Culture 3 min read

Leading U.S Businesses Call for Major Climate Action

The CEOs of 13 major U.S. businesses, joined by four environmental groups, urge the President and the Congress to enact a market-based approach to climate action.

Pixabay

Pixabay

Scientists, artists, environmentalists, and some politicians have been calling to seriously move on climate change and take bold action to save the planet.

Now, even big corporations, including some historic carbon emitters and polluters like oil giants and chemical makers, are jumping into the climate action fray.

Deeming unabated climate change to be “a major threat to the U.S. economy,” a group of CEOs has teamed up with environmentalist groups to form a new coalition for climate action.

CEO Climate Action: Welcome on Board

On May 15, the CEOs of 13 prominent U.S. companies from different industries and Global Fortune 500 companies launched a new coalition called CEO Climate Dialogue.

Together, they issued a call on President Donald Trump and Congress:

 ‘For action on climate change, including an economy-wide carbon pricing policy to meet the climate challenge at the lowest possible cost… and to put in place a long-term federal policy as soon as possible to protect against the worst impacts.”

The coalition comprises the following companies:

  • Oil and gas companies: BP, Shell Oil.
  • Banks: Citi.
  • Energy providers: Dominion Energy, DTE Energy, Exelon, PG&E.
  • Chemical makers: BASF, Dow, DuPont.
  • Automakers: Ford Motor Company.
  • Cement manufacturer: LafargeHolcim.
  • Consumer goods: Unilever.

And also includes these four leading environmental groups:

  • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and World Resources Institute.

Read More: Make it Rain: Why A Climate Action Model Will be the Next Boom Economy

The CEO coalition established a set of six guiding principles to inform the U.S. federal policy on climate that should:

  1. Significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions: the U.S. policy should strive for an economy-wide GHG emissions reductions of 80% at least by 2050.
  2. Be Effective: The federal climate policy must allow for investment and planning decisions to be consistent with the timeline for emissions reduction.

“Policies must focus on emissions reductions outcomes, not specific resources or technologies.”

  1. Be Market-based: Enacting a market-based approach to climate action means it would generate the least cost to the economy and households, and provide the conditions for an emerging low-carbon economy.
  2. Be Durable and responsive: The climate policy should be well-designed and stable in a way to ensure durability over time and across political cycles.

“Policies should be adaptive over time in terms of pace and scope of reductions as our understanding of climate change, policy impact, and technological changes evolves.”

  1. Do no harm: Climate action must not be detrimental to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, and also must “safeguard against negative impacts on biodiversity, land, and water.”
  2. Promote equity: Climate action must promote equity by offering transparency and affordability while distributing costs and benefits.

“Policies must include mechanisms to invest in American workers, and in disadvantaged communities that have the least resources to manage the costs of climate change.”

As big of a goal the 80% emissions reduction could be for the U.S economy, it falls short of the U.N. target. Although the 80% target would require a deep overhaul of the U.S. economy that in turn would need the involvement of big corporations like those thirteen. The world, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, must get to net-zero economy by mid-century.

Read More: Scientists Propose to Refreeze the Arctic to Reverse Climate Change

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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