Climate change debate heats up

The pending senate vote on the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill is producing outpour of support as well as disapproval across the board.

According to ICIS News (I apologize for those who don’t have the subscription for the service) , President Bush reportedly warned the Congress on the potential costs of the bill on the US economy and ultimately to consumers. Bush said he would veto the measure.

The US chemical industry is generally opposed to the bill. Check out this recent interview of the American Chemistry Council’s Jack Gerard regarding his take on the pending policy.

Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, also explains in this interview why he believes the price of gas will likely go up if the bill passes.

The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA) released their opinion yesterday stating that they are evaluating the debate but remained concern on the bill’s potential financial toll on the specialty batch and custom chemical manufacturing industry.

In a new Policy Outlook from the George C. Marshall Institute, author Donn Dears reported on the folly of the bill saying that the US do not yet have the necessary proven technologies to dramatically cut CO2 emissions.

“Forging ahead without the needed technologies will cause severe economic harm by cutting our supply of electricity and reducing America’s standard of living.”

On the other side, several companies and most public advocates are urging on the the passing of the bill. Corporations such as Allianz of America; Catalyst Paper Corporation; FPL Group, Inc.; JohnsonDiversey, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Levi Strauss & Co.; National Grid; Nike, Inc.; Novo Nordisk; Tetra Pak; and Xanterra Parks & Resorts sent a letter yesterday to the Senate stating an urgent need for a regulatory framework to address climate change.

Accenture released a study last month reporting that more than three-quarters of companies they interviewed in the chemical, energy and natural resources industries worldwide are looking to policy makers to set a framework that supports technology innovation and lays out global emission targets and efficiency standards.

“Another key finding is that most respondents view climate change primarily as a risk factor. 56 percent said they regard climate change more as a risk than as a business opportunity while 15 percent said they consider climate change only as a risk, with no related opportunities.”

Some of these companies may not see any opportunities or profits regarding climate change but several analysts viewing the global carbon market is stating otherwise. Stay tune for the next post talking more about the good, the bad and the money involved in dealing with the carbon market.

You can also watch video clips of the ACC and NPRA interviews (which were too big to embed) by clicking their links.


One Response to Climate change debate heats up

  1. Girish Malhotra 3 June, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    There is an age-old habit of “I do not want to change.” Companies that are made of people, and some of us who do not want to change, are part of the company. Thus, it can be correlated that change is difficult unless it is forced.

    Reading the comments tells you that we all want to think, cogitate, and procrastinate to show why it cannot be done or go too far. We need to do the right thing and do it all the time.

    Bottom line is very simple. We are looking at how to justify what we do everyday and if our planet worsens, it is OK. Well it is not OK as we are leaving a bad legacy. I still remember when I worked for EPA at a state, companies resisted reduction of emissions and outfall. We denied operating permits and forced a change.

    It was interesting that better manufacturing technologies were implemented. It made companies more money and our world is better.

    We should be looking at how we can improve rather than saying it is going to cost us to improve. If we do not do it ourselves, it will be forced and that can be painful.

    Let us leave a legacy so that the future generations will admire our foresight. Improving is fun and very profitable.

Leave a Reply