Business Gets Ready for Emission Cuts

Today’s NY Times reports:

Much of corporate America has already been thinking about how to comply. Many businesses concluded years ago that such limits were inevitable, and they have been calling on Congress to define the exact rules they will need to follow.

Already, many companies are recording their emissions and analyzing the results. Some have set voluntary targets for reductions and are claiming substantial progress in meeting them. Sustainability — a notion mostly heard in environmental circles only a decade ago — has become a mainstream idea to which some companies are committed and many are paying lip service.

For instance, Walmart “has outlined strict goals to reduce energy consumption at its stores and has instructed hundreds of thousands of suppliers to report their energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions.”

Business opposition to climate legislation centers on the fossil fuel industry and on areas of the country that rely heavily on coal for power.  This suggests the possibility of a virtuous circle: initial climate legislation will reduce use of fossil fuels, which will weaken the clout of the fossil fuel industry and increase the clout of the renewables sector, which will make further regulation possible, etc.  The trick is to get the process started.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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