Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some business leaders hopeful after Bush's global warming nod

The world's business leaders reacted positively to President Bush's mention of global warming (or "global climate change") as a "serious challenge." Many called on the U.S. to enact long-term emissions standards.

The Sietch Blog recounts the announcement of a U.S. business coalition last week to ask for mandatory caps on carbon pollution. And at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, many businesses leaders also called on the U.S. to lock in stricter emissions standards.

Duke Energy CEO James Rogers explained,

"We are not sitting on the sidelines waiting. A tremendous amount of work is going into being prepared [for a new regulatory regime]."

Alcoa CEO Alain Belda agreed that the United States needs one rule, rather than a patchwork of state standards.

On the other side of the globe in Japan, the United Nations Climate Secretariat Yvo de Boer noted that Bush's message in the State of the Union showed "that the climate on climate is changing in the U.S."

But Bush is really just catching up to the rest of the country on global warming solutions, and not leading the way in any sense of the word. So much leadership has come from the local and state level, as well as businesses. Reducing gasoline consumption is important, but what about raising the requirements (Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards) for vehicles' fuel efficiency? Efficiency - fuel or otherwise, like electric - was not mentioned in the President's speech. That's a serious challenge that can be met the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way.

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