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Companies Push White House to Follow Through on Climate Action Plan
One year after Superstorm Sandy, 20 major U.S. businesses demand action
One year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, major U. S. companies including Starbucks, Unilever and Mars, Inc. have called on President Obama and the White House to follow through on climate change preparedness efforts outlined in the Climate Action Plan announced by the President on June 25th.
The corporate signatories of the letter, which rely on the stability of global supply chains for growth and profitability, cited the economic impacts of severe weather events on company operations and called for ongoing and significant investments to be made in strengthening climate change resiliency both in the United States and the world’s most vulnerable countries. Many of the signatories are members of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy – a group of businesses advocating for meaningful energy and climate legislation.
“Our businesses depend upon a resilient infrastructure, resilient communities, and resilient value chains,” the companies wrote in a letter to President Obama today. “In recent years, severe weather events, combined with rising temperatures, have devastated critical infrastructure, decreased crop yields, and threatened water supplies. These trends are being felt globally… We call upon your administration to follow through on commitments for robust support of climate change resilience efforts.”
“Public investment in climate resilience is critical to the economic viability of companies we invest in that rely on consumers, labor, raw materials, and operations located in regions susceptible to extreme weather,” said Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments. “We applaud the U.S. government for making investments in resilience and hope to see this strengthened in future years.”
Critical components of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan included federal investments in climate science, and support for disaster planning and risk management in multiple sectors. On the anniversary of one of the most catastrophic weather events in history, the companies reiterated the need for federal funding of programs and projects that benefit the most vulnerable communities and the businesses they rely on for employment, products and services.
“Extreme weather trends pose challenges to managing reliable supply chains and business planning,” said Anna Walker, Senior Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy at Levi Strauss & Co. “While Levi Strauss & Co. is committed to addressing its climate impact, we believe U.S. government leadership is essential for widespread action on climate resilience to strengthen communities and minimize economic disruption.”
The signatories recognized the Obama Administration’s efforts thus far to address climate change, and expressed support for public and private sector collaboration to continue advancing the implementation of the Climate Action Plan.
“The human and economic costs of severe weather are escalating and it is increasingly important that business and communities integrate climate risk into their operational and decision-making processes,” said Mark Way, Head of Sustainability Americas at Swiss Re America. “As experts on risk, everything we see points to the fact that climate change is something we simply cannot ignore.”
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of nearly 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.
About Oxfam America
Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. We save lives, develop long-term solutions to poverty, and campaign for social change. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. To join our efforts or learn more, go to www.oxfamamerica.org/. Oxfam America also serves as Secretariat for the Partnership for Resilience and Environmental Preparedness (PREP), a partnership formed to address the risks and opportunities that climate change impacts pose to businesses and the communities on which they depend. For more information, see oxfamamerica.org/prep