Companies applaud Virginia for advancing efforts to curb carbon emissions from power plantsCeres
RICHMOND, VA — Major companies in Virginia commend the decision today by the Virginia Air Pollution Control board to adopt a rule to cap and reduce carbon emissions from the Commonwealth’s electric sector by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030.
This regulation for carbon emissions trading establishes a gradually declining cap on carbon emissions from the Commonwealth’s power plants, allowing the market to determine the most economically-efficient way to achieve emissions reduction targets. It also creates an opportunity for Virginia to link with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a successful, multi-state cap-and-trade program that has helped participating states reduce carbon emissions while growing the region’s economy.
Since first proposed in 2017, the carbon trading regulation that was adopted today has received significant support from diverse group of stakeholders including members of Virginia’s business community, environmental advocates and clean energy proponents.
Among the companies voicing their support today are Adobe, IKEA, Salesforce and Worthen Industries.
“We all need to work collectively to decarbonize the electric sector. For our part, Adobe has set a goal to power our operations with 100 percent renewable energy and we applaud Virginia’s plans to reduce carbon emissions,” said Vince Digneo, sustainability strategist at Adobe. “These efforts will allow all Virginians to realize the economic and climate benefits of clean, renewable energy.”
“Climate change poses an immediate threat to our global economy as well as to the communities where we live and work,” said Lisa Davis, sustainability manager at IKEA. “The severity of the problem calls for ambitious and urgent action. We applaud the Commonwealth on its smart leadership to regulate carbon emissions and grow its clean energy economy.”
“We need bold action now if we are to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and build a better future for generations to come,” said Patrick Flynn, vice president of sustainability at Salesforce. “With this smart, market-based carbon rule, Virginia is setting itself on the path toward a low-carbon future, spurring innovation in clean energy technology and allowing businesses like Salesforce to enjoy a cleaner electric grid.”
“As a manufacturing company, Worthen Industries has long realized the value and cost-benefits that clean energy can bring to our business and the economy as a whole,” said Dennis Sasseville, director of corporate sustainability and quality systems manager at Worthen Industries. “These important carbon regulations showcase Virginia’s commitment to reducing emissions, investing in clean energy and leading the transition to a low-carbon future.”
A dozen major businesses with operations and employees throughout Virginia and across the U.S., including JLL, Mars, Inc. and Unilever, among others have submitted letters in support of the proposed carbon rule, urging the current administration to follow through on adopting regulations to reduce carbon pollution in the Commonwealth.
“Virginia’s participation in RGGI is supported by many companies with major operations in the Commonwealth,” the letter states, because linking with RGGI and reducing carbon emissions “will allow Virginians to reap the benefits of cleaner air, a more resilient electricity grid, reduced exposure to high electric fuel prices, and more local clean energy jobs. It would also make Virginia more attractive to innovative, forward-thinking companies and their products and services.”
“Investors and companies understand the urgent need to tackle carbon pollution, as well as the tremendous opportunities presented by clean energy,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres. “In implementing their carbon regulations, we encourage Virginia’s leaders to take steps to promote solutions that encourage the adoption renewable energy and energy efficiency. Doing so will help attract new investments by the many companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint, allowing the Commonwealth to capture the myriad economic benefits clean energy investments can bring to communities.”
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that have participated in RGGI since its inception in 2008 have already reduced emissions from power plants in the region by more than 40 percent since 2008, while driving $2.8 billion in regional economic growth and creating nearly 30,000 jobs.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.All Press Releases