Climate Conscious Corporations Clamor for Carbon Cuts. Cool.

April 14, 2021

If you want your grandchildren to have a life, you qualify as “woke”.

Major corporate leaders tell Biden he can “count on their support” for aggressive carbon cuts.

New York Times:

WASHINGTON — More than 300 businesses, including Google, McDonalds and Walmart, are pushing the Biden administration to nearly double the United States’ target for cuts to planet-warming emissions ahead of an April 22 global summit on climate change.

In a letter to President Biden released on Tuesday morning, chief executive officers from some of the nation’s largest companies will call on the administration to set a new Paris Agreement goal of slashing the nation’s carbon dioxide, methane and other planet-warming emissions at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

That is roughly what most major environmental groups want, and the corporate executives called the target “ambitious and attainable.”

Former President Donald J. Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, eradicating emissions reduction targets set by the Obama administration that many environmentalists had seen as too weak. President Obama had pledged to cut national emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

With Mr. Biden promising to tackle climate change intensely, climate change activists are watching to see how much more ambitious his targets will be than those set when he was vice president. Mr. Biden, who returned the United States to the Paris Agreement on Inauguration Day, has said the United States will announce fresh targets for the Paris Agreement on or before a virtual summit of world leaders he is hosting around Earth Day next week.

According to two administration officials familiar with the deliberations, the target is expected to be a range that will include a 50 percent reduction in emissions.

Organizers of the business letter said they hoped such a message coming from the private sector — including electric utilities like Exelon and Pacific Gas & Electric, as well as dozens of companies based in Republican districts — would resonate strongly with Congress. Other signatories include Target, Verizon and Altria Group, the parent company of the tobacco giant Philip Morris USA, which was once considered a firm ally of the Republican Party, and Philip Morris International.

The effort also underscores the delicate path corporate leaders are treading in the post-Trump era. Their decisions to break with Republicans on issues like voting rights and racial justice have rankled their traditional allies in the G.O.P. Pressing the Biden administration to aggressively combat climate change could further alienate Republicans, who have long fought emissions regulations as “job killers” that would make American business less competitive.

Text of Letter below:

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned businesses and investors with a major presence in the U.S., applaud your administration’s demonstrated commitment to address climate change head-on, and we stand in support of your efforts.

Millions of Americans are already feeling the impacts of climate change. From recent extreme weather to deadly wildfires and record-breaking hurricanes, the human and economic losses of the past 12 months alone are profound. Tragically, these devastating climate impacts also disproportionately hit marginalized and low-income communities who are least able to withstand them. We must act now to slow and turn the tide.

As business leaders, we care deeply about the future of the U.S. and the health of its people and economy. Collectively, our businesses employ nearly 6 million American workers across all 50 states, representing over $3 trillion in annual revenue, and for those of us who are investors, we represent more than $1 trillion in assets under management. We join the majority of Americans in thanking you for re-entering the U.S into the Paris Agreement and for making climate action a vital pillar of your presidency. To restore the standing of the U.S. as a global leader, we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands. Specifically, the U.S. must adopt an emissions reduction target that will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

We, therefore, call on you to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

A bold 2030 target is needed to catalyze a zero-emissions future, spur a robust economic recovery, create millions of well-paying jobs, and allow the U.S. to “build back better” from the pandemic. New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation can build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive American economy.2 A 2030 target will also guide the U.S. government’s approach to more sustainable and resilient infrastructure, zero-emissions vehicles and buildings, improved agricultural practices, and durable carbon removal. Finally, the commitment would inspire other industrialized nations to set bold targets of their own.

Many of us have set or are setting emissions reduction goals in line with climate science since the establishment of the Paris Agreement. The private sector has purchased renewable energy at record rates and along with countless cities across the country, many have committed themselves to a net zero-emissions future.3

If you raise the bar on our national ambition, we will raise our own ambition to move the U.S. forward on this journey. While an effective national climate strategy will require all of us, you alone can set the course by swiftly establishing a bold U.S. 2030 target.

Mr. President, we ask that you invest in a resilient, economically sound, net zero-emissions future for all. You can count on our support.

Signatories here.

2 Responses to “Climate Conscious Corporations Clamor for Carbon Cuts. Cool.”

  1. tildeb Says:

    No, this is woke. Understanding climate change and why we need to be concerned is not an ideological position like being ‘woke’ but one that unlike being woke actually respects what’s true. Please do not make this necessary change to our energy system any more partisan than it already is.

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    “at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”???

    47 Scientists say: Our goals are too small, too late, too vague. We can and must do better
    The authors of a recent article in the journal Nature recommended clarifying scope and a long-term roadmap, among other things. 47 other scientists in this realm have made that a little easier for any leaders with a modest amount of courage and ambition. They say that countries and companies can and should aim for 100% renewable electricity no later than 2030, and 100% renewable energy (covering other sectors beyond electricity) by 2035.

    “A world based on 100% renewable energy is possible, and we are able to transform the energy system fast enough to avoid the climate catastrophe!”

    The 7 core scientists who formed the initiative, the initial signatories, highlighted that the meager target of 100% zero emissions by 2050 is unfortunately common. That just won’t cut it.

    “To date, 11 countries have reached or exceeded 100% renewable electricity; 12 countries have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030; 49 countries have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2050; 14 U.S. states and territories have passed laws or executive orders to reach up to 100% renewable electricity by between 2030 and 2050; over 300 cities worldwide have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by no later than 2050; and over 280 international businesses have committed to 100% renewables across their global operations.  However, only Denmark has passed laws to reach 100% renewable energy across all sectors, and it is by 2050.”
    cleantechnica[DOT]com/2021/04/10/47-scientists-world-should-go-100-renewable-electricity-by-2030/

    [I’d add that at least 21 countries are at or near 100% renewable electricity and at least 65 are mostly renewable. At least 2–Iceland and Norway–are vying for first country to reach 100% renewable electricity and primary energy, easily within 4 or 5 years. Others aren’t far behind.]

    10 Point Explanation
    http://www.global100restrategygroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Joint-Declaration-of-the-Global-100-RE-Strategy-Group-210208.pdf

    Sign: https://global100restrategygroup.org/?page_id=199


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