Nike, Starbucks Join New Environmental Business Coalition

Oakland, Calif. Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, Levi Strauss & Co. and The Timberland Co. have partnered with Ceres to create a business coalition, dubbed Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, (BICEP) that will lobby Washington for swift and stringent climate-change legislation.

"Jump-starting the transition to a clean-energy economy will require bold energy and bold climate policies from Washington, and all businesses, not just the major emitters, must have a voice in crafting these policies since climate change will impact all sectors of our economy," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups working to address sustainability challenges.

The new group plans to flex its muscles for aggressive new environmental policies based on the following eight principles:

1. Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, a more stringent goal than California's far-reaching climate-change regulation, which aims for cutting emissions to 1990 levels by 2020;

2. A nationwide greenhouse-gas cap-and-trade system in which all emissions permits are auctioned off, not given away;

3. Creating aggressive policies that will lead to a doubling of the historic energy-efficiency-improvement rate;

4. A national renewable portfolio standard where 20% of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020, increasing to 30% by 2030;

5. Investment in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels;

6. No more coal-fired power plants unless they use CCS technology, with a plan to eliminate existing plants without CCS by 2030;

7. Boosting more efficient transportation in the form of plug-in electric and fuel-efficient vehicles, low-carbon fuels and transit-friendly development; and

8. Green-collar job investment.

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