Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Carbon Cartel

We mentioned a couple of USCAP's greenwashing advocates when the Business Roundtable came out with their press release on Tuesday:
"We should hear from USCAP members, the Pew Center and the NRDC soon."

Yesterday, on cue, the NGO's made their pitch:

...‘’They’re basically acknowledging that there’s going to be some kind of mandatory legislation, and that, in itself, is a big thing for the BRT to say,’’ said Truman Semans, director for markets and business strategy at the Pew Centre on Global Climate Change, one of several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have been working closely with major U.S. companies on legislative and regulatory schemes for reducing emissions.

‘’It’s important to understand that a statement like this tends to reflect the lowest common denominator,’’ he added, ‘’and the fact that it states that some of their membership support mandatory approaches to reducing emissions tells you that the average view of the group as a whole is more progressive than what you’re reading in the statement.’’

‘’It is indeed notable that the voice of the establishment business community in this country is moving at least a few steps towards embracing the reality of this issue and the need to take action,’’ said Christopher Flavin, president of the WorldWatch Institute.

‘’You can see it’s a watered-down statement, but it’s still an indication among others that the business community is moving quite rapidly on global warming and that even those companies, like Exxon Mobil, that have been most resistant are slowly pulling their heads out of the sand,’’ he told IPS.

...‘’It’s certainly very encouraging that we see companies like Exxon Mobil and Peabody signing onto this statement,’’ said Tony Kreindler of the Natural Resource Defence Council (NRDC). ‘’And it’s very significant that some of these members that feel the science is still evolving accept that steps (to address warming) should be taken now,’’ he added.

...Leading the effort to devise a new BRT climate-change policy were members who earlier this year launched the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition of initially ten major companies and several NGOs, including the Pew Centre and NRDC, that called on the Congress to enact mandatory cuts in GHG emissions.

As noted by Semans at Pew, one of the NGO members of USCAP, the BRT statement falls far short of the USCAP scheme, but it makes a series of specific policy recommendations -- such as creating a national registry for reporting emissions and adopting government policies that encourage early action and investment to reduce emissions -- that would facilitate the creation of a cap-and-trade system similar to that proposed by USCAP.

A great piece of reporting by Jim Lobe for InterPress IPSnews
This is going to be the biggest money grab in history.