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January 24, 2009 / Mridul

US Companies Layout Blueprint to Cut Carbon Emissions

A group of American companies has unveiled a plan to cut carbon emissions by 80% to below 2005 levels by 2050. The group which includes the likes of Alcoa, BP America, Ford Motors, General Motors, PG&E Corporation and Shell has given a “direct response to federal policymakers who recognize, as we do, that well-crafted legislation can spur innovation in new technologies, help create jobs and provide a foundation for a vibrant, low-carbon economy.

The plan contains various valuable points which the Congress can use while drafting a climate bill. These companies, called the US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), plan to implement an economy-wide cap and trade system to cut back the rising emissions. The group calls for greater emphasis on green buildings, energy efficiency & transformation systems.

The ideas put forward by the group of such significant companies is nothing short of revolutionary. Most companies in the group wield great influence over bills passed in the Congress. This blueprint gives a real hope that the lawmakers, backed by the initiatives from the industry giants, will pass a climate bill which would prove to be the stepping stone of transforming America into a low-carbon economy.

The emission reduction goals put forth by these companies are not as tough as proposed by President-elect Barack Obama, but still they are nothing short of a surprise. Many of these companies have been reluctant to move away from fossil fuels and have advocated use of the controversial clean coal technology. Many companies used their influence to block significant policy decisions which were helpful to the environment but would have hurt their interests. The automakers influenced and successfully got EPA to change its decision about allowing California to frame its own laws regarding automobile emissions.

To build a low-carbon economy it is very essential that the the government and the private sector work in conjugation. It is important for the government to extend incentives to the private sector and the private sector needs to reciprocate by showing clear intent of optimizing its operations to achieve the set goals. With the US economy is a state of recession a synchronous action between the government and the private sector becomes even more important.

By coming out with this blueprint, these companies have not only shown an intent to help reduce the rising carbon emissions but have also helped the lawmakers by putting forward their own plan of action on the basis of which a national legislation could be passed so that the emissions reduction goals are achieved in an efficient and smooth manner.

This article was first posted on Red, Green and Blue.

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