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Corporations team up on climate fight

By Sarah Gardner
November 19, 2008 (Marketplace) – Corporate leaders are banding together to push Congress for more aggressive green mandates, from renewable energy to a stricter cap and trade system. Sarah Gardner reports what else the new coalition, BICEP, is pushing.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: While some CEOs of some big companies were on Capitol Hill pushing another economic stimulus package, other big company chiefs are banding together to help fight global climate change -- Starbucks, Nike, Levi Strauss, others. Here's Sarah Gardner at the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.

SARAH GARDNER: These corporations call themselves "Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy," or BICEP, and they're flexing a little muscle in the debate over energy and climate change.

Here's what they want: no new coal plants unless they capture CO2, a national mandate for renewable energy, and a carbon cap and trade system that auctions off pollution permits instead of giving them away for free.

Starbucks executive Ben Packard:

BEN PACKARD: The critical issue for us is that the places where we depend on for our core product, coffee, could be significantly impacted by a change in our climate.

BICEP is calling for more aggressive and specific steps than the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, another business coalition. This new group also aims to offset the message of another big business player, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been warning lately that greenhouse gas regulation will just make the weak economy worse.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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