Firms set up emissions exchange; President Bush pushes voluntary cuts
Leading u.s. and international companies and the city of Chicago are setting up a program called the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) to reduce and trade greenhouse gas emissions. The companies have made a commitment to cut their greenhouse gas emissions 4% below the 19982001 baseline by 2006.
|Photo by Harry Walker
The 13 company members include American Electric Power (AEP), Baxter International, DuPont, Ford Motor Co., Motorola, and Manitoba Hydro.
"These companies have demonstrated tremendous leadership. They really believe that a proactive approach to climate change advances everyone's long-term interests," CCX Chairman Richard L. Sandor says.
CCX will enable its members to buy and sell emissions credits in order to find the most cost-effective way of achieving reductions. Trading will begin in the spring of 2003. "Through CCX, we hope to demonstrate the viability of a multisector greenhouse gas trading program," says Dale E. Heydlauff, AEP's senior vice president of governmental and environmental affairs. AEP itself says it is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the Western Hemisphere.
On a related front, White House officials are touring the country asking industries from all sectors to promise to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to help reach the Administration's goal of an 18% reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per unit of gross domestic product from 2002 to 2012. Industry achieved roughly the same reduction in greenhouse gas intensity from 1990 to 2000, but at the same time total emissions rose by about 12%.
The White House plans to make the pledges public on Feb. 6 in answer to critics of President George W. Bush's rejection of the Kyoto protocol.
But, says Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, "while we applaud the voluntary efforts of all those in the business community ... until our government is willing to embrace an equitable, mandatory system [for emissions reductions], we have no hope of solving this problem."