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GM joins U.S. climate action campaign

By H. Josef Hebert (Associated Press) - May 8, 2007

General Motors Corp., and nearly a dozen other major companies, have joined the growing number of businesses calling for limits on greenhouse gases to combat global warming.

General Motors on Tuesday became the first automobile manufacturer to join the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of corporate executives that wants Congress to enact an economy-wide mandatory cap on carbon dioxide emissions.

The group announced the addition of 14 new members including General Motors, PepsiCo, Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. subsidiary and two environmental organizations. Shell, which became the third oil company to join the group, had made its decision known last week.

“With this lineup of companies and environmental groups endorsing it, a carbon cap is clearly the consensus solution to climate change,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, one of the original coalition members.

General Motors said in a statement that the automaker views “the need to promote energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as both a business necessity and an obligation to society.”

“We especially applaud (the coalition) for recognizing the important role that technology can play in achieving an economy-wide solution” to climate change, said GM Chairman Rick Wagoner.

Wagoner in March had said at a congressional hearing that GM was ready to discuss carbon constraints “as part of a broader climate change strategy.”

Also joining the industry coalition, known as USCAP, were: Alcan Inc., the Canadian-based aluminum company; American International Group; Boston Scientific; ConocoPhillips; tractor manufacturer Deere & Co.; Dow Chemical Co.; Johnson & Johnson; the technology conglomerate Siemens Corp.; Marsh Inc., and two environmental groups, the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy.

The coalition announced in January its intention to press Congress for so-called cap-and-trade legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Its original 10 members included BP America, Duke Energy Corp., General Electric Co., and DuPont Co.

There have been a number of climate bills introduced in Congress, calling for mandatory limits on greenhouse gases which scientists fear will cause a warming of the Earth if atmospheric concentrations are not stabilized by mid-century.

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U.S. Climate Action Partnership: >www.us-cap.org