Giving Compass’ Take:
• Marc Gunther reports that big US companies are not mobilizing enough to back important climate change policies for economic benefits.
• Why is it a challenge to encourage big businesses to set aside self-interested motives? How are you engaging in smart climate change policy?
Most big US companies have failed do the most important thing they can for the planet, namely, to use their political power to push for smart climate policy.
A new coalition of 10 environmental groups has set out to change that. They were joined just days ago by a new nonprofit called ClimateVoice, the brainchild of Bill Weihl, the former sustainability czar at Google and Facebook.
“Silence is no longer an option,” Weihl says. “America’s corporate sector has the power to…put us on a path of steep carbon reductions,” and companies need to use their political clout for good.
They’re right, of course. No matter how many companies pledge to go “carbon zero” by some distant date, establish science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets, buy renewable energy, or sign up for membership in the alphabet soup of climate initiatives and organizations, the worst impacts of climate change won’t be averted unless big business gets behind climate action in the political arena.
Change won’t come easily. Back in 2009, Apple and several utility companies left the U.S. Chamber over climate policy, to no apparent effect. Most big companies failed to back President Obama’s clean power plan to curb coal use, and they stayed silent when President Trump appointed a climate skeptic, Scott Pruitt, to the EPA. Inside companies, corporate sustainability teams don’t interact much with government relations people who typically focus on issues with direct and immediate impacts on their business, like taxes and trade.
Then again, without strong policy, climate change will have a direct and immediate, costly, and worrisome impact on their businesses — as well as on the rest of us.
Read the full article about why big US companies don’t do enough for climate policies by Marc Gunther at Marker.
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