Business

Corporate giants back Obama's climate change push

President Obama Image copyright Getty Images

Dozens of corporate giants including Coca-Cola and Walmart have backed President Obama's drive to strike a climate deal at talks in Paris next month.

The White House said that another 68 companies had agreed to measures such as using renewable energy and reducing water wastage.

The businesses will also take steps to cut carbon emissions.

They join 12 firms including Apple and General Motors that signed up in July.

Mr Obama said taking action to tackle climate change was in the best interest of every business.

"The perception is that this is an environmental issue, it's for tree-huggers, and hardheaded business people either don't care about it, or see it as a conflict with their bottom lines," he said.

"Considerations of climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energies are not only not contradictory to their bottom lines, but for these companies they are discovering that they can enhance their bottom lines."

Climate pledge

Mr Obama is pressing other countries, US voters, and state and local governments as well as companies in a bid to reframe the debate ahead of the talks.

Chief executives of companies including Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Hershey went to the White House on Monday to sign Mr Obama's American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption California has been hit by a severe drought in recent years

Todd Brady, global environmental director at Intel, said the administration's drive had encouraged companies to boost their existing climate efforts.

GE has pledged to invest $10b in clean energy by 2020, while Apple plans to make 280 megawatts of clean power generation available by the end of next year.

Mr Obama has failed to get the Republican-controlled Congress to approve climate change legislation.

Republicans have claimed that these laws would be bad for US business, but the President will hope support of dozens of America's largest companies will make it harder for them to make such an argument.

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