Companies Lay Out Global Framework to Fight Climate Change

– This, on the surface, seems very good news. A large group of major companies from around the world signing onto an agreement endorsing the fact that we should do something about climate change.

– But let’s remember that corporations are entities which exist to make profit. Once they’ve grown beyond the mom and pop Ben and Jerry’s stage, they become single-minded in this pursuit. Indeed, it is their very reason for existing. Note at the end of the opening sentence, in the article below, the following phrase, “creating sustainable energy systems necessary for achieving economic growth“. The implication is that they are on-board – so long as continued growth is part of the solution.

– Unfortunately, increasing growth is central to the problems we’re facing. Our foot-print on the earth now is far larger than it can sustain without serious and increasing instabilities in the global climate. We can make more efficient cars, we can change to energy efficient light bulbs, we can recycle our waste more intelligently – we can do all of that and if we continue to grow in population and consumption, we will have only delayed the inevitable.

– Perhaps, if we push it all off to our grandchildren rather than to our children, it will be more palatable?

-I’m suspicious and cynical about these ‘business alliances’. They live for growth. They understand PR. They know there are years and years of good stock reports ahead if they can deflect the social forces which might try to throttle back our runaway growth – if they can give the appearance of action so the concerned will be lulled back to sleep.

– Like the article I posted on the Brazilian Rainforest earlier , we need real action, not more talk.

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February 20, 2007 — As a significant step toward tackling climate change, an unprecedented group of companies and organizations from around the world have endorsed a bold post-Kyoto framework for affecting change at the levels of policy and industry, particularly in regard to creating sustainable energy systems necessary for achieving economic growth.

Signatories of The Path to Climate Sustainability: A Joint Statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change hail from a range of sectors and industries, including air transport, energy, technology, insurance, banking, and many others, from across the globe.

The statement — endorsed by Allianz, Bayer, Citigroup, DuPont, General Electric, Volvo, and many others — calls on governments to set scientifically informed targets for greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The agreement also urges governments to place a price on carbon emissions and to set forth policies aimed at addressing energy efficiency and de-carbonization in all sectors. Calling climate change “an urgent problem,” the statement lays out a proactive framework for global action to mitigate risks and impacts while also meeting the global need for energy, economic growth and sustainable development. It outlines cost-effective technologies that exist today and others that could be developed and deployed to improve energy efficiency and help reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases in major sectors of the global economy.

“Leaders from key economic sectors and regions of the world have reached a consensus on the path forward to reduce human-made climate change,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, Chair of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. “This initiative points the way to an urgently needed global framework for action. I congratulate the Roundtable signatories, and thank them for their bold leadership and contribution to global progress on this critical issue.”

The Climate Change Statement released today has received endorsements from critical stakeholders and independent experts including leading corporations from all economic sectors; smaller firms with very different perspectives and concerns; an array of civil, religious, environmental, research and educational institutions; and a distinguished list of world-leading experts from the fields of climate science, engineering, economics and policy studies.

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