White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett is quietly working behind the scenes to build a coalition of major U.S. corporations to back President Barack Obama’s goal of hashing out a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the upcoming United Nations summit in Paris.
The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a letter that outlines how, by the end of June, Obama is looking to build a coalition of businesses to show support for UN climate talks. After that, the White House will then try to grow this group of businesses to 250 in the run up to the Paris talks this November.
The way the letter is written, it’s likely being circulated by someone or some group on behalf of the White House. The source could not disclose who was circulating the letter on the White House’s behalf, but did confirm the business they work for was approached to support the Paris climate talks.
According to the letter, the White House is asking U.S. businesses “to show support [for] the climate change discussions to take place in late November in Paris.” The letter further states that Jarrett and her staffer Robert Diamond are “working to garner business support through outreach to a number of corporations … with the goal of securing 12 to 15 ‘anchor partners’ by the end of June.”
The letter specifically mentions Cargill, Pepsi, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Google, FedEx and UPS as examples of some of the companies Obama is trying to enlist in his climate coalition.
Each company that joins, however, would be required to sign onto a pledge stating their support for global carbon dioxide emissions reductions. The so-called “American Business Act On Climate Pledge” reads as follows:
We applaud the growing number of countries that have already set ambitious targets for climate action. In this context, we support the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.
We recognize that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will product multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment.
The letter says the White House will announce this climate-conscious business coalition during the summer.
UN delegates are expected to hash out a successor agreement to the now-expired Kyoto Protocol when they meet in Paris this year. Obama has said he wants to stake his presidential legacy crafting an international agreement to fight global warming before he leaves office.
“If I can encourage and gain commitments from the Chinese to put forward a serious plan to start curbing their greenhouse gases, and that then allows us to leverage the entire world for the conference that will be taking place later this year in Paris,” Obama told VICE News in an interview.
“When I’m done, we’re still going to have a heck of a problem, but we will have made enough progress that the next president and the next generation can start building on it,” Obama said.
White House staff have already been working tirelessly behind the scenes to convince other countries to sign onto to a climate agreement in Paris, but with mixed success. Garnering support from the private sector is another plank of Obama’s plan to build broad support for the Paris climate talks.
Obama claims to have made major progress in building international support for CO2 emissions reductions because of a vague promise he got from China’s government last year to peak emissions by 2030. In return, Obama promised to cut U.S. emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
The UN says the world needs to cut enough emissions to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Delegates are currently meeting in Bonn, Germany hoping to build a path forward for a Kyoto successor to be agreed to in November.
A recent International Energy Agency report claimed the world was “no longer on track” to meet the two degrees Celsius goal. IEA report that “not one of the technology fields tracked is meeting its objectives.”
But the IEA did not mention the world could actually be in for decades of natural cooling, instead of unabated warming. A cooling trend in the North Atlantic could mean a cooling trend of half a degree Celsius for the next two to three decades, according to a recent study out of the UK. The study says such a trend could provide a “brief respite from the persistent rise of global temperatures.”
The White House has not yet responded to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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