While most government have accepted the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, some have stubbornly refused to commit to any mandatory cuts. The reasons given are usually the high costs to business and the economy. However, a significant portion of business have begun to realize that the high cost of inaction and the uncertainty that comes with the lack of binding caps on emissions outweigh the costs of inaction.
A sizable fraction of the international business community launched an effort to press for mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions yesterday, on the eve of a major round of climate negotiations set to begin Monday in Bali.
In an unprecedented show of solidarity, leaders from 150 global companies endorsed the idea of a legally binding framework in a statement published in the Financial Times newspaper.
Some of the world’s largest firms — including Coca-Cola, General Electric, Shell, Nestlé, Nike, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, British Airways and Shanghai Electric
The most interesting thing about the list of business that are now calling for mandatory caps is that it includes many businesses that are very reliant on greenhouse emissions. Companies like Shell Oil, and British airways are major emitters, and reducing their emissions will require substantial changes to they way they operate, yet even they are calling for mandatory caps.
So why are some governments not seriously addressing the issue? The science is clear that we have a problem, and the business community has realized that the cost of the uncertainty and of inaction are greater than the cost of action. They are asking for binding caps.
On what grounds can politicians continue to delay implementing policy to tackle climate change?