The White House has organized an initiative to demonstrate the private sector’s commitment to combating climate change. The result: a total of $140 billion in new funds from more than a dozen leading U.S. companies. The effort was the latest in a series of actions taken by the White House on climate change.
While many of the companies have made previous efforts to mitigate climate change, the announcement consists of new commitments of both money and resources to tackle the issue. The list of 13 companies involved in the initiative contains many of the country’s most eminent corporations, including banks, retailers and tech companies.
“What’s exciting about this is these commitments are new and push beyond what has been done,” said Brian Deese, the president’s senior climate change advisor, on a conference call for journalists. “They are accountable, measurable and verifiable.”
Financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have committed to financing billions of dollars in renewable energy plants. Companies like Walmart and Pepsico have agreed to reassess segments of their supply chain in an environmentally conscious manner. Tech companies such as Google and Microsoft made the commitment to purchase 100% of the energy for their data centers from renewable energy sources, in addition to a variety of other commitments.
This move reiterates the administration’s continued effort to prioritize global warming as a major issue in the lead up to a landmark United Nations conference on climate change in Paris at the end of the year.
“They’re not just committing to support a successful outcome in Paris, they’re walking the walk,” said Deese. “Commitments are varied, but the thing they all share is that they’re innovative and ambitious.”