A group of 140 California firms have reiterated calls for legislators to deliver ambitious action on climate change with the release of a new declaration signaling their support for policies that serve to cut emissions and drive investment in clean tech.
The group last week issued an updated version of the Climate Declaration, orchestrated last year by the Ceres group of sustainable investors and Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) group and backed by 750 U.S. companies.
The declaration asserted that the U.S. must undertake a "coordinated effort to combat climate change" if it is to "maintain our way of life and remain a true superpower in a competitive world."
Now the Californian version highlights the commitment of many of the state's leading businesses to action on climate change and argues that it can play a key role in building a low-carbon economy.
"As the world's eighth largest economy, California is a champion of clean energy progress and innovation," states the new preamble to the declaration. "Thanks in part to its smart energy policies, including its landmark climate law, AB32, California has been a global leader in job creation, clean energy investments and GDP growth. We, the California-based companies below, are proud to sign the Climate Declaration in recognition of the economic opportunities associated with reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, the development of renewable energy and alternative transportation fuels and the preservation of clean water for ourselves and for future generations."
Significantly, the statement is backed by a host of blue chip firms, including Acer, Apple, Autodesk, eBay, Gap, General Motors, Intel, Levi Strauss, Nestle, Symantec and North Face.
"The 140-plus California companies which have signed the Climate Declaration see the financial upside of tackling climate change today, both for their own bottom lines and the overall economy," said Anne Kelly, director of policy and BICEP at Ceres, in a statement. "We welcome them, invite others to come on board and applaud the state of California for its bold steadfast leadership on climate and energy policy."
Danny Kennedy, co-founder of Sungevity, one of the signatories of the statement, said that the declaration highlighted how addressing climate change represented the "biggest economic opportunity of our time."
It was a view mirrored by many of the signatories to the declaration who highlighted how clean technologies and policies were helping to drive investment and growth. "Thanks to AB 32 and California's forward-thinking energy policies, San Diego is poised to lead the nation in job-creating clean energy technologies," said Jason Anderson, president of the CleanTech San Diego group. "California's experience proves that the choice between a robust economy and a vibrant environment is a false one."