Ceres’ Anne Kelly Testifies on Capitol Hill for a Science-Based Climate Policy AgendaCeres
Ceres Vice President of Government Relations Anne Kelly called on Congress today to enact a science-based policy agenda to help the U.S. achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Kelly testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources at a hearing titled “The Case for Climate Optimism: Realistic Pathways to Achieving Net-Zero Emissions.”
“Climate change is the most significant threat to the U.S. economy,” urged Kelly. “To mitigate that threat, the science is clear: we must limit global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which requires the world to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050.”
Kelly emphasized how many companies are already taking ambitious action. 87 global companies have recently committed to science-based targets within their global enterprises, and another 203 number have committed to 100% renewables by 2050 at the latest. She made the economic case for why Congress must follow their lead with bold legislation to tackle the climate crisis:
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“The risks of climate change are sobering and companies are taking action. They’ve done the math. They see risks to their business from a changing climate, and cost-savings of investing in low carbon technologies and practices. They feel pressure from employees, customers and investors concerned about financial risk and corporate responsibility. But mostly they are taking action because it makes financial sense.
Corporate America, which is laser focused on the bottom line, is procuring record amounts of clean energy and transportation, and working with their supply chains to reduce their extended emissions. Increasingly, these efforts are tied to net-zero targets.
- In 2018 global corporate power purchase agreements for renewable energy set a record of 13.6 gigawatts. 2019 will surpass that.
- 204 major global companies including 3M, ebay, Kellogg’s, General Motors, Nike, Target, and Adobe have committed to sourcing 100% of their energy from renewable electricity.
- Over 650 companies have committed to align their operations with a 2 degree world and 100 of those companies, including Amazon, Mars, Levi’s, and Salesforce have committed to aligning their businesses with a 1.5 degree world.
Many power companies are doing the same. Xcel, AEP, NRG, and Duke have set targets to eliminate emissions from power generation by mid-century.
A new study finds that The U.S.-based “green” economy generates more than $1.3 trillion annually and employs roughly 4% of the U.S. workforce. Between 2013 and 2016, annual revenue for the green economy shot up over 20%, representing an additional 1.5 million jobs.
But on their own, corporate commitments aren’t enough. A comprehensive science-based policy response from Congress is essential for the U.S. to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This response should begins with a binding net-zero emissions target. The cornerstone policy should be a technology-neutral price on carbon that puts all energy sources on a level playing field— which Companies in all sectors support. In fact, 75 companies with a presence in all 50 states came to Capitol Hill last spring to call for a strong price on carbon.
In addition to a price on carbon, Congress should support a portfolio approach of standards, R&D investments, necessary regulations and incentives targeting the five sectors responsible for the majority of our emissions: power, transportation, buildings, industry and land use.
Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. The U.S. must remain in the Paris Climate Agreement. Businesses and investors agree. More than 2200 of them including Microsoft, Walmart, JLL, DuPont, and Citi are members of the We Are Still In coalition—a network of real economy actors supporting continued U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement.
We take an unacceptable risk to the U.S. economy and the quality of life for future generations by not acting on climate change immediately. The private sector is taking action and is calling on lawmakers to enact new and ambitious policies. We can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Now is the time for Congress to act and business has your back.”