C2ES's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) was created in 1998 with the belief that business engagement is critical for developing efficient, effective solutions to the climate problem. We also believe that companies taking early action on climate strategies and policy will gain sustained competitive advantage over their peers.
Starting with 13 companies, the BELC is now the largest U.S.-based group of corporations focused on addressing the challenges of climate change and supporting mandatory climate policy. The BELC is comprised of industry leading, mostly Fortune 500 companies across a range of sectors with combined revenues of $2 trillion and 3.5 million employees. Many different sectors are represented, from high technology to diversified manufacturing; from oil and gas to transportation; from utilities to chemicals.
While individual companies hold their own views on policy specifics, they are united with C2ES in the belief that voluntary action alone will not be enough to address the climate challenge. In 2011, the BELC members accepted the following guiding principles:
- We accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that the impacts are already being felt. Delaying action will increase both the risks and the costs.
- Businesses can and should incorporate responses to climate change into their core corporate strategies by taking concrete steps in the U.S. and abroad to establish and meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, and/or invest in low and zero GHG products, practices and technologies.
- The United States should significantly reduce its GHG emissions through economy-wide, mandatory approaches, which may vary by economic sector and include a flexible, market-based program. Complementary policies may also be necessary for sectors such as buildings, electricity generation, forestry, agriculture, and transportation that will help drive innovation and ease the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Climate change is a global challenge that ultimately requires a global solution. An international climate framework must establish fair, effective, and binding commitments for all developed and major developing economies.
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