Business Coalition Cap-and-Trade Program Needs Strengthening, Science Group Says

For Immediate Release


Elliott Negin
Media Director

Business Coalition Cap-and-Trade Program Needs Strengthening, Science Group Says

Statement by Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists

United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition of 32
corporations and environmental organizations, this morning announced a
cap-and-trade proposal to reduce global warming pollution. (For the
members of USCAP and more information, go to

Below is a statement by Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

companies that stepped forward today see the writing on the wall and
know their businesses would do well to address global warming sooner
rather than later. They are to be commended for calling for urgent

proposed cap-and-trade program is a starting point, but it must be
strengthened significantly to ensure that it's effective.

coalition's target of reducing pollution 14 to 20 percent below today's
levels by 2020 is inadequate. A more aggressive target is both
necessary and possible. Cuts of 20 to 25 percent are achievable with
current and emerging technologies.

support USCAP's proposal for a periodic review of the climate science.
But we call on USCAP to join UCS and other groups to ensure that those
reviews trigger needed adjustments in the cap-and-trade program.

"We are pleased that USCAP recognizes the need for the United States
to help developing countries cut their emissions. But they should go
further by actively supporting provisions in cap-and-trade legislation
to allocate significant funds for programs that preserve tropical
forests and deploy clean technology overseas, as well as to help the
most vulnerable countries cope with the mounting impacts of climate

"We are
concerned that USCAP is advocating for roughly half of the pollution
allowances to be given away to polluters for free. We stand with
President-elect Barack Obama in his call for 100 percent of the
allowances to be auctioned. Giving away too many allowances for free
would distort the market and could result in windfall profits for

but by no means least, we're troubled that USCAP's proposal to allow as
much as 2 billion tons of offsets could allow U.S. companies to avoid
cutting their emissions until about 2030. Offsets must be strictly
limited to ensure that companies invest in the clean technologies that
reduce global warming pollution here at home and that are essential to
achieving much deeper reductions in U.S. emissions by mid-century."


The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

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