Business Leaders Support President Obama's Plan to Reduce Carbon Pollution
09:45 AM EDT
On Tuesday, President Obama laid out his plan to reduce carbon pollution — just like we have for other toxins like mercury and arsenic — so we protect the health of our children, move our economy toward American-made clean energy sources that will create good jobs and lower energy bills, and begin to slow the effects of climate change. The plan was immediately met with broad support from business leaders across a broad array of industries. Here’s a quick look at what they’re saying:
Business Roundtable recognizes the potential consequences of climate change and supports both government and private sector actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally. The President’s proposals today are a mix of commonsense steps we can all support – such as increasing energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy – and measures that will require additional careful attention to ensure they can be deployed in an equitable and effective global framework. For instance, we look forward to reviewing how the Administration plans to regulate emissions from existing power plants. Partnering with industry and stakeholders will be critical to a smart, economically sound approach. The Roundtable has advocated for increased permitting of alternative energy projects and collaboration between the public and private sectors on technology, efficiency and transmission investment, and is pleased to see a renewed commitment from the President. Significant changes to the U.S. tax code should be made only within the context of comprehensive tax reform, not on an ad hoc basis targeting specific industries.”
Business Roundtable | Dave Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell and Chair of Business Roundtable’s Energy and Environment Committee
We applaud the President and his administration for their commitment to renewable energy and conservation. Investing in renewable energy and energy conservation are good for business, good for communities and good for the environment. When we use less energy, that’s less energy we have to buy, and that means less waste and more savings for our customers. Over the last few years we’ve made meaningful progress towards our goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. Walmart now has over 300 renewable energy projects in operation or under development around the world, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named us the number one user of onsite renewable energy. As we continue on our journey we will continue to leverage our scale in purchasing energy so we can drive down technology costs and make renewable power more affordable for everyone.
Walmart | Mike Duke, President and CEO
“Dominion has long been committed to a comprehensive national energy and environmental policy that balances the nation’s needs for clean, reliable and affordable energy with reducing our environmental footprint -- a plan that is cost effective, economy wide and market based. …As the President’s proposal recognizes, the nation must continue to rely on an “all of the above” approach that includes renewable energy, advanced nuclear, natural gas and clean coal technologies as well as energy efficiency, conservation and demand-side management. The key will be doing so in a way that recognizes the broader energy and economic issues through regulatory certainty, compliance flexibility, technological feasibility and cost effectiveness.”
Dominion Resources | Thomas F. Farrell II, Chairman, President and CEO
“The President appears to be taking a balanced approach to addressing the issue. The focus on resilience, clean coal technologies, electric vehicles, energy efficiency and transmission investment demonstrates that the Administration is looking at a full portfolio of actions to address the issue - not just cutting emissions from power plants. We look forward to working with the Administration to support those efforts.”
American Electric Power | Melissa McHenry, Spokeswoman
“Nike applauds President Obama’s leadership to mitigate climate change. Nike, together with a number of other companies, has signed the BICEP Climate Declaration urging action on climate change and we are supportive of the President’s focus on tackling this systemic challenge. Now is the time to work together on an innovative, bold framework. We look forward to reviewing the details of the President’s plans and working with the Administration, Congress, and other businesses to move forward on strategies to address climate change.”
Nike | Hannah Jones, VP Sustainable Business & Innovation
“We have long been an industry leader in environmental stewardship, advocating for strong environmental policies and voluntarily taking steps to reduce our environmental impact. …In the absence of federal legislation, we support EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as required by the Clean Air Act. We believe such action is necessary to transform our power generation sector from reliance on older, dirtier, less efficient power plants to newer, cleaner, more efficient, and affordable natural gas-fired power plants. Accordingly, we applaud today’s announcement by President Obama directing the EPA to proceed with regulation of GHGs from both new and existing power plants. We look forward to working with the Administration as the regulatory process moves forward to ensure the new power plant rules effectively reduce greenhouse gases. The industry has long anticipated GHG limits. Obama’s plan is not a war on coal—it provides business certainty to the entire sector.”
