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GM, GE and Dell and Others Sign Climate Pledge Ahead of Paris Summit

Oct. 19, 2015
The announcement comes six weeks ahead of the Paris summit to negotiate a climate change agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

General Electric, General Motors and Dell are among the 81 large companies—a cross-section of manufacturing, retail, financial services, energy and technology firms--that have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, the White House announced today. The announcement comes six weeks ahead of the Paris summit to negotiate a climate change agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

By signing the American Business Act on Climate pledge, the White House stated, these companies are :

  • Voicing support for a strong Paris outcome. The pledge recognizes those countries that have already put forward climate targets, and voices support for a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations.
  • Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action. As part of this initiative, each company is announcing significant pledges to reduce their emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses and tackle climate change.
  • Setting an example for their peers. Today’s announcements build on the launch of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge in July. This fall, the Obama Administration will release a third round of pledges, with a goal of mobilizing many more companies to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

Other manufacturers on the list include Apple, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Sony and Xerox.

These pledges include company-specific goals. For instance, Berkshire Hathaway Energy has pledged to:

  • Build on its investment of more than $15 billion in renewable energy generation under construction and in operation through 2014 by investing up to an additional $15 billion.
  • Pursue construction of an additional 552 megawatts of new wind generation in Iowa, increasing MidAmerican Energy Company’s generating portfolio to more than 4,000 megawatts of wind which is comparable to 57 percent of its retail energy load in 2017. MidAmerican Energy Company is the nation’s largest owner of wind generation among regulated, investor-owned utilities.
  • Retire more than 75% of its coal-fueled generating capacity in Nevada by 2019.
  • Add more than 1,000 megawatts of incremental solar and wind capacity through long-term power purchase agreements to PacifiCorp’s owned 1,030 megawatts of wind generating capacity. PacifiCorp is the nation’s second largest owner of wind generation among regulated, investor-owned utilities. This incremental renewable generation, expected to be online by the end of 2017, would bring PacifiCorp’s non-carbon generating capacity to more than 4,500 megawatts which equates to approximately 22% of PacifiCorp’s retail energy load in 2017.
  • Invest in transmission infrastructure in the West and Midwest to support the integration of renewable energy onto the grid.
  • Support and advance the development of markets in the West to optimize the electric grid, lower costs, enhance reliability and more effectively integrate renewable resources.

The President’s Climate Action Plan, when fully implemented, aims to cut nearly 6 billion tons of carbon pollution through 2030, an amount equivalent to taking all the cars in the United States off the road for more than 4 years. The Clean Power Plan sets out to reduce emissions from the energy sector by 32% by 2030.

The pledge and specific companies’ commitments can be viewed at:

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