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Monday, May 11, 2009

The American and British Chambers of Commerce on Climate Change

News broke in the last couple of days in a Politico story 'Chamber under fire on Warming' that Nike, Johnson and Johnson and other corporations are challenging the position the American Chamber of Commerce is taking on climate change on the basis that it is not representative of the views of the chamber's membership. A great example of the fourth dimension of sustainability - Inform and Influence.

Johnson and Johnson’s Clifford Holland, Corporate VP of Government Affairs wrote a
letter on April 16, 2009 to the U.S. Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue stating that as a member, the company appeals to the Chamber to reflect a full range of views.

The contrast with the UK situation is interesting. The UK counterpart organization to the American Chamber of Commerce is the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The
CBI has taken an aggressive and pro-active approach to climate change action. It started with a Climate Change Task force, set up by the CBI in 2006 under then CEO of BT, Ben Verwaayan. The task force produced a report "Climate Change - Everyone's Business" that can be thought of as the business response to the Stern Report. It is illuminating less in its specific findings than in firmly recognizing the risk of climate change and setting the scene for business, consumer and government to work together to combat it.

1 comment:

  1. Kevin,
    I think this relates to your earlier post on skeptics:
    - Some members are very skeptical (4 of 122, according to the article)
    - Some may be skeptical (an unknown number of the 99 who have not stated a position)
    - And some may agree about the problem but be skeptical about the solution (a similarly unknown number)

    Those in the sustainability community need to engage each of those groups differently, both in content and tone.

    The opinions expressed herein are personal and do not necessarily represent those of any organization or employer