Corporations Push for Climate Change Legislation

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Top global and domestic corporations are behind two separate efforts pushing to fast track climate change policies. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), and Unilever (NYSE:UN) are among eighty-nine companies worldwide who have signed a statement urging governments to implement measures limiting cumulative carbon emissions, calling for a 1 trillion ton cap that would prevent global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the generally accepted limit to stem the worst effects of climate change. Simultaneously, companies including Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are backing a similar declaration urging Congress to enact proposed climate change legislature.

Signatories to both the global Trillion Tonne Communique and the domestically focused Climate Declaration point to a report released by the Intergovernmental Policy on Climate Change (IPCC) correlating rising greenhouse gasses to climate change. The study also details possible future environmental consequences, including rising sea levels putting coastal cities such as New York and Shanghai at risk. The communiqué states that through examining long-term economic trends and profit margins, participating businesses conclude that swift policy response is necessary. Their plan includes instituting a strict timeline to reach net zero emissions and an international shift in economic focus to fiscally incentivize the alternative energy industry.

The plan presented during Thursday’s Congressional meetings with members of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy “BICEP”, that included leaders from Starbucks, eBay, and Unilever, outlines a more conservative strategy calling for greenhouse gasses to be reduced to 80 percent of its 1990 levels by 2050. BICEP’s statement emphasizes domestic economic growth potential and possible job creation with public and private investments into low carbon technology.

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