The chief executives of 10 major U.S. corporations have joined together to call for immediate federal action to combat human-induced global warming, saying that voluntary efforts are inadequate to do the job. The group, which calls itself the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, includes the chief executives of Alcoa, BP America, DuPont, Caterpillar, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, PG&E, PNM Resources, FPL Group and Duke Energy, as well as representatives from four leading environmental groups.
In the face of White House unwillingness to address climate change through the regulatory process, the group is urging Congress to set up an economy-wide cap-and-trade system—whereby the government would set limits on the total amount of emissions of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and companies would be able to buy and sell the right to pollute accordingly. The executives reported that to be effective, any such legislation must cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 10 percent below today’s levels within a decade and at least 60 percent by 2050.
Fred Krupp, president of the nonprofit Environmental Defense and a member of the alliance, referred to the executives’ support as “a game changer” in the climate change debate. “We are asking Congress not to wait for a new administration or the next presidential debates," he said.