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Budget furniture giant IKEA pledges $1.1bn to tackle climate change

Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall said funds for renewable energy and help for poor suffering climate change impact are 'win, win, win' investments
Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall talks with a Reuters reporter in an IKEA store in WemREUTERS/Neil Hall

Reuters – IKEA, the world's biggest furniture retailer, pledged on Thursday to spend 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) on renewable energy and ways to help poor nations cope with climate change, in a new sign of companies upstaging governments on the issue.

The investments will be "win, win, win. It's good for customers, good for the climate and good for IKEA too", Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall told Reuters in an interview.

The Swedish firm said it would invest 600 million euros in wind and solar power, adding to 1.5 billion invested since 2009 as part of a goal of making it energy independent.

And the IKEA Foundation, the charitable arm of the family-owned group, would invest 400 million euros in supporting families and communities in nations vulnerable to impacts such as floods, droughts and desertification.

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Agnefjall said that the plan fits with IKEA's goal of having a "positive impact on people and the planet."

"People want their leaders to lead. That includes companies like ourselves," he said in a telephone interview.

Senior officials from about 200 nations are meeting in the German city of Bonn this week to prepare for a summit in Paris in late 2015 at which governments aim to agree a deal to slow global warming. ($1 = 0.8889 euros)

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