Commercial, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables - June 18, 2018 - By Ryan Martel
One year later, companies and investors are Still In
June marks one year since President Trump announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. In the hours and days after, Ceres, along with several partner organizations including World Wildlife Fund and Climate Nexus, helped to mobilize hundreds of influential companies and investors to say ‘We Are Still In’ and show the world that America will not retreat from the global pact.
Since its launch, the We Are Still In coalition has doubled in size and grown in clout, going from a meme to a movement. Now, over 2,800 leaders are working together to uphold America’s promise to meet the U.S. goals of the Paris Agreement. The signatories, which include over 1,800 companies and investors as well as governors, mayors, tribes, cultural institutions, faith organizations, colleges, and universities, represent 160.2 million Americans and more than $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy.
As one of the co-founders of We Are Still In, Ceres is thrilled by the unprecedented support and cross-sector collaboration of non-federal leaders from all 50 states joining forces to tackle climate change.
As a sustainability nonprofit organization, we work with companies across all sectors to embolden commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency and strengthen goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — making the case that these actions make economic and financial sense. In state after state, we have seen companies and investors increase their ambition while supporting climate and clean energy policies on every level.
Among the new commitments by Ceres network members since June 2017 include:
- Adobe, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, Mars, Inc., and VF Corporation are among the latest companies that set science-based emissions reduction targets consistent with global efforts to limit warming to well below 2-degrees Celsius.
- Apple announced it would power its global facilities with 100 percent renewable energy. This includes its retail stores, data centers, offices, and co-located facilities in 43 countries — including China and India.
- California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced it would acquire an 80 percent stake in wind farms in Kansas and Oklahoma for $233 million.
- CalPERS continues to play a leadership role as a Steering Committee member in Climate Action 100+, a major global investor initiative with nearly 280 investors with $30 trillion in assets under management engaging the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters on climate change.
- At the 2018 Ceres Conference, Citibank announced that the bank is ‘Still In’, making it the first bank to join the coalition.
- L'Oreal USA announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality in 2019 for all 21 of its U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities.
- New York State Office of the Comptroller committed an additional $2 billion to its low-carbon index fund, raising it to $4 billion, and its overall investment in sustainable investments to $7 billion.
- New York City Office of the Comptroller set a goal to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil fuels.
- Target committed to source 100 percent renewable energy in its domestic operations, and also announced a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 25 percent by 2025.
In April, We Are Still In launched the We Are Taking Action campaign to drive a new wave of ambitious climate commitments and action. To kick off the campaign, Lyft announced it would offset the carbon emissions from all rides globally. Now, dozens of other companies have stepped up to announce bold commitments, proving that momentum on climate action is stronger than ever.
The overwhelming commitment over the last year has been less about raising a fist to the current administration and more about raising a hand to show the nation and the rest of the world that we are ‘Still In’ and ready to do our part to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader on climate change.
Ryan Martel the director of federal policy at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy.
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