Obama Huddling With CEOs to Shore Up Support on Climate

  • President will meet with 10 executives on cutting emissions
  • White House hoping to build momentum ahead of Paris UN meeting

President Barack Obama is bringing executives from five Fortune 500 companies to the White House on Monday in a bid to shore up business support for combating climate change.

The roundtable discussion will include the chief executive officers of Johnson & Johnson, Intel Corp., Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., Hershey Co., and PG&E Corp., as well as five other companies that act as suppliers to those corporations, a White House official said.

The executives and Obama will discuss “carbon mitigation, sustainability and resiliency and how technologies are emerging to support and scale these efforts,” according to the president’s schedule.

Obama is working to build public support for a global climate accord that he’s counting on as a legacy-defining achievement. At a United Nations-sponsored meeting in Paris in December, Obama and other world leaders will discuss an agreement that aims to limit global warming to 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Private Sector

Vice President Joe Biden and other senior administration officials will hold a meeting following the president’s roundtable with business representatives, science and technology leaders, and environmental organizations to discuss the Paris talks. Dozens of companies are expected to participate in the summit, according to the White House official.

The White House has increasingly turned to the private sector to aid in its effort to tackle climate change, which the president has called one of the top priorities for the remainder of his time in office. Last month, the president spent three days in Alaska to highlight the impact melting icecaps had on American towns and businesses.

In July, executives from 13 major corporations, including Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., announced $140 billion in new investments designed to decrease their carbon footprints.

The White House has also rolled out a series of regulations designed to limit U.S. emissions in recent months. On Thursday, the administration proposed extending rules limiting the emissions of refrigerants called hydrofluorocarbons, which are thought to be "super" greenhouse gases because they trap substantially more heat than carbon dioxide. The administration also announced $15 million in new grants to help coal mining communities impacted by the shift to cleaner energies.

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