GENERAL MOTORS AND BRITISH PETROLEUM SIGN UP FOR ACTION AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING
In October General Motors, Monsanto, British Petroleum and the World Resources Institute called for actions to reduce the risk of climate change. For more than 18 months, the group evaluated scenarios for meeting future world energy demand, explored new technologies and potential business opportunities, and reviewed how different policies could encourage businesses and consumers to respond.
The group noted that while climate science is evolving, there is a growing consensus that action is merited. Further, it found that the long-term nature of the challenge means that durable policy pathways need to be identified that can maximize sustainable economic development and environmental protection.
Partners agreed that the climate challenge provides business and industry an opportunity to lead and innovate, by offering products and services that take advantage of markets driven by climate policy. Business has strategic responsibility to its employees, shareholders, customers and the public to respond to the global climate issue through the following actions:
- Measure, track and openly report greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.
- Seize near-term opportunities to reduce and sequester greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
- Develop new cost-effective technologies, products and business ventures for minimizing emissions and achieving sequestration in the 21st century.
- Include global climate considerations in new investment decisions in both developed and developing nations.
- Educate employees, customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders on climate change issues.
- Participate in the debate on climate change at both the national and international level and contribute constructively to policy formulation and implementation.
Moreover, they called for government actions that are also essential to reduce the risk of climate change and put society on a long-term path to stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations, including:
- Consider potential climate impacts and other social and environmental co-benefits in policymaking and resolve conflicts between laws and regulations.
- Implement market-based mechanisms based on national commitments and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
- Increase support for basic research on climate science and economics.
- Expand cooperative industry-government research programs to develop new, commercially viable, energy efficient, alternative fuels and carbon sequestration technology.
- Engage all stakeholders in a broad discussion to raise awareness and formulate appropriate responses to the global climate issue.
- Establish mechanisms that enable developed and developing countries to implement cost-effective options to achieve sustainable development objectives.
The group will continue to work collaboratively to implement the agenda in the next phase of the initiative. The "action agenda" includes:
- Developing a joint protocol for measuring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from the companiesí global operations.
- Achieving early reductions through best practices in the areas of energy efficiency, carbon offsets and emissions trading.
- Using purchasing leverage to promote supplier energy performance and build market demand for low-cost renewable energy.
- Making climate protection an explicit criterion in global business investments.
- Expanding the initiative to include companies, environmental organizations and governments in policy dialogues on technology transfer, emissions trading, and other mechanisms.
The group said it also hopes its cooperative effort inspires others to engage in the climate debate and to undertake similar commitments.
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