Nike, Starbucks and Goldman Sachs are among 36 Fortune 500 companies that have signed the RE100 pledging to source all of their electricity requirements via renewable energy. This seems to be a sign that there is increasing willingness to curb global warming by the corporate world.

Speaking of their respective businesses' intentions, Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said: "As the world's largest and most broadly-based health care company, our mission is to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives. We understand the intrinsic link between a healthy environment and human health. Each day, we work to continuously improve our energy efficiency, lower our environmental footprint, and partner on innovative approaches. We are proud to join RE100 and announce our aspiration to power all of our facilities with renewable energy."

RE100 is a global campaign by The Climate Group and the CDP. According to Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, companies with the most ambitious carbon reduction plans could witness up to 27% return on their investments. "Lowering risk, protecting against price rises, saving millions and boosting brand is what shaping a low carbon economy is all about," Kenber added.

The 36 companies that have signed the pledge operate across industries from finance to fashion and include Elion Resources Group, Infosys, IKEA Group, Swiss Re, BT Group, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Nestlé, Philips, RELX Group, J Safra Sarasin, Unilever, YOOX Group, Mars, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Steelcase, Voya Financial, UBS, Royal DSM and Walmart.

In July the Obama administration announced 13 US companies such as Apple and Coca-Cola had pledged to spend $140bn to reduce greenhouse-gas pollution, showing increased interest from many companies to tackle climate change.

According to Angel Hsu, a professor at Yale University's Center for Environmental Law and Policy, these pledges are not specific in terms of timelines, funding or goals making it non-binding. "You can't hold a corporation legally bound to a non-binding voluntary pledge." Hsu added.

An event in Paris in December that will hold talks on a global pact to reduce greenhouse gases is expected to be attended by delegates from more than 190 countries.