BOSTON, Feb. 7, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Ceres and its business network BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) today announced their support for the new tightened cap on carbon dioxide emissions for regional power producers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The new Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap of 91 million tons essentially cuts the current cap of 165 million tons in half – locking in emission reductions achieved to-date and continuing to drive further reductions through 2020. RGGI is the first U.S. effort to put a mandatory price on carbon, requiring power producers to purchase pollution allowances for every ton of carbon they emit.
“The new cap level sends a strong signal that will shift more investment to clean power, goods and services,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a Boston-based sustainability advocacy group which coordinates BICEP. “The regional energy program already has demonstrated itself a powerful and proven engine for economic activity in the region. Today’s announcement makes our region stronger in the long run and will help move us toward a cleaner, more prosperous energy future.”
Several BICEP companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, CA Technologies, Eileen Fisher, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield Farm, and Timberland, are based in RGGI states that will benefit from more stringent pollution controls.
“As business leaders and some of the nation’s most trusted companies, the members of BICEP understand that we must seize opportunities, respond to challenges, and continually innovate to be successful in business. Transitioning to a cleaner 21st century energy future requires the same approach,” said Chris Miller, Social Mission Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry’s. “The new emissions cap will let the region’s most innovative, best-managed firms reap the benefits of clean and efficient energy. Increasing investments by business and industry in cleaner and more efficient energy sources will continue to drive economic growth in our region and the nation.”
During RGGI’s first three years, reinvestment of RGGI proceeds created more than $1.6 billion in net value to the regional economy, added 16,000 jobs and saved electricity customers $1.3 billon over the next decade. In addition, the program has resulted in a 23-percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions – 12 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution avoided, which is equivalent to taking 2 million vehicles off the road for one year.
BICEP is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. BICEP is a project of Ceres. www.ceres.org/bicep
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $10 trillion.
Ceres is a recipient of the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize. The Prize is one of the world’s most prestigious awards recognizing and rewarding innovation, impact, leadership, and long-term vision in renewable energy and sustainability.
For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org
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KEYWORDS: Energy, CERES, BICEP, Ben & Jerry's, Seventh Generation, Timberland, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI, Carbon Dioxide, Emissions, Stonyfield Farm, Eileen Fisher