Press Release: DuPont Announces New Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

For Immediate Release:
September 13, 1999

Contact:  Kelly Sullivan/Heather Fass (202) 289-5900 (Pew)
Lori Fenimore (302)-773-0220 (DuPont )

DuPont Announces New Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Pledge Made at Pew Center on Global Climate Change Early Action Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. — DuPont, a member of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change's Business Environmental Leadership Council, today announced an ambitious set of new targets to address the challenge of climate change.

Dennis H. Reilley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at DuPont, made the announcement today in a keynote address at the Pew Center's Early Action Conference in Washington D.C. The Pew Center, in cooperation with the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, is hosting the two-day conference to examine issues related to credit for early action by companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Specifically the new goals for 2010 unveiled by Reilley include:

  • Reducing global carbon equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent, using 1990 as a base year;
  • Holding total energy use flat, using 1990 as a base year; and,
  • Using renewable resources for ten percent of global energy use.

"We applaud DuPont's leadership in rising to meet the challenge of climate change," said Eileen Claussen, Executive Director, Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "DuPont's commitment is an important reminder that there are steps companies can take now to reduce emissions. A legal framework for early action would only inspire more businesses to take similar voluntary steps."

The Pew Center's Early Action Conference is exploring why the United States should seriously consider a framework to recognize companies' voluntary efforts; what policymakers must do to ensure that companies acting in advance of an international agreement are not penalized; and how to create an early action crediting program that avoids putting climate-conscious companies at a competitive disadvantage, yet does not reward phantom emission reductions.

In his address, Reilley pointed to the value of an early action framework. "Credit for early action and other incentives offer the possibility of eliminating cost penalties and encouraging, and possibly accelerating, the growth of cost-effective sources of renewable energy."

DuPont's work on climate change is part of a long-standing commitment. As a result of an earlier initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by the year 2000 DuPont will have reduced emissions for global operations by 45 percent and improved energy efficiency by 15 percent below 1990 levels. DuPont also has succeeded in holding energy use constant for the last ten years.

DuPont's work on climate change will be highlighted in a Pew Center-sponsored advertisement under the banner headline of "a leap forward on climate change." The print advertisement will appear in Newsweek, Business Week, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wilmington News Journal.

In addition to the address by Reilley, the Pew Center Early Action Conference will include presentations from proponents of current early action proposals, as well as discussion on the complex legal, policy, and technical issues that confront the architects of early action programs.

"By bringing business leaders, policymakers and others with a stake in the climate change debate together, we hope the conference will provide new and balanced insight on the need for a legal framework on early action," said Claussen.

DuPont is a science company, delivering science-based solutions that make a difference in people's lives in food and nutrition; health care; apparel; home and construction; electronics; and transportation. Founded in 1802, the company operates in 65 countries and has 92,000 employees.

The Pew Center was established in May 1998 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the nation's largest philanthropies and an influential voice in efforts to improve the quality of America's environment. The Pew Center supports businesses in developing marketplace solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, produces analytical reports on the science, and economic and environmental impacts of climate change, launches public education efforts and promotes better understanding of market mechanisms globally. Eileen Claussen, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, is the executive director of the Pew Center.

The Pew Center includes the Business Environmental Leadership Council, which is composed of 21 major, largely Fortune 500 corporations all working with the Pew Center to address issues related to climate change. The companies do not contribute financially to the Pew Center - it is solely supported by contributions from charitable foundations.