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Google, Apple, Microsoft Join Business Pledge to Fight Climate Change

Thirteen of America's best-known companies -- including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Walmart and Bank of America -- have pledged $140 billion toward efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The companies on Monday helped launch the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, part of an Obama administration effort to enlist private companies in the fight to slow climate change.

President Barack Obama has set an ambitious goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. In addition to setting an example for its peers, the 13 businesses signing the pledge agree to support "a strong outcome" at an international climate change summit in Paris later this year. Some have set company-specific goals to cut emissions as much as 50 percent.

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"Reaching a strong deal in Paris is an absolute and urgent necessity. The data is clear and the science is beyond dispute: a warming planet poses enormous threats to society," Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a statement. He added that Google has been "carbon neutral" since 2007 and has so far committed more than $2 billion to clean energy projects.

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Other companies signing the pledge are Alcoa, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Pepsico and UPS.