Statement by World Wildlife Fund’s Lou Leonard, vice president, climate change, on this week’s White House announcement that 13 leading American business pledged their support for a strong outcome at upcoming UN climate talks in Paris:
“A safer and more prosperous future is within our grasp. To reach it, both governments and the private sector need to work together to help lead us to a zero-carbon future powered by renewable energy.
"Today’s announcement is an important step in that direction. In addition, we’ll need concerted private sector action to address the gap between the carbon-cutting pledges countries are making and the level of cuts scientists say is needed to avoid runaway climate change.
“By supporting emissions reduction targets by the United States and other governments, these US companies are helping to set the stage for a strong new global agreement in Paris and a clear turning point in the fight against climate change. These businesses are stepping up for practical reasons. They understand the risks of climate change to their operations, supply chains, customers and communities.
“But these companies also see opportunity. Their efforts and public support will positively impact the US economy in the coming decade, especially by making it easier to access renewable energy in America.
“Today, these private sector leaders are not just standing with their government, they are joining together with mayors, governors, religious leaders and citizens everywhere to signal a turning point.
“In the coming months, we look forward to more businesses raising their voices for action in the US and a strong global agreement in Paris this December.”