On Wednesday, five major U.S. corporations launched a new business coalition with the investors’ activist group Ceres to call for immediate, muscular, and progressive action to fight global warming. The founding members of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) are Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems and The Timberland Company. As right-wing business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce pretend that limits on pollution will destroy the economy, the members of BICEP recognize that the true threat is failing to halt catastrophic climate change.
The eight principles embraced by BICEP for national action on global warming reflect recommendations from the Center for American Progress, Green For All, 1Sky, and other progressive organizations, including a moratorium on new coal plants, no subsidies for pollution permits, aggressive efficiency standards, and green-job creation in low-income communities.
In addition, BICEP calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, in line with scientific recommendations — and more than double the target set by President-elect Barack Obama.
As Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres said in a press call, tackling global warming is integral to future economic strength:
Rather than ignore risk, address the risk and turn it into an opportunity. We need to send the right and honest market signal. Carbon pollution has a cost.
The full list of recommendations:
— Set greenhouse gas reduction targets to at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
— Establish an economy-wide GHG cap-and-trade system that auctions 100 percent of carbon pollution allowances, promotes energy efficiency and accelerates clean energy technologies.
— Establish aggressive energy efficiency policies to achieve at least a doubling of our historic rate of energy efficiency improvement.
— Encourage transportation for a clean energy economy by promoting fuel-efficient vehicles, plug-in electric hybrids, low-carbon fuels, and transit-oriented development.
— Increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and carbon capture and storage technologies while eliminating subsidies for fossil-fuel industries.
— Stimulate job growth through investment in climate-based solutions, especially “green-collar” jobs in low-income communities and others vulnerable to climate change’s economic impact.
— Adopt a national renewable portfolio standard requiring 20 percent of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030.
— Limit construction of new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions, create incentives for carbon capture technology on new and existing plants, and phase out existing coal-based power plants that do not capture and store carbon by 2030.