Google, Nike Sign Open Letter to US urging swift action on climate change legislation

Sept. 10, 2009, Sustainable Business news ( News)


“Twelve major U.S. companies delivered an open letter to the U.S. Senate this week urging swift action on climate change legislation.

In the letter, Bumble Bee Foods, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), DuPont (NYSE: DD), FPL Group (NYSE: FPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), HP (NYSE: HPQ), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), JohnsonDiversey, Levi Strauss & Co., Nike (NYSE: NKE), PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) and Xanterra Parks and Resorts said: ‘A rapidly changing climate is reshaping the American landscape and poses a long-term threat to our nation’s economy and to our children’s future… We…urge the Senate to pass a bill this year that will reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases…and jumpstart a clean energy economy….’

The signatory companies said they have begun changing their business practices to measurably reduce their emissions of carbon pollution. Such efforts, they point out in their letter, have also benefited their bottom lines. ‘In our experience, these changes have not only been good for the climate, they’ve been good for business,’the companies said.

According to the recently released report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, prepared by 13 federal science agencies, climate change is already having a direct and negative effect on the American people, impacting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health all across the nation. Every region of the country is experiencing significant, adverse impacts from climate change including more severe droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires–and these impacts will worsen during the course of the century if action is not taken to slow climate change.”

This is important to note.  As climate change progressively makes itself felt in all parts of the planet, including Manitoba, we will be well-served by forward-thinking businesses that take the lead to reduce carbon emissions.  Legislative policy changes that mandate reductions in CO2 emissions are needed; business needs to lead in partnership with government.  Good to see the recent news about bio-diesel use being mandated in Manitoba.

I wonder when agribusiness will finally wake up and realize that they are operating within an old paradigm that is rapidly leaving food producers and healthy people out of a long-term successful and profitable partnership.  Climate change legislation that begins to force reductions in CO2 emissions will have an effect on agribusiness.  If only our agricultural companies were to take the lead in supporting a different framework for producing healthy food within a less carbon-intensive environment, we could all learn from them.  Instead, they will balk and kick and claim that any climate change legislation will negatively affect them. Lead now, and become part of the solution!


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