|USCAP Leaders Push for Market-Based Cap-and-Trade Plan to Spur Economy |
November 19, 2008
A coalition of leading corporations and environmental organizations today 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.
Representatives for the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of 26
corporations and 6 non-profit environmental and conservation organizations, held
a press conference in Washington today to make the economic case for
The group said that cap-and-trade legislation is urgently needed to prevent the
serious impacts of climate change. 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.
"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," said James Rogers, CEO of Duke
Energy. "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 economic opportunity embedded within the shift away from fossil fuels is
historic," said David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy. "For example, think of the
enormous fortunes made by those who were on the right side of the shift from the
horse to the internal combustion engine. The right climate solution, a moderate
price on carbon, can help create real economic opportunities."
Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp cited a recent University of
Maryland study showing that unchecked climate change will strain public budgets
and cut growth across all sectors of the economy. In contrast, a cap-and-trade
program designed to cut carbon emissions could provide an economic stimulus, he said.
"A cap can instantly create new customers and new jobs for U.S. manufacturers in
the supply chain for clean energy. Think of wind turbines and all of the cement
and steel that go into them," said Krupp, who spoke at the press conference.
"It's the energy and economic revitalization policy America needs now."
Another report from the University of California at Berkeley that analyzed
historical data found that California's energy efficiency policies created 1.5
million additional full-time jobs from 1977 to 2007 with a total payroll of over $45 billion.
"Companies that address climate change typically focus initially on energy
efficiency, which reduces costs and helps the bottom line," said Eileen
Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Companies that
develop innovative low-carbon products are increasingly being rewarded in the
marketplace. GE, for example, announced recently that revenues from its
Ecomagination line of environmentally advantageous products will jump 21 percent in 2008."
One of the main barriers to realizing economic benefits from reducing carbon
emissions has been the uncertainty surrounding how this will be accomplished,
said Jeff Sterba, CEO of PNM Resources.
"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," said Sterba.
The cost of inaction is also a significant concern, the group noted. 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.
"Economic growth depends on both energy resources and a hospitable climate,"
said Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Economic, energy, and climate security are entirely interdependent.
President-Elect Obama and the next Congress can address all three crises with
one integrated program that will invest in clean energy, create jobs, and limit
global warming -- all to give us back a sustainable planet where we can thrive."
"The time for America to act is now," said Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of
the National Wildlife Federation. "With our economy in crisis and our planet in
peril, the fate of our economy and environment hinge on how aggressively we move
to repower America with clean energy solutions. We must cap carbon and create
the kinds of incentives our industries need to re-tool and stay competitive in
the global race for energy security."
United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) is a group of businesses and
leading environmental organizations that have come together to call on the
federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require
significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. USCAP has issued a landmark
set of principles and recommendations to underscore the urgent need for a policy
framework on climate change.
SOURCE U.S. Climate Action Partnership