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November 20, 2008

Ceres Joins Forces with Five Leading US Companies in New Climate Change Coalition
    by Robert Kropp

Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) will advocate for aggressive passage of climate and energy legislation.

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Five leading US consumer products companies have joined with Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest groups, in the formation of a new business coalition that calls for early passage of climate and energy legislation in the US.

The charter members of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP)--Levi Strauss, Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems and Timberland—will join with Ceres in working with US policymakers to achieve climate and energy policies that encourage energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green jobs.

BICEP is promoting eight key principles that it hopes will help shape Congressional action on energy and climate change legislation. The principles include greenhouse gas reduction targets of at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; an economy-wide greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system that auctions 100% of carbon pollution allowances; aggressive energy efficiency policies; promotion of fuel-efficient vehicles and transit-oriented development; increased investment in renewable energy, while eliminating subsidies for fossil-fuel industries; stimulation of job growth through investment in green-collar jobs; a national renewable portfolio standard of 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020; and limitations on construction of new coal-powered plants.

According to BICEP, "the recent economic crisis and the looming threat of global warming together present a profound opportunity for U.S. businesses. The bold steps that are needed to restore our economy are the same courageous actions needed to solve the climate crisis. A rapid transition to a 21st century, low-carbon economy will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate."

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