“We appreciate the broad view that President Obama outlined in his remarks today on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a California utility, PG&E’s current efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are focused on meeting the goals of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act in ways that are most cost-effective for customers and ensure continued reliability. We have committed to making major additional investments in clean energy technologies and the infrastructure to support them, and so we are pleased with the President’s focus on making permitting more efficient and effective in order to expedite the build out of this new energy infrastructure and technology…”
Pacific Gas and Electric Company | Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO & President
“National Grid has long supported federal legislation as a comprehensive means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, in the absence of federal legislation, we support EPA moving forward with greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act,” King commented. “National Grid looks forward to working constructively with the Administration, EPA, members of the energy industry, and other stakeholders to ensure the regulations reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector and advance America’s efficient and clean energy future.”
National Grid | Tom King, President
"We are pleased today to see President Obama outline his plan to address climate change, expand clean and renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. Green Sports Alliance member teams and venues have been embracing conservation efforts and cleaner sources of energy not only because it is better for the environment, but it is also better for our bottom line. Since the health of the sports industry depends on a stable climate we appreciate his leadership on this critical issue. Sports venues throughout our nation have demonstrated that adopting smart environmental strategies is good for both the environment and for business."
Seattle Mariners | Scott Jenkins, VP of Operations and Chairman of the Green Sports Alliance Board of Directors
"Being one of the leaders in environmental stewardship among professional sports franchises, the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers take great pride in applauding the President’s remarks. As a recent signatory of the Climate Declaration, we believe addressing climate change is not only essential for the health of our planet and children, but will result in a healthy economy. As a member of BICEP and one of the co-founders of the Green Sports Alliance, the Trail Blazers are pleased with the President’s acknowledgement and commitment to clean air, increased energy efficiencies, mitigation of carbon emissions, investments in renewables and moving this country towards a healthy future.”
Portland Trail Blazers | Senior Director, Sustainability and Public Affairs
The members of the Clean Energy Group’s Clean Air Policy Initiative are supportive of policies that encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the modernization of the electric generating sector. We continue to believe that federal legislation is the most effective tool to do so. However, absent federal legislation, we support EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the federal Clean Air Act.
Today, we view the President’s renewed focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an important step. As our member companies’ experience demonstrates, greenhouse gas reductions can be achieved cost-effectively. We look forward to working cooperatively with industry, the Administration, and other stakeholders to inform EPA’s development of effective power plant rules that reduce greenhouse gases, as required by law.
Clean Energy Group | Austin Energy; Calpine Corporation; National Grid; New York Power Authority NextEra Energy; Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc.; Seattle City Light
We believe the President’s plan, with its focus on climate adaptation programs, efficiency standards for homes and appliances, greater renewable energy development on public lands and regulating carbon pollution – will build a more resilient and market based transition to a clean energy economy. This in turn will boost investment and create jobs. Addressing climate change now will create new economic opportunities and will allow the US to remain competitive. It’s an investment worth making.
American Sustainable Business Council
“DuPont supports actions to address the global challenge of climate change, and believes that coordinated action by nations employing market based solution will ultimately be required,” said Fisher. “We have set voluntary goals to reduce our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and have achieved significant progress. We are heartened by the growing range of greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs in both developed and developing nations, but recognize that in the U.S., Congress has not yet acted,” Fisher added. “We believe that U.S. leadership in this area is important. Absent Congressional action, we think that prudent and cost-effective steps can be taken administratively in the U.S., and welcome the President’s announcement on actions the Administration will take. In particular, we think the President’s planned activities in the areas of efficiency, renewable energy and HFCs are constructive, and we applaud his leadership.”
