Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Major Corporations & NGOs Call For Cap-And-Trade Legislation

Nov 18: The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition of 26 major corporations and 6 non-profit environmental and conservation organizations [See WIMS 2/13/07], held a press conference in Washington, DC to make the economic case for cap-and-trade legislation. Ironically, in a pre-recorded video message aired the same day at the Governors' Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles, President-Elect Barack Obama promised that under his leadership, the U.S. will establish a Federal cap and trade system with "strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emission to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80% by 2050." [See WIMS 11/18/08].

The coalition called on Congress and the incoming Obama Administration to pass meaningful climate protection legislation next year despite the difficult economic conditions, pointing to the economic benefits and job creation that will result from taking such action. The call for action from USCAP echoed a similar call on November 11, when more than 130 leading investors, representing assets worth $6.4 trillion, issued a joint statement sent to Heads of State and climate negotiators, calling for a strong, binding framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, despite the financial crisis [
See WIMS 11/13/08]

USCAP said that cap-and-trade legislation is urgently needed to prevent the serious impacts of climate change. They said, "While the magnitude of needed reductions are not free of costs, legislation is necessary to spur innovation in green technologies that will create jobs, increase economic activity and provide the foundation for a vibrant, low-carbon economy." James Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy said, “Investment in new technologies and the infrastructure needed for a low-carbon economy are effective ways to generate the jobs and economic growth the U.S. needs to address the current economic crisis. We must position the U.S. to succeed in the new low-carbon, global economy and this is the best way to accomplish that.”

USCAP includes the following corporations and environmental NGOs: Alcoa, AIG, Boston Scientific, BP America, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Chrysler, John Deere, Dow, Duke Energy, DuPont, Environmental Defense Fund, Exelon, Ford, FPL Group, GE, GM, Johnson & Johnson, Marsh, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRG Energy, The Nature Conservancy, PepsiCo, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, PG&E, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Shell, Siemens, World Resources Institute, and Xerox.

USCAP has taken a leadership role in support of climate protection legislation, calling for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 that are 60 percent to 80 percent below today’s levels. Its initial report on addressing climate change -- “A Call for Action” -- was issued in January 2007 and noted that each year of delay in controlling emissions increases the risk of consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future at potentially greater economic cost and social disruption. The groups said, "The cost of inaction is also a significant concern. The longer the U.S. waits to implement a cap-and-trade program, the more ground it will cede to other economies that are already working on these new green technologies."

Jeff Sterba, CEO of PNM Resources said, "One of the main barriers to realizing economic benefits from reducing carbon emissions has been the uncertainty surrounding how this will be accomplished. Americans want clean energy, and we can produce it if there is a federal roadmap on carbon emissions. Only comprehensive greenhouse gas legislation -- one that recognizes the link between energy, the environment, the economy and security -- can bring us the clean, affordable and secure energy future we so desperately need."

Access a release from USCAP with further details (
click here). Access a 3-page summary of USCAP member statements (click here). Access the USCAP website for more information (click here). [*Climate]