By Natasha Bach
September 13, 2018

While the Trump administration is rolling back fuel efficiency regulations and limits to carbon dioxide emissions, a number of companies are stepping up to the challenge of combating climate change themselves.

Salesforce announced the launch of the Step Up Declaration at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco on Thursday, a new alliance “dedicated to harnessing the power of emerging technologies and the fourth industrial revolution to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all economic sectors and ensure a climate turning point by 2020.” Salesforce is joined by the likes of Autodesk, Bloomberg, Uber, WeWork, and HP, with a total of 21 companies currently signed on.

The signatories acknowledge the societal threat that climate change poses, while also seeing a business opportunity to invest in climate solutions. Noting the massively transformative nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, these companies intend to capitalize on the prospect of simultaneously “accelerat[ing] the global transformation to a decarbonized future.”

Salesforce, which led the creation of the declaration, has committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2022. The company will also work with its top suppliers to set their own emissions reduction targets by 2025.

Meanwhile, Lyft has committed to full carbon neutrality and renewable energy, while WeWork has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2023, as well as phasing out disposable plastics and meat.

A number of the other companies have committed to Science Based Targets, which are “in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.” The initiative is a collaboration between the CDP, UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, and WWF, with the aim of making science-based target setting the standard in business practice to drive down global greenhouse gas emissions.

But the commitments are not limited to the companies themselves. They hope that the declaration will also enable them to influence others across society to make progress in fighting climate change, including posing a renewed call to action to heads of state to accelerate their progress in meeting the tenets of the Paris Agreement by 2020.

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