Business Plea For A National Climate Program

Via: Financial Times:- A lobby group called Investors and Business for US Climate Action, made up of US financial investors and some of the US' largest ­companies "urged Capitol Hill to follow Europe by setting mandatory targets to reduce US carbon emissions". The group, organized by Ceres and its Investor Network of Climate Risk, representing dozens of institutional investors managing $4.4 trillion in assets, said "Washington should end investor uncertainty by establishing "size-able, sensible long-term cuts" to US carbon emissions". The CERES letter states: "As fiduciaries and leaders in the business and investment communities, we come together now to declare that we stand ready to partner with the U.S. government and others to establish a national policy to address this problem. Specifically, we need:"
- A mandatory national policy to contain and reduce national greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide, making the sizable, sensible, long-term cuts that scientists and climate models suggest are urgently needed to avoid the worst and most costly impacts from climate change. This approach will also enable businesses and investors to make investments with a known long-term planning horizon. Wherever possible, this policy should utilize market-based mechanisms, such as cap-and-trade systems, to create an economy-wide carbon price.

- The realignment of incentives and other national policies to achieve climate objectives, including a range of energy and transportation policy measures to encourage deployment of new and existing technologies at the necessary scale. Only governments can create the infrastructure needed to underpin the new clean energy system.

- Guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulatory bodies to businesses and investors on what material issues related to climate change companies should disclose in their regular financial reporting, so that investors can assess more accurately the effects of climate risk and opportunity in their portfolios.

Perhaps the most exciting development was finding, amongst the long list of signatories, these names representing the US energy industry.

* Robert Malone, Chairman and President, BP America
* Kevin Burke, President and CEO, Consolidated Edison, Inc.
* John W. Rowe, Chairman, President, and CEO, Exelon Corporation
* Christopher L. Dutton, President, CEO, and Director, Green Mountain Power
* Cheryl LaFleur, Acting U.S. CEO, National Grid Group
* Peter Darbee, CEO, PG&E; Corp.

Now if these guys don't forget to tell their lobbying staffs to follow their lead, this initiative will go a long way to satisfying condition #1 of an earlier post.