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. Top Multinationals Pledge To Cut Carbon Pollution

Nike had already said it would cut its CO2 output from business travel and large Nike-owned facilities, and has now pledged to remove greenhouse gas emissions from all its products. Some firms targeted reductions in vehicle exhaust, with US-based Johnson and Johnson saying it would trim fleet emissions by 30 percent per mile driven as compared with 2003 levels.
by Marlowe Hood
Paris (AFP) Feb 01, 2007
Some of the very corporations once vilified by environmentalists promised on Thursday to reduce by 10 million tons annually their collective output of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, the World Wildlife Fund announced. Sony, Nike, IMB, Polaroid, building-materials giant Lafarge and seven other top multinationals said they would fulfill their carbon pledge by no later than 2010.

"If 1,300 more large companies join into this effort, the Kyoto targets for the industrialized world would be reached," the firms -- dubbed "Climate Savers" by the WWF -- said in a joint statement.

The Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012, is the only international treaty that sets targets for limiting the fossil fuel pollution that causes the greenhouse effect.

The treaty has been crippled since it was abandoned in 2001 by the United States, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the world's carbon emissions.

The corporate commitment to help save the planet comes amid a flurry of business and government initiatives to slow global warming, and was timed to coincide with the release Friday of a major report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

"Fighting climate change can provide business opportunities, and spur innovation and jobs," said Hans Verolme, director of the WWF's Climate Change Programme. "The Climate Changers companies show that sustainable development" is not inconsistent with profit, he said.

In addition to the collective pledge, each corporation issued a separate statement Thursday detailing the steps it would take to shrink its CO2 emissions.

French cement and building materials company Lafarge vowed to reduce by 20 percent its worldwide net emissions of carbon dioxide per tonne of concrete manufactured, as compared with 1990s levels.

"In the long run, we believe that all necessary action should be taken to cap the global average temperature increase to a maximum of 2 C (3.6 F)," the company said, citing the target set by the European Union for the end of the 21st century, using pre-industrial levels as a benchmark.

The IPCC report, a phonebook-sized synthesis of scientific knowledge about climate change designed to help policy makers, is set to predict that temperatures could rise by 4.5 C (8.1 F) -- or even higher -- if carbon dioxide levels increase by half compared with today's concentrations.

The study forecasts impacts ranging from extreme drought in some regions, melting ice caps, and an increase in violent storms such as Hurricane Katrina which ravaged New Orleans.

Nike had already said it would cut its CO2 output from business travel and large Nike-owned facilities, and has now pledged to remove greenhouse gas emissions from all its products.

Some firms targeted reductions in vehicle exhaust, with US-based Johnson and Johnson saying it would trim fleet emissions by 30 percent per mile driven as compared with 2003 levels.

The other companies who joined the pledge are: forest-products giant The Collins Company; Sagawa Express, a major logistics and delivery company; pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk; food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak; Xanterra, which runs parks in the US and owns restaurants and lodges; and Catalyst, a leading manufacturer of mechanical printing papers.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Its Lights Out For Edison In California
Los Angeles (AFP) Jan 31, 2007
Traditional light bulbs could be outlawed in California if groundbreaking environmental legislation being proposed by a state legislator is approved. Democratic politician Lloyd Levine said his bill -- the "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb Act" -- would ban the sales of cheaper incandescent bulbs in favour of compact energy-efficient lamps.

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