Last week, I joined Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett, to lead a meeting with CEOs and top executives from global consumer companies, including Unilever, Nestle, Walmart, Coca-Cola and others. We gathered to discuss strategies for how we can work together to improve the environmental sustainability of supply chains for top companies. Nancy Sutley, Gayle Smith, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Drew O’Brien, State Department Representative for Global Partnerships, and I joined the discussion on these companies’ notable efforts to reduce their impacts on global deforestation and reduce their contribution to climate change, while continuing to preserve their bottom line and their status as global market-makers.
These companies recognize that we can make our planet safer and cleaner while still growing the economy and creating good jobs. In the last 3 ½ years, as we have promoted energy efficiency, improved the fuel economy of our cars and trucks, and incentivized renewable energy, the U.S. private sector has created 7.8 million jobs. A climate-resilient, low-carbon, clean energy economy can be an engine of growth for decades to come. As we continue to support growth and prosperity around the world, we must remain good global stewards and ensure that we’re leaving a cleaner and healthier planet for our children. We discussed with the CEOs how we are advancing that goal through an innovative public-private partnership included in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan – the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020.