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American and European CEOs Urge Climate Commitment in Copenhagen

Dec 11, 2009 - Business Wire

Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, and European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), a forum of leaders of major European-headquartered, multi-national industrial and technological companies, today released a common set of principles necessary to slow, stop and reverse greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible. In the first trans-Atlantic business agreement of its kind, the groups call for long-term GHG commitments from all major emitters, appropriate action from all other countries and global common reporting standards.

"Today's announcement is an historic breakthrough," said Jeroen van der Veer, Chairman of ERT's Energy and Climate Change Working Group. "Never before has such a diverse and influential group of business leaders been brought together in support of a common set of principles for tackling climate change. It shows that business is proactive. We urge policymakers to follow the lead of the private sector by working together toward practical and effective climate solutions."

"Business Roundtable has long been a leader on climate policy and we are pleased to work with our European partners on this important issue," said Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company and Chair of the joint Business Roundtable/ERT Climate Working Group. "These principles echo Business Roundtable's call for increased efficiency and the development and deployment of energy technologies."

The principles identify several important points for climate negotiators to consider, including:

-- Mandating emissions reduction commitments for all major emitters;

-- Developing common Monitoring Reporting & Verification systems as soon as possible;

-- Allowing nations with carbon caps to allocate free allowances to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries forced to compete against foreign competitors without those costs;

-- Providing the private sector with the tools to drive development and deployment of energy technologies necessary to reduce emissions;

-- Integrating energy efficiency into all Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions;

-- Rapidly developing a global emissions market to deliver reductions at the lowest cost;

-- Incorporating best practices into a single negotiating track; and

-- Developing programs that ensure carbon financing is directed as effectively as possible.

"The private sector can and will make GHG reductions; all we ask for is a level playing field, common reporting rules and safeguards against unfair competition between carbon-constrained and non-carbon constrained industries," said van der Veer.

"Business leaders from both sides of the Atlantic agree on the need for an agreement that can slow, halt and reduce emissions as quickly as possible," said Liveris. "Now is the time for climate negotiators to take a comprehensive, long-term approach that makes maximum use of technology cooperation and market opportunities at the global level."

For more information on Business Roundtable and ERT's common principles, please visit www.businessroundtable.org or click here.

Additionally, please click here to access a roster of members of Business Roundtable, and here to view an ERT membership list.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 12 million employees. Business Roundtable companies provide health care coverage to more than 35 million employees, retirees and their families. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and pay more than 60 percent of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Annually, they return more than $167 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy.

Business Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with more than $111 billion in annual research and development spending -- nearly half of all total private R&D spending in the U.S.

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The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) is a forum of around 50 European industrial leaders aiming at promoting the competitiveness and growth of Europe's economy. ERT Members are Chairmen and Chief Executives of major multinational companies of European parentage covering a wide range of industrial and technological sectors. ERT derives its strength from the commitment and personal involvement of its Members. Companies of ERT Members cover a wide range of industry sectors, with headquarters situated in 18 European countries. Their combined turnover is EUR 1,600 billion thereby sustaining around 6.6 million jobs in the region.

SOURCE: Business Roundtable