After a year of back room talks, and on the eve of the president’s State of the Union speech, leading CEO’s of major corporations emerged yesterday, partnered with environmental groups, to announce a new agreement to support bold action on global warming, including an aggressive, market-based cap on carbon emissions. The historic U.S. Climate Action Partnership, consists of market leaders like Alcoa, BP, Caterpillar, DuPont, GE, Lehman Brothers and PG&E, coupled with four environmental groups led by Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense.
"This is a game changer for action on global warming," said Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp, one of those who originated the coalition (USCAP) discussions. "These negotiations weren’t easy – we all had strong points of view on the specifics – yet this is the first time big business has come forward to support major environmental legislation, understanding the danger if we let climate change go unchecked."
Congressional leaders yesterday were briefed on the plan and urged to act.
Krupp stressed the importance of involving business not only to increase pressure on Congress, but ensure that any plan for fixing climate change was also a boost for the US economy. "We chose a cap and trade approach because it guarantees the emissions cuts we need, while it unleashes cash and creativity from the private sector. This plan is a jobs winner as well as an environmental winner."
The group proposed a cap and trade system to cut greenhouse gas emissions 60% to 80% from current levels by 2050, with interim targets at 5, 10, and 15 years.
At a news conference in Washington, USCAP issued a set of six principles along with recommendations for a policy framework on climate change. Entitled A Call for Action, it lays out a blueprint for a mandatory economy-wide, market-driven approach and recommends Congress provide leadership in establishing short- and mid-term emission reduction targets and a national program to accelerate technology research, development and deployment. The group said any delay in action to control emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future.
Read more at www.us-cap.org