Leadership

New Climate Advocacy Group Has CEO Pedigree

By / May 21, 2019 (amphotora/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The CEO Climate Dialogue brings together a number of major companies as part of a coalition that aims to push the climate discussion forward. It comes as chatter around climate change is heating up.

At a time when climate change discussion has been picking up both in frequency and tenor, the business world is hoping to put its stamp on things with a new organization.

The CEO Climate Dialogue, a group made up of the leaders of 13 major companies—among them DuPont, Ford, Shell, Citi, Unilever, and BP, along with nonprofit environmental groups such as The Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the World Resources Institute—aims to push Congress to move forward on legislative efforts to enact comprehensive climate change reform. The group’s formation was announced last week, and it includes companies not traditionally associated with environmental policy (including a number in the oil and chemical industries) but that think action needs to be taken.

“We believe it is urgent that the President and Congress put in place a long-term federal policy as soon as possible to protect against the worst impacts of climate change,” the groups say on their about page.

Coming months after the Green New Deal became one of the biggest discussion points in Washington, the coalition is building its policy pitch around a series of six basic principles, summarized here:

  • The legislation must significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It must be effective, built around a realistic timeframe, and include mechanisms that confirm that policy goals are met.
  • The legislation should be market-driven, in part by putting an economy-based price on carbon.
  • The policy should be well-designed and responsive to shifting needs of the economy over time, so that it gains public support.
  • The approach should prevent further harm to either the economy or the environment.
  • The legislation should promote equity, so companies feel like they have ownership of both the costs and benefits of the final result.

The new group is aiming for an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050—a less-aggressive goal than the Green New Deal, which aims for net zero emissions by 2030, but is roughly similar to what was pitched during the Obama administration.

In comments to Axios, Jamie Gentoso, the CEO for U.S. Cement Operations at LafargeHolcim and one of the group’s members, noted that political leaders needed to act, no matter prior debates on the issue.

“We believe it’s time for the president and Congress to put in place long-term federal policy,” Gentoso said. “Whether or not you believe in climate change, everybody needs to be responsible.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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