Press Release: Major Corporations Join Efforts to Solve Climate Change Problem

For Immediate Release:
May 7, 1998

Contact: Kelly Sullivan or Shannon Hunt
             (202) 289-5900

Major Corporations Join Efforts to Solve Climate Change Problem

New Pew Center on Global Climate Change Announces Major Advertising Campaign

Washington, D.C. - A number of Fortune 500 companies are joining forces in a new organization to combat climate change backed by $5 million in support from one of the nation's largest philanthropies, The Pew Charitable Trusts. Led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the Pew Center On Global Climate Change will undertake studies, conduct public education, promote climate change solutions globally and work with businesses to develop marketplace solutions to reduce greenhouse gasses.

The Pew Center also announced the launch of its television and print advertising campaign. Featuring the logos of 13 prominent corporations, the ads convey their belief that solutions to the problem of climate change can keep both the environment and the economy healthy. The ads end with the tagline: "Climate change is serious business - for all of us."

Eileen Claussen, The Pew Center's Executive Director, said: "Climate change is one of our generation's greatest challenges. Instead of choosing between business and the environment, we want to draw on the ingenuity and expertise of all sectors to both address the climate change problem and sustain economic growth." Claussen promised the Center would bring a pragmatic and positive approach to the problem.

The Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council reflects a diverse representation of corporate interests - including energy, auto manufacturing and major appliance and technology producers. Its founding members include: American Electric Power Company, Boeing, British Petroleum, Enron, Intercontinental Energy Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Maytag, Sun Company, 3M Company, Toyota, United Technologies, U.S. Generating Company, and Whirlpool Corporation. Together, these companies' combined revenues exceed $340 billion - an amount larger than the entire economy of either Russia or the Netherlands.

As part of the Pew Center launch, Members of the Business Environmental Leadership Council today released a joint statement expressing their position on climate change. The statement reads:

  • 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, there are steps businesses can and should be taking now in both the U.S. and abroad to assess emission reduction opportunities, establish and meet emission reduction objectives, and invest in 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 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 sustain economic growth in the United States by adopting reasonable policies, programs and transition strategies.

"We believe that the debate on climate change has suffered from too much polarization and too little objective analysis," said Rebecca Rimel, President of The Pew Charitable Trusts. "We believe the Center's research and education capabilities will lead to a more vibrant, engaging and productive debate, and help policy makers in the U.S. and around the world agree upon realistic and effective solutions." The Philadelphia-based philanthropy is recognized for investing in initiatives that encourage and support citizen participation in addressing critical issues and effecting social change.

More information about global climate change and the Pew Center can be found on our web site, located at www.c2es.org in the near future.