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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Unilever, VF Corp., Mars Incorporated and New York State Comptroller Join 173 Companies and Investors in Supporting EPA’s New Carbon Standard

Power Plant Standard Called “Critical Step in Moving Our Country Towards a Clean Energy Economy”

In response to today’s release of a new EPA standard to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, 128 companies and 49 investors, managing $800 billion in assets, sent letters of support to the Obama Administration, and to Senate and House majority and minority leaders.
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Boston, MA Jun 02, 2014
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EPA's proposed Carbon Pollution Standard

In response to today’s release of a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, 128 companies and 49 investors, managing $800 billion in assets, sent letters of support to the Obama Administration, and to Senate and House majority and minority leaders. The letters were coordinated by the nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, Ceres.

“As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we, the undersigned strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants released today,” says the company letter. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants represents a critical step in moving our country towards a clean energy economy.” (For the full letter and complete list of companies signing on see www.ceres.org/bicep-carbon-letter)

“As a company that makes innovative apparel and footwear for people who love the outdoors, we know how important addressing climate change is to our consumers, and therefore, our business,” said Letitia Webster, director of global sustainability at VF Corporation, a North Carolina-based apparel company whose brands include The North Face, Timberland and Reef. “Today’s rules provide the long-term certainty that VF needs to continue to invest in clean energy solutions so that we can do our part to reduce the impacts of climate change.” VF Corporation employs about 50,000 people.

"This powerful statement of support from more than 170 companies and investors is clear evidence that the EPA rule is both urgently needed and will help, not hinder, the U.S. economy," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, which helped organize the company and investor letters. "Data shows that the electric power industry is already on a path toward a low carbon future, and this standard will accelerate this shift at the pace required by science."

The investor letter states, “Analysts are predicting that climate change (and related policy uncertainty) could add as much as 10 percent to portfolio-wide risk in the next two decades, putting trillions of dollars of institutional investors’ assets at risk. In order to manage this risk, we, as investors, are seeking long-term policies that provide businesses the certainty needed to transition to a clean energy economy.” (For the full letter and list of signatories see www.ceres.org/investor-carbon-letter).

“As the trustee of the New York State Retirement Fund, it is my duty to maximize returns on investment and to manage avoidable risks,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Quite simply, climate change poses a significant risk to the global finances, and our fiscal and ecological health depends on building a low carbon, energy efficient economy.  The Carbon Pollution Standards released today will greatly serve that goal by providing a catalyst for clean energy solutions already at work in the United States.”  The New York State Retirement Fund manages $176.2 billion in assets.

Another signatory, Ken Locklin, managing director of Impax Asset Management (US) LLC, which manages $4.2 billion in assets, added, “These proposed EPA carbon pollution regulations will accelerate innovation and development across the US energy sector. Other countries have surged into the forefront in clean energy practices. These standards can catalyze new low carbon investment here at home.”

The 128 companies signing the letter are also signatories to Ceres’ Climate Declaration, a business-led call to action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.  Many of the investors signing on to the letter are members of Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk.

A May 28 report by Ceres and several electric utilities, the 2014 Benchmarking Air Emissions Report, shows that U.S. power sector CO2 emissions decreased 13 percent between 2008 and 2012 due in part to the industry’s shift toward a combination of increased energy efficiency and lower carbon fuel sources, and is positioned to comply with the new EPA standard.

About Ceres
Ceres
is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of nearly 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.

BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy), a project of Ceres, is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. For more information and a list of member companies visit: www.ceres.org/bicep

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