“President Obama's historic address today rightly focuses on common-sense policies that will utilize a wide range of commercially-available solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, modernize our electricity grid and better prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change. "The Council praises the broad scope of the Climate Action Plan and welcomes its recognition of the role of the business community as a partner in its implementation. "Many of the readily-available technologies needed to address climate change and make the nation more resilient are cost-effective and have significant economic benefits in terms of employment and increased productivity…”
The Business Council for Sustainable Energy
“Increasing energy efficient design, construction and building performance throughout our communities is a key element of the value proposition architects offer, which leads not only to a better environment and improved quality of life, but also job gains and lower costs throughout the economy. “However, the architecture profession is concerned that the Senate may soon take a step backward by voting on a bill that would repeal a law that sets targets for cutting fossil fuel use in new and renovated federal buildings by 2030. “This proposal would eviscerate a tool that government agencies use to make their buildings more energy efficient, reduce life cycle costs, and promote the research and development of renewable energy resources. That simply doesn’t make sense. A sustainable America is a healthy and prosperous America.” “We urge the President and Congress to work together to create true gains in energy efficiency that make our communities more sustainable, and not bow to the pressures of special interests who only want to increase energy consumption.”
American Institute of Architects
“Mars is committed to reducing and eventually eliminating our greenhouse gas emissions, in absolute terms, because this is the right thing to do. Climate change has implications for the production of agricultural ingredients from corn to cocoa, and addressing it requires changes to the way we source materials and manufacture our products.” “Therefore it is imperative we continue to improve sustainability in our approach to business, as well as the way we create policy, which is why it is important for us to make our voice heard through BICEP in encouraging policymakers to take action now.”
Mars | Brad Figel, Vice President
“Climate change is the defining investment issue of our generation. The implementation of policies that limit carbon pollution, which were announced today by President Obama, should help unleash investment in clean energy and low-carbon technologies, which is an important step toward a truly sustainable economy.”
Trillium Asset Management| Matthew W. Patsky, CEO
“Annie's signed the Climate Declaration because we know business plays a critical role in combatting climate change. Today, we applaud President Obama's plan to address climate change. The plan will reduce harmful pollutants, protect our children's health and provide jobs for Americans. Annie’s is deeply committed to a cleaner planet; we enthusiastically support the President's plan to keep us moving in this direction!”
Annie's | John Foraker, CEO
"People often ask whether we can afford to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt society to climate change. But I think the real question is can we afford not to? Nobody can tackle climate change successfully on their own. We need to have a partnership, which includes governments at all levels working hand in hand with the private sector. This is why we applaud this announcement by The President. This year is Swiss Re's 150th year in the risk management industry and we view the threat posed by climate change as a very real one. As a society we need to act now and not stick our heads in the sand."
Swiss Re | Mark Way, Head Sustainability Americas
“Averting a planetary meltdown (we know a little something about what happens when things melt) requires leadership for governments and business. For the first time, the United States has a President committing to lead on climate, and not a moment too soon.”
Ben and Jerry’s | Christopher Miller, Social Mission Activism Manager
“We are heartened by the leadership shown by the White House, without which there can be no forward movement on climate change. As a company, Seventh Generation has always taken responsibility for its actions, accounting for and working to mitigate its environmental impacts. We support the strong and aggressive proposals in the President’s plan."
Seventh Generation | John Replogle, CEO
“President Obama’s plan is what we’ve been waiting for. It will help our business and the rest of the Colorado ski industry thrive long into the future, and we’re ready to start implementing it today.”
Aspen Skiing Company | Auden Schendler, Vice President of Sustainability
“There can be no progress on climate change without strong and aggressive leadership from the White House. While we have been frustrated that it took until now, we find that the President’s plan contains plenty of smart proposals and pathways for action. Stonyfield stands firmly behind the President's vision.
Stonyfield Farm | Gary Hirshberg, Chairman
“We applaud President Obama’s remarks on climate. The outdoor recreation industry and the U.S. economy depend on climate stability. Americans spend $646 billion annually on outdoor recreation, supporting 6.1 million jobs. This requires safe, reliable access to outdoor recreation opportunities, which are threatened by climate change and volatile weather patterns. We are encouraged that the Obama administration has outlined important steps to addressing climate issues and hope this spurs a robust national discussion.”
Outdoor Industry Association | Kirk Bailey, Vice President, Government Affairs
"Climate change presents material risks to many American companies, and the costs of inaction on climate change are clearly greater that the costs of taking practical steps to address it. Corporations and investors should welcome the President’s plan to address this urgent and important environmental and economic issue."
