More than 300 businesses and investors, including U.S. utilities and energy infrastructure giants, have signed an open letter to President Biden urging the administration to nearly double the U.S. commitments in targeted reductions for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The letter’s 310 signatories represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue and $1 trillion-plus in assets under management. Energy companies signing the letter included large utilities such as Edison International, Exelon Corp., Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and National Grid plc, as well as energy infrastructure heavyweights Schneider Electric SE, Siemens AG, Iberdrola SA, General Electric Co. and Acciona SA.
Household names such as Coca Cola Co., Walmart Inc., Apple Inc., McDonald’s Corp., Target Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. also endorsed the letter.
“To restore the standing of the United States as a global leader, we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands,” the companies said. “Specifically, the United States 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.”
The United States is due to update its nationally determined contribution (NDC) for GHG reductions under the 2015 United Nations (UN) Climate Agreement, aka the Paris Agreement, at the upcoming Leaders Summit on Climate April 22-23.
The previous NDC targeted an economywide 26-28% reduction in GHG emissions versus 2005 levels by 2030.
“New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation can build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive American economy,” the letter’s authors said. “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.”
The companies added, “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.”
The letter was organized by nonprofits We Mean Business and Ceres, both of which aim to tackle the climate crisis by galvanizing the business community.
“Strong support from so many U.S. business leaders demonstrates now is the time to set an ambitious, achievable goal of cutting U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030,” said Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) President Fred Krupp. “Bold action from the U.S. is critical to put the world on a path to net zero emissions, accelerating American innovation and protecting frontline communities from the worst impacts of climate change.”
The letter’s authors pledged, “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.”
No exploration and production firms or integrated majors initially signed the letter, although the industry has dramatically ramped up its commitments of late.
The American Petroleum Institute (API), the leading U.S. oil and gas lobbying group, recently unveiled a policy framework for tackling climate change that called for an economywide price on carbon emissions and direct regulation of methane emissions from new and existing sources. API also said it supports the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
The industry has expressed mixed feelings, however, about Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan, a proposed infrastructure bill that would largely be funded by increasing the corporate tax rate and closing tax loopholes.
© 2021 Natural Gas Intelligence. All rights reserved.
ISSN © 1532-1231 | ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1266 |