The UN Climate Summit opens today with major companies playing a leading role in the gathering of policy makers and business leaders. President Obama and heads of state from more than 120 counties will discuss climate initiatives, but company CEOs are expected to make their own commitments this week, which will see dozens of climate-related events happening in and around New York City.
Among the business pledges expected:
Yesterday, on the eve of the Climate Summit, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced plans to begin divesting from fossil fuels. The fund has begun a two-step divestment process, first focusing on limiting its exposure to coal and tar sands, with a goal to reduce these investments to less than 1 percent of the total portfolio by the end of 2014. The fund is also analyzing its remaining fossil fuel exposure and says it will develop a plan for further divestment over the next few years.
New York City will formally pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the initiative over the weekend.
About two dozen large firms will commit to deforestation-free sourcing of products such as palm oil, soy and beef, USA Today reports. These companies will join Nestle, Kellogg’s, Hershey’s and General Mills, which have already made similar pledges.
The newspaper also says six major oil and gas companies, in partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, will pledge to reduce methane leaks in fossil fuel production.
A new coalition called We Mean Business that aims to unify the private sector voice and highlight how business can benefit from a low-carbon economy will launch. Reuters report the coalition will work with thousands of leading companies and investors.
More companies are expected to join a World Bank-led effort to put a price on carbon emissions. Last week nearly 350 global institutional investors, representing more than $24 trillion in assets, called on government leaders to adopt climate pricing.
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