Monday, January 22, 2007

Enviros & Businesses Call For Climate Change Action

Jan 22: Environmental Defense, a founding member of a group of high-level corporate and environmental leaders, issued a release announcing that the group would make a groundbreaking announcement in Washington, D.C. The group is calling for a cap-and-trade system to combat climate change. Saying the "historic proposal" is "A Call to Action," that urges the Federal government to set limits for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to create market-based incentives and, most of all, to act swiftly and thoughtfully.

The new alliance known as the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (US-CAP), includes the well-known corporations: Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont, Florida Power & Light, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, Pacific Gas & Electric, and PNM Resources; and environmental organizations: Environmental Defense, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute.

The partners pledged to work together to support six recommendations for national action: (1) Account for the global dimensions of climate change – the U.S. government should become more involved in international arrangements for addressing global warming; (2) Recognize the importance of technology – the cost-effective deployment of existing energy efficient technologies should be a priority; (3) Be environmentally effective – mandatory requirements and incentives must be stringent enough to achieve necessary emissions reductions; (4) Create economic opportunity and advantage – a climate protection program must use the power of the market to establish clear targets and timeframes; (5) Be fair – global warming solutions must account for the disproportionate impact of both global warming and emissions reductions on some economic sectors, geographic regions, and income groups; and (6) Encourage early action – prior to the effective date of mandatory pollution limits, every reasonable effort should be made to reduce emissions.

In a joint statement released on January 19, 2007, the members of US-CAP said, they are "...committed to action and believe that properly constructed policy can be economically viable, environmentally responsible, and politically achievable. Swift legislative action on our proposal would encourage innovation and provide needed U.S. leadership on this global challenge. Our goal is to help our nation create public policy that would act aggressively and sustainably to slow, stop and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Toward this end, USCAP urges lawmakers to enact a policy framework for mandatory reductions of GHG emissions from major emitting sectors, including large stationary sources, transportation, and energy use in commercial and residential buildings. The cornerstone of this approach would be a cap-and-trade program..."

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commended the coalition of business and environmental organizations for working together to save the planet. Boxer said, "There are just a few moments in history when all sides come together for the common good. Such a moment has arrived with the agreement by these companies and organizations to work together to call for action to avoid a global warming crisis."

Access a release from Environmental Defense (click here). Access an additional release from US-CAP (click here). Access the 9-page Consensus Principles and Recommendations from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership: A Business and NGO Partnership (click here). Access the joint statement (click here). Access the US-CAP website (click here). Access a release from Senator Boxer (click here). Access the WIMS-EcoBizPort Climate Change website for links to related information (click here). [*Climate]