Major US companies offer greenhouse policy
FORD, General Electric and other US companies have agreed to voluntarily reduce gases that contribute to global warming as politicians met this week to discuss a successor to the 15-year-old Kyoto global climate treaty.
Members of the US Climate Action Partnership, or USCAP, will cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. USCAP had previously called on the US Congress to pass legislation mandating a 60 to 80 per cent cut in pollutants blamed for global warming.
‘‘ We are strongly encouraging Congress to take action on climate change, but we are committed to taking these actions regardless,’’ Brian Jones, a spokesman for the group, says. ‘‘ Certainly we hope that this will become a trend within the business community.’’
Politicians from around the globe began a two-week meeting in Bali, Indonesia, aimed at establishing an emissions-limiting treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, whose provisions expire in 2012. The treaty, which the US rejected, requires industrialised nations to cut emissions 5 per cent below 1990 levels.
Congress is debating at least five bills that would place mandatory limits on greenhouse gases. The US can meet targets called for in the legislation at manageable economic costs, according to a report last week from consultants McKinsey & Company.
USCAP aims to act as a catalyst for a shift in policy on energy and climate issues worldwide.
US President George Bush, citing economic reasons, in March 2001 rejected the provisions of the Kyoto agreement, a treaty under which developed nations agreed to cut their emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases to below 1990 levels by 2012.
The US and China are the biggest emitters of such gases. China isn’t required to cut emissions under Kyoto.
USCAP has 33 members, including S&P 500 Index-listed companies, and has said the climate change ‘‘ challenge’’ offers more opportunities than risks for the US economy, such as the creation of 5 million jobs in the renewable energy industry.
The group also aims to cut gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2020 as a mid-term target.
Bali: Greenpeace lobbyists get ready