Gap, eBay and Symantec Join Business Coalition Calling for Action on Clean Energy & Climate Change
Ceres president Mindy Lubber today announced that three new companies - Gap Inc., eBay Inc. and Symantec Corp. - have joined a new business coalition, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). The coalition is calling for strong U.S. climate and energy policies in 2009 to spur clean energy and reduce global warming pollution.
The new members were announced at a policy discussion this morning of founding members of the four-month-old coalition that includes Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Sun Microsystems, Starbucks and The Timberland Co.
"We welcome these new BICEP members and look forward to their contributions in achieving strong Congressional action to solve the climate and energy challenges facing America," Lubber said, addressing 100 invited guests at the business leadership breakfast hosted by Ceres at the Willard Hotel.
“Leadership from the business community is essential to our success in protecting human health and the environment” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who kicked off today's forum. "BICEP is pioneering change, and proving every day that the environmentally sound thing to do is also the economically sound thing to do. We are here to partner with you so that we can lay the foundations for that change together, and bring our shared vision to life."
BICEP members believe that climate change impacts will ripple across all sectors of the economy and that various new business perspectives are needed to provide a full spectrum of viewpoints for tackling the country's climate and energy challenges.
The group's key principles include stimulating renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and green jobs, requiring 100 percent auction of carbon allowances and limiting new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions.
"From solar energy to greener shopping, eBay Inc. embraces sustainable practices in everything we do." said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. "We’re excited to join Ceres’ BICEP coalition and use the power of eBay, PayPal and our other leading brands to promote climate-friendly actions."
"At Gap Inc., we're committed to finding ways that we can do business better, and in a way that is mindful of long-term environmental sustainability," said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, senior director of Global Responsibility & Environmental Affairs at Gap Inc. "We are honored to join BICEP and the other member companies working to find meaningful solutions to address climate change."
"It's critical for a coalition such as BICEP to help influence U.S. legislation," said Tiffany Jones, director of public policy and government relations at Symantec Corp. "Symantec looks forward to working with other BICEP members to debate, develop and impact future climate change and energy policies."
The coalition's goal is to work directly with key allies in the business community and members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation consistent with its eight core principles, which include:
- setting greenhouse gas (GHG) 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;
- establishes aggressive energy efficiency policies to achieve at least a doubling of our historic rate of energy efficiency improvement;
- 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 impacts;
- 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.
Details on all of the eight principles can be found at http://ceres.org/company-network/bicep/.
Ceres, which helped organize BICEP, is a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org