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US climate pledge backed by dozens of companies

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The White House on Monday announced that a total of 81 companies, including Alcoa, General Electric and Procter & Gamble, have backed a U.S.-sponsored pledge supporting action to combat climate change.

The White House said that 68 additional companies had signed the pledge, joining 13 earlier corporations to support "a strong outcome" for upcoming United Nations climate negotiations in Paris and take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.

President Barack Obama is pursuing private sector support ahead of the U.N. conference and more corporations are expected to sign the pledge before it begins on Nov. 30.

President Barack Obama hosts a roundtable with CEOs to discuss efforts to tackle climate change both in the United States as well as on a global scale at the White House in Washington October 19, 2015.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

"This progress isn't just creating a safer planet. It's creating jobs, it's creating business opportunities and it's something that customers are increasingly looking for," Obama told reporters after a meeting with business leaders Monday.

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The pledge's signatories announced on Monday span the spectrum of major American corporations, and also include Bank of America, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Google and Wal-Mart.

Obama contended the transition to renewable energy has, in some cases, has helped corporate bottom lines rather than hurt them.

The White House said it also expects a consortium of major investors to announce on Monday $1.2 billion in investment capital for companies and projects that can "produce impactful and profitable solutions to climate change." The initial group of investors includes the University of California, TIAA-Cref and the Alaska Permanent Fund, according to the White House.

CNBC contributed to this report.