Calvert Investments | Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President
“As a recent signatory to the Climate Declaration, Symantec recognizes the great economic opportunity inherent in addressing climate change. We support the President’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand renewable energy sources, and engage in meaningful dialogue on an international level. While difficult, leadership in this space is necessary, and by taking a stand at this critical moment, the U.S. is poised to drive these discussions to a favorable global outcome.”
Symantec Corporation | Steve Bennett, CEO
“As a proud signatory of the Climate Declaration CA Technologies is prepared to stand with the President and his common sense approach to tackling climate change. CA Technologies has done its part and will continue to reduce our carbon footprint and to help our clients with IT enabled energy efficiency. The economic opportunities embedded in addressing climate change abound and the President's decision to highlight them as a way to strengthen our economy and protect our future is a key to making real progress. Standing up and supporting the White House through a clean energy transition is simply the right thing to do.”
CA Technologies | Cynthia Curtis, Chief Sustainability Officer
“Our travel business depends on stable weather - and as for all of us is severely at risk from extreme weather. We applaud President Obama for standing up and taking action despite the big-oil funded, anti-science obstruction and denial. We all have so much to lose if we continue to let some elected officials delay the US from facing this major threat and taking the necessary steps to reduce our climate footprint. The proposed actions will create good paying US jobs, while helping clean our drinking water and the air we breathe. Even more importantly, they will reduce the likelihood that any of us will have to deal with the tragic flooding, super storms, droughts and fires that the people of NY, CO, FL, OK and many other American places have faced in the last several years.”
The Saunders Hotel Group | Tedd Saunders, CSO
"It is our greatest responsibility to take big steps now to mitigate the climate crisis. Globally, we are faced with the ultimate dilemma… how to care for a sick planet. An aggressive approach is needed to make advancements in reducing our emissions, innovating for the future and creating jobs domestically. This multi-lateral climate action plan provides American businesses with the tools, and more importantly, the rules necessary to reach a 17% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020. As strong advocates of climate policy and the protection of natural resources, we support President Obama’s vision outlined in today’s speech."
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics | Shama Alexander, Environmental Officer
“Clif Bar applauds the President for raising the bar on climate action. As a company of people who love the outdoors, we know that tackling carbon pollution is critical to protecting the planet, and the wild places where we climb, hike and ski. As a company that makes food, we know that an unstable climate puts agricultural land and farming communities at risk. It will take all of us working together — companies, individuals and government— to create a more sustainable, resilient future. We join the President in calling for our nation's transition to clean, renewable energy.”
Clif Bar | Elysa Hammond, Director of Environmental Stewardship
“EILEEN FISHER applauds the Obama Administration for recognizing the serious impacts of climate change and the importance of reducing carbon emissions through collaboration, innovation and a values-based mindset. EILEEN FISHER understands the challenges and rewards of tackling both fiscal and planetary health. It's not an easy task, but one we believe is important. Thank you, President Obama for taking the first step toward a stronger, more resilient future for our citizens and the planet.”
EILEEN FISHER | Shona Quinn, Sustainability Leader
“United Natural Foods Inc. UNFI, applauds the Presidents climate call to action. UNFI is committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Over the years, UNFI has invested significantly in numerous LEED certified facilities and continues to plan future sustainable building projects. The company has constructed several solar arrays and made reducing fleet emissions and energy consumption a priority. UNFI believes it is important to be a leader on this critical issue.”
UNFI | Melody L Meyer, VP Policy and Industry Relations
“President Obama’s call to action rings true to us at New Chapter and reminds us that this burden of tackling climate change rests not on the White House alone but on all sectors, communities and countries. New Chapter will remain vigilant in pursuit of our own renewable energy and ghg reduction goals and will continue to press for the right legislative measures to make the President’s vision a reality.”
New Chapter | Sara Newmark. Director of Sustainability
“Climate change will impact every aspect of our businesses and our lives. The US and the world need the leadership President Obama is proposing today. Effective regulation will enable innovation in the public and private sectors and promote economic prosperity in the face of enormous challenges. We strongly support the President bringing this plan to fruition.”
New Belgium Brewing | Jenn Vervier, Sustainability & Strategy Director
Ed. note: This post has been updated to reflect the statement from Business Roundtable