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In California, dozens of companies sign on to call for climate action

The Climate Declaration is adorned with the logos of companies that have signed on. Photo courtesy of Ceres/BICEP, 2014

The Climate Declaration is adorned with the logos of companies that have signed on. Photo courtesy of Ceres/BICEP, 2014

In the US, Apple and over a dozen other California companies announced Tuesday that they have signed the Climate Declaration, a call to action from the business community urging Washington to address global warming.

The Climate Declaration, which was created by the nonprofit sustainable business network Ceres and its subsidiary BICEP (Business for Innovate Climate and Energy Policy) states that “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest opportunities of the 21st century” and calls for federal action to be taken.

All together, more than 750 companies have signed the declaration, including heavy-hitters like Microsoft, Nike, Unilever, and General Motors.

In addition to Apple, new signers include San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, Sullivan Solar, and Renovate America; and the Bay Area solar company Sungevity. CleanTech San Diego, a tech-industry trade association that represents 800 companies also signed on.

At the announcement Tuesday, which occurred at the US Climate Leadership Conference in San Diego, the new signatories added their own message to the declaration:

As the world’s 8th largest economy, California is a champion of clean energy progress and innovation, the statement says. Thanks in part to its smart energy policies including its landmark climate law, AB32, California has been a global leader in job creation, clean energy investments and GDP growth.

At the event, prominent business leaders and politicians weighed in on the building pressure for climate action among the business community.

David Kennedy, co-founder of Sungevity called addressing climate change “the biggest economic opportunity of our time,” while California Representative Scott Peters applauded the new signers:

Climate change is causing more frequent extreme weather that is harming businesses and our economy. I am proud to stand with this coalition of forward-thinking businesses who are seizing this economic opportunity to prepare for the negative effects of a changing climate while also advocating for concrete actions to be better stewards of our environment.

Observers have noted that the announcement comes at a symbolic moment, as California continues to be ravaged by severe drought that likely has been intensified by global warming.

As the potential economic consequences of climate change become clear, the voices of business leaders will continue to be a critical factor in catalyzing action to lower emissions and halt global warming.

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