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US NGOs and companies back climate change agreement

Climate change targets and a commitment to support the United Nations-led Paris Agreement have been agreed by US companies and investors at a press conference at the UN’s  COP 22 Climate Change meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco. Signatories want to send a strong message to US politicians, including President-elect Donald Trump, that, whatever the political stance, they would be working to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

US companies and investors back Paris climate change targets

More than 365 businesses and investors, from across the US have signed a pledge to support climate-change initiatives. The pledge states:  “We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy. Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at riskBut the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness. We pledge to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realise the Paris Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Tackling climate change and energy needs is essential for EU

US companies back climate change targets

Companies that have signed the statement include Gap, General Mills, Kellogg and Levi Strauss. Fund manager signatories include Calvert Investments, Trillium Asset Management and NorthStar Asset Management. Other signatories include the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the New York City Comptrollers Office. The statement was coordinated by C2ES, Ceres, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Entrepreneurs, The B Team, The Climate Group,We Mean Business, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levi Strauss said: “Building an energy-efficient economy in the U.S., powered by low-carbon energy will ensure our nation’s competitiveness and position US companies as leaders in the global market – all while doing the right thing for our planet.

Separately the Science Based Targets initiative has announced that 200 companies have committed to set emissions reduction targets consistent with the global effort to keep temperatures well below the 2-degree threshold. In the past year, the initiative said it had seen a growth rate of over two companies per week committing to set science-based targets, far exceeding the project’s timeline and signaling that climate action has gained tremendous momentum in the private sector.

The initiative said of the 200 companies, 26 have had their targets approved by the initiative, including Coca Cola Enterprises, Dell, General Mills, Kellogg, NRG Energy, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Thalys . Science Based Targets is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and the UN Global Compact.

President Elect plans to end the so-called war on coal

Trump voiced his opposition to the Paris Agreement during his election campaign and to President Obama’s environmental and energy saving initiatives. The President Elect’s website states that his government, “will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration.  We will eliminate the highly invasive “Waters of the US” rule, and scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan and prevent these unilateral plans from increasing monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable effect on Earth’s climate.”

What do you think?