Executives urge action on climate change
WASHINGTON -- On the eve of the State of the Union address, the chief executives of 10 major corporations urged President Bush to support mandatory reductions in climate-changing pollution and establish reductions targets.
"We can and must take prompt action to establish a coordinated, economy-wide market-driven approach to climate protection," the executives from a broad range of industries wrote in a letter to the president yesterday .
Bush, who in the past has rejected mandatory controls on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, was expected to address climate change in his State of the Union speech tonight but has repeatedly maintained that voluntary efforts are the best approach.
Major industry groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers continue to oppose so-called "cap and trade" proposals to cut climate changing pollution, mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.
But the 10 executives, representing major utilities, aluminum and chemical companies, and financial institutions, said mandatory reductions are needed and that "the cornerstone of this approach" should be a cap-and-trade system.
Members of the group, called the US Climate Action Partnership, include chief executives of
At a news conference, the executives said that mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions can be imposed without economic harm and would lead to economic opportunities if done economy-wide and with provisions to mitigate costs.
Many of the companies said they have voluntarily moved to curb greenhouse pollution.
But the executives also said they do not believe voluntary efforts will suffice.
"It must be mandatory so there is no doubt about our actions," said Jim Rogers, chairman of Duke Energy. "The science of global warming is clear. We know enough to act now. We must act now."
In the letter the executives urged Congress "to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."