Pro-climate action business group launched

Major companies pledge to demonstrate positive role for trading in reducing emissions

Seven large corporations were yesterday announced as founder members of a new group aiming to "learn together" about greenhouse gas emissions trading and to demonstrate its value as a tool for combating climate change. The Partnership for Climate Action (PCA) should also "encourage more companies to step forward and reduce pollution," according to Fred Krupp of Environmental Defence, the US-based NGO coordinating the initiative.

The seven founder companies are global oil groups BP and Shell, US-based energy firm Suncor, chemical giant DuPont, Ontario Power Generation of Canada and aluminium makers Alcan of Canada and Pechiney of France. Announcements of new members are expected soon, Sarah Wade of Environmental Defence told ENDS Daily today.

The PCA's launch carries a heavy symbolism as world governments prepare to meet in the Hague next month to hammer out operational rules for the Kyoto climate protocol, including on emissions trading. Nevertheless, it will not be a political lobby group, according to Environmental Defence, aiming to show instead that companies "can cut greenhouse gas pollution while continuing to provide products to customers and profits to shareholders".

All members must publicly declare a greenhouse gas limitation commitment backed by the resources to achieve it and report on emissions. The first of seven "common principles that firms must adhere to is that "there is enough scientific evidence about the serious risks of climate change to merit action now".

Meanwhile, the main anti-Kyoto industry grouping the Global Climate Coalition has been steadily losing members, including PCA signatories Shell in 1998 and BP in 1996 (ENDS Daily 2 March 2000).

Development of practical models for trading in greenhouse gases is to be the key focus of the PCA's work. The companies "want to be ready for a future market and show the public that it works," Ms Wade said. Actual trading between members or with outside entities could follow in the future, "but the first task is to create a framework."

Environmental Defence has had a long involvement in emission trading, including as a stakeholder in US nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide trading schemes. It also helped BP to develop plans for internal greenhouse gas emission trading (ENDS Daily 21 September 1998).

PCA founder members' individual emission commitments equate to an average 15% cut from 1990 and 2010, according to Environmental Defence. It adds that the 360m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted by the seven companies in 1990 put them in the top 15 industrialised countries in terms of emissions.

Follow Up:
Environment Defence, tel: +1 212 505 2100, and press release.

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