CEOs and other representatives of more than 75 US businesses and trade associations, with combined market valuations of nearly $2.5 trillion, call for federal climate action including carbon pricing.
Just one week after the CEO Climate Dialogue — the CEOs of 13 US and global Fortune 500 companies — called on the President and Congress to institute an economy-wide carbon-pricing policy, today more than 75 businesses — including eBay, Gap, Levi Strauss, Nike, Mars, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Tesla — joined the call, meeting with a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers to urge Congress to pass meaningful climate legislation, including a price on carbon. Collectively, today’s LEAD (Lawmaker Education & Advocacy Day) on Carbon Pricing is the largest business gathering on the Hill to advocate for climate legislation in over a decade.
The participating businesses, five of which — BP, Exelon, LafargeHolcim, PG&E, Shell and Unilever — are also part of the CEO Climate Dialogue, include 21 Fortune 500 companies; as well as trade associations, and medium and small businesses from all 50 states, collectively representing a combined market valuation of nearly $2.5 trillion, and more than 1 million US employees. The businesses calling for a meaningful national carbon price span across the US economy — including retail giants, manufacturers, energy majors, healthcare services, food and beverage companies, outdoors industries and technology companies. A full list of business participants can be found here.
“Climate change requires urgent, collective action; including the establishment of a reliable carbon-pricing system,” says Chris Adamo, VP of Federal Industry and Affairs at Danone. “We are meeting the challenge head-on by innovating our business practices, forging new partnerships across the food and beverage industry, and supporting policy solutions that protect and preserve our precious natural resources. We have 31 years to fulfill our 2050 goal to be zero net carbon positive, and as the largest Certified B Corporation in the world it is also our responsibility to create solutions that drive long-term change.”
Representatives from these businesses met one-on-one with lawmakers and congressional staff from both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate today, to educate them on the economic impacts of climate change and the need for comprehensive and effective national climate policies. Hosted by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), these representatives aim to make the business case for a strong and effective federal carbon price, and share the private sector’s vision for comprehensive solutions to tackle climate change.
“LS&Co. is redoubling our carbon-reduction efforts through industry-leading targets for our own operations and our supply chain,” said Michael Kobori, VP of Sustainability at Levi Strauss. “At the same time, we know that we can do more, faster and cheaper, with government leadership that puts a price on carbon and helps us to invest in renewable energy.”
Of the more than 75 companies, eight sent their CEOs — including DSM, Seventh Generation, Rossignol Skis and Nature’s Path — to signify their high level of concern for the risks that climate change pose to their operations and the US economy.
“There is no greater threat to future generations than the climate crisis and the health of our planet,” said Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein. “The short-term and long-term benefits of reducing greenhouse gas pollution through carbon pricing far outweigh the costs. We must act now on this opportunity before it’s too late.”
This increased private sector engagement with Congress comes at a time when the impacts and consequences of a warming world are becoming more clear, with recent scientific reports detailing the effects of climate change in the US and across the globe. In addition, a growing number of bipartisan lawmakers are offering their own carbon-pricing proposals. In the last three years, Democrats and Republicans collaborated to introduce several different carbon-pricing bills in both the Senate and the House, including the Market Choice Act and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.