For Immediate Release:
July 29, 1998
Contact: Kelly Sullivan or Shannon Hunt
International Paper, Baxter International, Holnam Inc., and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Join New Effort to Solve Climate Change Problem
Move Signals Major Shift in Climate Change Debate
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Pew Center on Global Climate Change announced today that International Paper, Baxter International, Holnam Inc., and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. are joining the Pew Center's effort to combat the problem of climate change.
As new members of the Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council, these companies join other Fortune 500 companies that represent a diverse group of corporate interests - including auto manufacturing, energy and major appliance and technology producers.
"The move by these new companies to join our effort represents a major shift in the climate change debate. There is no denying that there is now a legitimate and forceful presence in the center of this debate, which recognizes that there are solutions to climate change that can keep both the environment and the economy healthy," said Eileen Claussen, executive director of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
Launched in May of this year, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change was established with $5 million in support from one of the nation's largest philanthropies, The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Center is conducting studies, launching public education efforts, promoting climate change solutions globally and working with businesses to develop marketplace solutions to reduce greenhouse gasses.
As with the current members of the Business Environmental Leadership Council, each of the new companies announced today has a significant stake in the climate change issue:
- International Paper Company is one of the largest forest products companies in the world;
- Baxter International is a global medical products and services company that focuses on critical therapies for life threatening conditions;
- Holnam Inc. is one of North America's leading suppliers of cement and mineral components;
- Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. is a global industrial gas and chemical company.
Together, the companies in the Business Environmental Leadership Council have combined revenues is excess of $370 billion.
"We applaud these companies for stepping forward and demonstrating there are steps businesses can and should be taking to address climate change. The Pew Center is looking forward to working with government, industry and the public to find fair and equitable solutions to this very serious problem," said Claussen. Claussen is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
All members of the Business Environmental Leadership Council are committed to the founding principles of the Pew Center:
- First, we accept the views of most scientists that enough is known about the science and environmental impacts of climate change for us to take actions to address its consequences.
- Second, businesses can and should take concrete steps now in the U.S. and abroad to assess their opportunities for emission reductions, establish and meet their emission reduction objectives, and invest in new, more energy-efficient products, practices and technology.
- Third, the Kyoto agreement represents a first step in the international process, but more must be done both to implement the market-based mechanisms that were adopted in principle in Kyoto and to more fully involve the rest of the world in the solution.
- Fourth, we can make significant progress in addressing climate change and sustaining economic growth in the United States by adopting reasonable policies, programs and transition strategies.
The founding members of the Business Environmental Leadership Council include: American Electric Power Company, Boeing, British Petroleum, Enron, Intercontinental Energy Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Maytag, Sun Company, 3M Company, Toyota, United Technologies Corporation, U.S. Generating Company, and Whirlpool Corporation.
The Pew Center will run print advertising, beginning Thursday July 30th, in several national publications announcing the new members of the Business Environmental Leadership Council. The advertising will feature the prominent logos of the entire Business Environmental Leadership Council and end with the tagline: "Climate change is serious business - for all of us."
More information about global climate change and the Pew Center's activities can be found at their web site, located at www.c2es.org.