Several U.S. companies, including Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Bank of America Corp., will on Monday announce at least $140 billion in new investments to lower their carbon emissions and increase funding for clean energy, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The announcement -- part of a White House initiative to recruit private companies in the fight against climate change -- would come just months ahead of a crucial United Nations summit in Paris. Securing long-term climate finance is seen as a crucial step to a potential deal in Paris later this year.
“It’s significant because they are carbon-intensive, energy-consuming companies making a bottom-up commitment to address climate change,” Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners, a Washington-based firm, told the Journal.
However, none of the companies scheduled to take part in Monday’s pledge are involved in the production of oil, natural gas and coal -- major sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
A second round of similar pledges from several other companies is expected to be announced later this fall, the Journal reported. It is not yet clear whether American fossil fuel companies would also make commitments to reduce carbon emissions in the second round.
Among the pledges to be announced Monday is a commitment by General Motors Co. to cut its carbon intensity [ which denotes the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of energy consumed] by 20 percent in the next five years -- as compared to 2010 levels -- and a $75 billion pledge by Bank of America, the Journal reported.
The pledges, if followed through, would go a long way in helping the U.S. government meet its commitment to cut emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
In 2010, the U.N. announced the creation of the Green Climate Fund, which aims to raise up to $100 billion a year to help developing countries mitigate the effects of climate change.
Later this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce final regulations that aim to reduce carbon emissions from American power plants by 30 percent over 2005 levels by 2030.
"As the world looks toward global climate negotiations in Paris this December, American leadership at all levels will be essential,” the White House reportedly said, in a statement detailing the announcement.