Thursday, December 5, 2013

US business leaders must break silence on climate change

Jo Confino in the Guardian (UK) "Leadership hub":  Is it possible for the chief executives of US corporations to show anything even resembling leadership when it comes to speaking out about the dangers of climate change?

Whatever meeting or conference I go to, I constantly hear the same message; that unless CEOs stand up in public en masse, the sustainability movement will be unable to even get close to matching the power of the fossil fuel lobby.

But if you count the number of business leaders who are raising their heads above the parapet on a consistent basis, then you would probably need no more than the fingers on one hand, and that may well leave fingers to spare.

The riposte from many progressive companies is that they are squirreling away within their own operations and supply chains, driving innovation and seeking to cut their own emissions either by switching to renewable energy or through greater efficiencies. But when looked at from a meta level, that is the equivalent to a slow journey to hell.

They will also point to the fact that around 60 major corporations, ranging from General Motors and Mars to Microsoft and Intel, are among the more than 700 businesses to have signed the Ceres climate declaration, the most prominent coalition seeking to challenge the fossil fuel industry in the US...

A Phelps Dodge smelter in 1972, EPA photo

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