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Tackling Climate Change, One Company at a Time
By Michael Schweibinz

At the annual Ceres Conference held in San Francisco in early May 2013, a promising new movement called the “Climate Declaration” made great strides forward.

Ceres (an advocate for sustainability leadership) and its BICEP division (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) coalition launched the Climate Declaration to encourage federal policymakers to confront climate change head-on. The declaration shies away from promoting detailed policies; instead, it focuses on the broader objective of calling on Congress to pass stricter climate legislation—and paints climate change as “one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century.”

By April 2013, thirty-three businesses had endorsed the movement. The following month, seven additional U.S. businesses signed the Climate Declaration, most notably, General Motors. GM was the first automaker to sign the declaration, which may have surprised many onlookers. Skeptics may ask why would GM want to impose tighter regulations on their own industry?

Questions aside, GM’s endorsement of the Climate Declaration resulted in positive responses from both the business world and the media. The now forty committed businesses all recognize the importance of the declaration and the implications of the movement. The signatories “are calling for Congress to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency, and limiting carbon emissions.”

Unfortunately, a few individual companies acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner are not enough. Although their commitment is commendable, without the strong support of climate legislation, much-needed changes, and progress of measurable significance simply cannot be made on a global scale.

That is what makes the Climate Declaration so critical. Its goal is to emphasize and implement the new energy efficient methods and promote renewable technologies—all of which result in a healthier climate and improved economy in the long-term. The forty declaration supporters have demonstrated tremendous initiative and, yes, “guts.” Now it’s Congress’ turn… Do we have any gutsy politicians?

Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.


Posted: June 3, 2013