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Immediate action by the world's governments to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases is essential to preserving the environment and the global economy, according to a joint statement released today by a group of more than 90 international companies.
The cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be far less than the cost of the problems caused by the effects of climate change, said several business representatives of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change, which includes companies such as Air France, General Electric and Volvo.
When asked why Volvo became involved in the agreement, Tomas Ericson, president of the Volvo Group, North America said, “As an industry, we are part of the problem, but we are also part of the solution.”
Companies were eager to participate, said Sachs, because they want uniform standards—if different countries and different states have individual rules, they become harder for businesses to follow. One example Sachs cited was that some power companies have wanted to sequester carbon emitted from burning coal, but local laws stipulate that they have to provide the cheapest electricity possible, so they can’t implement new technologies that would raise prices.
This call from businesses to establish uniform rules for emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continues what Ginny Worrest, a senior policy advisor to Senator Olympia Snowe, told LiveScience was a “grassroots” effort to establish caps of greenhouse gas emissions started by many states. Worrest said that such action on the part of business will help push Congress toward establishing federal regulations.
Federal lawmakers have so far resisted the idea of implementing a national cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases. Separately last month, the chief executives of 10 major U.S. corporations urged President George W. Bush to support mandatory reductions in climate-changing pollution and establish reductions targets. No such action by the White House was taken.