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Businesses Call For Market-Based Approach To Climate Change

Big businesses have called on politicians to set out a market-based, unified strategy for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions at next week’s Leaders Summit on Climate, Reuters reports.

“Climate change is a global problem, and what companies are looking to avoid is a fragmented approach where the U.S., China and the E.U. each does its own thing, and you wind up with a myriad of different methodologies,” said the chief executive of trade association Institute of International Finance, Tim Adams, as quoted in the report.

The call is the latest sign that businesses are beginning to take climate change seriously, but it also signals they are not going to just follow politicians’ lead on fighting it, risking trade and profits, according to the report.

Yet some, it seems, are willing to take on the risk: earlier this week, more than 300 U.S. businesses called on President Biden to increase the United States’ emission-cutting targets. They urged the president to commit to cutting the country’s greenhouse emissions to below 2005 levels by 2030, CNBC reported on Tuesday. That would be a twofold increase on current emission-cutting targets.

The companies that signed under the call to action include Google, Apple, Unilever, and Walmart.

“Many of us have set or are setting emissions reduction goals in line with climate science since the establishment of the Paris agreement,” the letter read, as quoted by CNBC. “The private sector has purchased renewable energy at record rates and along with countless cities across the country, many have committed themselves to a net zero-emissions future.”

Some, however, are wary in their support for climate change measures, not least because of the nature of their business. The American Petroleum Institute has spoken in favor of carbon taxes, but it has noted that a balance must be struck between different business needs.

“Over the long-term, the world is going to demand more energy, not less, and any target should reflect that reality and account for the significant technological advancements that will be required to accelerate the pace of emissions reductions,” API senior vice president Frank Macchiarola said, as quoted by Reuters.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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