climate change.

The companies, which include retail giant Amazon.com Inc., chemical conglomerate DuPont Co., and JetBlue Airways Corp., bring the total that have joined the administration’s initiative to 154 companies. The pledge, launched in July, asks companies to cut waste and reduce their carbon footprints. Participants employ 11 million people and account for some $4.2 trillion in annual revenue.

Companies participating in the program have agreed to take steps such as transitioning to renewable energy, reducing landfill waste, and pursuing zero net deforestation in their supply chains, according to the White House. The pledge also includes backing an international climate change agreement being brokered in Paris this week.

Obama has repeatedly highlighted corporate action on climate during his time at the climate summit, where world leaders have gathered in hopes of brokering an international agreement to limit the warming of the planet. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., announced Monday that he and 26 other private investors will help finance emerging energy technologies that would reduce emissions.

At least 20 countries, including the world’s three largest polluters — the U.S., India, and China — have agreed to double their research budgets in the clean energy sector over the next five years.

“While the agreement that we seek in Paris will be forged by governments, the ambitious targets that we set for ourselves are going to be reached in large part by the efforts of our scientists, our businesses, our workers, our investors,” Obama said at an event with Gates Monday in Paris. “And that’s why the private sector — from inventors to investors — will have a seat at the table throughout this process.”