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Trump Big companies tell President-elect: 'Don't quit climate pact'

DuPont, Gap Inc, Hewlett Packard, Hilton and Nike were among the multi-billion dollar companies supporting the appeal.

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A Moroccan guard at the COP22 Climate Change Conference at the Royal Palace in Marrakesh on November 15, 2016 play

A Moroccan guard at the COP22 Climate Change Conference at the Royal Palace in Marrakesh on November 15, 2016

(AFP)

More than 360 mostly American companies and investors, including a dozen Fortune 500 firms, called Wednesday on Donald Trump to uphold the 196-nation Paris climate pact.

An open letter released at high-level UN climate talks in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh called on the US president-elect to back "continued US participation in the Paris Agreement, in order to provide the long-term direction needed to keep global temperature rise below 2C," or two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Trump has called global warming a "hoax", and said he would "cancel" the agreement.

Implementing the Paris deal, which entered into force earlier this month, would help businesses "turn the billions of dollars in existing low-carbon investments into the trillions of dollars the world needs to bring clean energy and prosperity to all," the letter read.

Donald Trump has said climate change is a hoax play

Donald Trump has said climate change is a hoax

(pool/AFP)

DuPont, Gap Inc, Hewlett Packard, Hilton and Nike were among the multi-billion dollar companies supporting the appeal.

Starbucks, General Mills, Kellogg Company, and Levi Strauss & Co, along with European giants Schneider Electric and Unilever, also signed the letter.

"Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk," it said.

Diplomats, CEOs and observers at the UN talks tasked with implementing the far reaching Paris accord were stunned by Trump's ascendency to the White House, which threatens to destabilise a still-fragile consensus decades in the making.

"This is an important moment in global political and economic history, and we absolutely must come together to solve the immense challenges facing the planet," said Barry Parkin, head of sustainability for Mars Inc.

Other US companies underlined the risk of the US getting left behind in the global transition from dirty to clean energy required to stave off destructive climate change.

Developing nations want finance to provide the funds needed to make the costly shift away from cheap, abundant coal play

Developing nations want finance to provide the funds needed to make the costly shift away from cheap, abundant coal

(Getty/AFP)

"Building an energy-efficient economy in the US, powered by low-carbon energy, will ensure our nation's competitiveness and position US companies as leaders in the global market," said Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levi Strauss.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was set Wednesday to address the UN talks, which run through Friday.

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