Hundreds of major companies yesterday urged president-elect Donald Trump to uphold the Paris climate agreement, which he has vowed to “cancel” once he’s in the White House.
“We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy,” the businesses said in a letter to Trump, President Obama and other elected officials released at the COP22 climate negotiations in Marrakech. “Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness.”
About 365 businesses and investors signed the letter, including DuPont, Gap, General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Hilton, HP Inc., Kellogg, Levi Strauss & Co., L’Oreal USA, Nike, Mars Incorporated, Schneider Electric, Starbucks, VF Corporation and Unilever. It specifically asks US elected leaders to support:
- Continuation of low-carbon policies to allow the US to meet or exceed its promised national commitments.
- Investment in the low-carbon economy at home and abroad in order to give financial decision-makers clarity and boost investor confidence.
- Continued US participation in the Paris climate agreement to provide the long-term direction needed to limit global warming.
It comes as the Obama administration at COP22 announced a long-term goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. The White House also issued a plan for how to achieve this climate target.
Also yesterday the Science Based Targets initiative announced that 200 companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets consistent with the global effort to keep temperatures well below the 2-degree threshold. The initiative, a partnership between CDP, World Resources Institute, WWF and the UN Global Compact, says more than two companies per week have committed to set science-based targets over the past year.
Of the 200, 26 companies have had their targets approved by the initiative, including Coca Cola Enterprises, Dell, General Mills, Kellogg, NRG Energy, Procter & Gamble, Sony and Thalys. Some of the newly approved targets include:
- Walmart commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions 18 percent by 2025, from 2015 levels. Walmart will also work to reduce CO2e emissions from upstream and downstream scope 3 sources by one billion tons between 2015 and 2030.
- Diageo commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and scope 2 emissions 50 percent by 2020 from 2007 levels. Diageo also commits to reduce its GHG emissions across the total value chain of its products by 30 percent within the same timeframe.
- Verbund AG, Austria’s largest electricity provider, commits to reduce GHG emissions 90 percent by 2021, from a 2011 base-year (scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 emissions from fuel-and-energy related activities and business air travel). This is a milestone in the long-term goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.