The United States government announced on Monday that 13 major companies in the country will donate a total of $140 billion to sponsor efforts in lowering carbon emissions. The move supports the climate change agreement to be discussed in Paris later this year.

The White House said that these American companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Coca Cola, Bank of America and General Motors, are set to join Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials in launching the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, which is designed to support the Obama administration's efforts to have a climate agreement signed at the Paris summit in December.

As part of their pledge to the government, the 13 companies announced that they will follow strict environment-friendly measures in order to reduce the amount of greenhouses gases that they produce and to adopt greener sources of energy.

Aside from the $140 billion worth of investments in low carbon projects, the partner corporations will also launch other projects aimed at producing at least 1,600 megawatts of renewable power, reducing the consumption of water by as much as 15 percent, purchasing 100 percent renewable sources of energy and reducing their net deforestation rate to zero for all of their chains of supply.

Climate change negotiators of the United Nations (UN) have called on private companies to provide aid to the public sector in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions around the world, especially in poor and developing countries.

Establishing long-term financial support for green projects is viewed as a critical step for a climate agreement to be approved at the Paris summit.

In 2010, the UN began a Green Climate Fund in which developed nations had committed themselves to raise more than $10 billion worth of funding over four years beginning in 2015.

The climate fund will serve as a primary vehicle to help nations in raising a long-term target of $100 billion each year in aid of developing nations by 2020.

Financial pledges from governments, however, are often dependent on approval from competing domestic politics and interests.

For its part in the pledge, Apple will provide close to 300 megawatts of renewable power to China's Sichuan province as well as five other states, while Berkshire Hathaway said that it will decommission 75 percent of its coal-powered generating capacity in Nevada by 2019.

Photo: Robert Scoble | Flickr 

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