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WASHINGTON, DC: UPS, together with 12 other major U.S. corporations with combined annual revenues of US$1.3 trillion and market capitalization of US$2.5 trillion, has signed up to president Barak Obama's American Business Act on Climate pledge.

The companies are responding to Obama's Climate Action Plan goal of reducing carbon pollution by nearly six billion tons through 2030, equivalent to removing all cars from U.S. roads for more than four years.

Last November Obama announced a goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent across the economy by 2025.

UPS said it will reduce CO2 emissions 20 percent by 2020 off a 2007 base line, and achieve a cumulative target of one billion miles of package or freight delivery by 2017 using alternative fuel/technology trucks.

risky business south usaTo achieve these goals the company said it will continue to optimize its network to minimize mileage and energy consumed; invest in fuel-saving technologies to reduce dependency on fossil fuels; and conserve energy through facility design, operational practices, renewable energy and retrofitting.

Other companies who have signed the pledge are Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Walmart.

In a joint statement they declared: "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 produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment."

The 13 companies will invest at least US$140 billion in new low-carbon investment and more than 1,600 megawatts of new renewable energy, in addition to company-specific goals to cut emissions as much as 50 percent, reduce water intensity as much as 15 percent, purchase 100 percent renewable energy, and pursue zero net deforestation in supply chains.

The We Mean Business corporate coalition said it welcomed the commitments because companies want long-term certainty. The group estimates the value of the low carbon market at US$5 trillion globally and expects it will create 60 million new jobs in renewable energy, clean technology and smart infrastructure over the next 20 years.

"The shift to a low-carbon economy is inevitable, irreversible and irresistible." said Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business. "Taking bold climate action is simply good for business."

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