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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 9, SEPTEMBER 1997

NEWS...
BUSINESS POSITIONS


Item #d97sep87

We summarize here some of the positions on climate policy promoted by various businesses or business groups over the past few months. They vary substantially, sometimes even within the same industry.

British Petroleum's CEO John Browne raised eyebrows with a speech at Stanford University May 19, 1997, breaking ranks with the rest of the fossil industry by saying that continuing to ignore climate change is "unwise and potentially dangerous." He went on to explain how BP is taking initiatives on joint implementation, developing alternative (including renewable) sources of energy for the long term, reducing its own emissions and contributing to the policy debate. Contact BP at 1 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7BA, UK (tel: 44 171 496 4000; fax: 44 171 496 4630) or see the speech at http://www.BP.com/speech_051997.html.

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy was formed in 1992 by producers of renewable energy and natural gas or related equipment, and electric utilities interested in energy conservation. More than the other business groups, this one favors strong measures soon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Contact the Council at 1200 18th St. NW, 9th Fl., Washington DC 20036 (tel: 202 785 0507; fax: 202 785 0514; e-mail: bcse@ase.org; WWW: http://www.bcse.org).

The Business Roundtable, which represents over 200 companies, ran a series of newspaper advertisements timed to precede an address by President Clinton to its annual meeting in June 1997, calling for an climate policy "balanced" between the economy and the environment, and with input from a wide variety of sources. In agreement with most other business groups, it stresses that treaty commitments should include developing countries. Its views are expressed in Rush to Judgment: A Primer on Global Climate Change, available on the group's Web site (http://www.brtable.org). Contact the Roundtable at 1615 L St. NW, Washington DC 20036 (tel: 202 872 1260).

The Edison Electric Institute represents U.S. shareholder-owned utilities and also has international affiliates. It favors voluntary approaches at Kyoto, which it is already pursuing through its members by promoting efficient use of electricity. Contact EEI at 760 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20004 (tel: 202 508 5000; WWW: http://www.eei.org).

The European Round Table of Industrialists comprises invited heads of large multinational companies representing all sectors of industry. It favors the full involvement of industry in developing workable policies on climate change, in partnership with governments. Its statement Climate Change: An ERT Report on Positive Action discusses this approach. Contact the ERT at Ave. Henri Jaspar 113, B-1060 Brussels (tel: 32 2 534 3100; fax: 32 2 534 7348; e-mail: contact@ert.be; WWW: http://www.ert.be).

The Global Climate Coalition has represented core energy and manufacturing businesses for several years, maintaining stiff opposition to climate policies, and rejecting the IPCC's "scientific consensus" that some degree of anthropogenic climate change is likely. Contact the Coalition at 1275 K St. NW, S. 890, Washington DC 20005 (tel: 202 682 9161; fax: 202 638 1043; e-mail: gcc@igc.apc.org; WWW: http://www.globalclimate.org/).

The International Climate Change Partnership is currently chaired by British Petroleum. This group includes a wide range of industries, some of which broke away from the Global Climate Coalition in 1996. It accepts the IPCC scientific consensus. However, it cautions that achieving a lasting solution that accommodates both environmental protection and economic growth is more important than meeting artificial deadlines like the Kyoto meeting in December. Contact ICCP at 211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22201 (tel: 703 841 0626; fax: 703 243 2874; e-mail: iccpaf@aol.com).

The Global Climate Information Project is sponsored by transportation, petroleum, mining and other industries. It launched an extensive U.S. advertising campaign in September reflecting its concern that a climate treaty that excludes developing countries would have major impacts on the U.S. economy, but little or no environmental benefit. Details are found on its Web site (http://www.appcpenn.org/issueads/profiles/global_climate.htm) or by toll-free phone (800-54-FACTS).

The Insurance Industry Initiative for the Environment was formed July 1997 in association with UNEP, to build on the interest represented by the 1995 UNEP Statement of Environmental Commitment by the Insurance Industry, which has now been signed by 70 insurers in 25 countries. (See Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 8, July 11, 1997.) A working group on climate change has been formed. Contact Bernd Schanzenbacher (tel: 41 22 979 9302; fax: 41 22 796 9240; e-mail: schanzenb@unep.ch).

Western Fuels Association, representing many coal-consuming electric utilities in the U.S., sponsors World Climate Report, which takes a skeptical view of conventional thought on climate change (http://www.nhes.com/). This month it opened a World Wide Web site (http://www.globalwarmingcost.org) intended to mobilize grassroots opposition to proposed treaty commitments because of their economic impacts. Contact Western Fuels at 4301 Wilson Blvd., S. 805, Arlington VA 22203 (tel: 703 907 6160; fax: 703 907 6161; e-mail: wfa@cais.com).

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a coalition of 122 international companies committed to the principles of economic growth and sustainable development. Many are large, well-known firms such as AT&T, Cargill International, and Dupont. Favors joint implementation, emissions trading, and incentives for the development of energy-efficient and renewable technologies. Contact the Council at 160 route de Florissant, CH-1231 Conches-Geneva, Switz. (tel: 41 22 839 3100; fax: 41 22 839 3131; e-mail: info@wbcsd.ch; WWW: http://www.wbcsd.ch).

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