As we head toward 2015, with the bitter midterm elections just behind us, it’s pretty easy to feel like policy makers in Washington, D.C. are always putting partisanship before taking action on issues that really matter. The truth however, is that over the past six months our government has proposed a set new standards that would substantially reduce dangerous carbon pollution.
Back in June, the EPA announced their draft Carbon Pollution Standard, a flexible approach to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. This is big. This is the first time that standards have proposed to curb emissions from existing power plants. The EPA’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. With the public comment coming to and end, Ben & Jerry’s was proud to join with 233 companies from around the country to support what could be one of the most significant piece of climate change policy to come yet.
"As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants,” states the letter we signed. "The proposed Carbon Pollution Standard represents a critical step in moving our country towards a clean energy economy."
The question is not why did Ben & Jerry’s sign the letter, the question ought to be where is the rest of corporate America? Ben & Jerry’s has invested in making our operations more efficient, and committed to strong, science-based set of targets to reduce our carbon footprint. But the truth is, if Ben & Jerry’s closed it’s doors tomorrow (don’t worry, we’re not), our disappearance would measure as a tiny blip on global carbon pollution levels. That’s why supporting these draft standards is so important— companies alone can’t solve this problem. We’re proud to stand with other major US companies, including our parent company Unilever, Nestle, Levi Strauss & Co, National Grid and more. We all understand that you can’t build a healthy business on a sick planet.
Now that we’re all on record in support of the EPA’s draft Carbon Pollution Standard we must continue to keep the pressure on policy makers to turn the draft standards into laws that will reduce emissions, and embrace a clean and green energy future. We’re all in for policies that produce practical and carbon emissions measures like this one— the first steps toward real and lasting climate justice.