A group of seven apparel companies, including Levis Strauss & Co, VF Corp and Gap Inc, have signed a declaration calling on government leaders to reach a strong climate change agreement. 

The CEO's of the seven global apparel groups issued a statement this week urging action to stop the growth of greenhouse gas pollution that causes global warming. Other companies included Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Eileen Fisher, Adidas Group and Burton Snowboards.

The declaration, organised by non-profit sustainability advocacy group Ceres, was issued as government leaders from 190 countries met in Paris for climate negotiations known as the 2015 United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21). The two-week negotiations began on Monday (30 November) and are expected to culminate in a possible international agreement on 11 December. 

The business leaders wrote: "We come together…to acknowledge that climate change is harming the world in which we operate. Climate change mitigation and technological innovation are vital to the health and well-being of those who make and use our products, as well as to the future supply of materials needed to make those materials.

"Therefore, we call on you to reach a global agreement that provides the certainty businesses need and ambition climate science demands."

The CEOs highlighted negative impacts from climate warming, whether from compromised cotton production for farmers to garment factory exposure in some of the world's "least climate resilient regions". 

The seven companies involved are among the world's biggest users of cotton, with VF Corp alone buying around 1% of the world's cotton.

They also called for strengthening mechanisms in the climate deal to ensure "net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of century," including assurances that national climate commitments are strengthened every five years, starting in 2020. It also highlighted the importance of adaptation funding to build climate-resilient economies and communities.

VF Corp CEO Eric Wiseman noted: "At VF, we support a low-carbon, energy efficient global economy and are doing our part to contribute to meaningful and measurable progress in the fight against climate change."

While, Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss, added: "The time for global action on climate is now. We call on our leaders to reach a strong agreement in Paris to stem global warming."

VF Corp joined the 73 companies that are part of the White House pledge, this week, to address climate change and reduce their carbon footprints.

VF Corp and Kohl's join White House climate pledge

The company, which owns the North Face, Timberland, and Vans brands, has pledged to use 100% renewable energy by 2025 at its owned and operated facilities, and to develop science-based goals to support additional emission reductions. The company said it is on track to meet its commitment to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 5% by end 2015. 

VF Corp joins a number of apparel firms that have signed up to the pledge, including Nike, Levi Strauss & Co, and Wal-Mart

Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss, said of his signature to the declaration: "The time for global action on climate is now. We call on our leaders to reach a strong agreement in Paris to stem global warming."