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Several Vermont companies join calls for more federal climate action

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 8:10 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - More than 300 corporations in the United States have signed on to a coalition urging the Biden administration to push harder for more ambitious climate goals.

Ben & Jerry’s is one of the businesses that signed on to the coalition, both showing support for the Biden administration goals, as well as calling for more aggressive climate action within the next decade, They say it isn’t just for their own business survival, but the survival of the American economy.

“What this coalition puts to rest once and for all is that aggressive climate action comes at the cost of jobs and the economy,” said Christopher Miller, Ben & Jerry’s head of Global Advocacy Strategy.

For Ben & Jerry’s, the time to tackle climate change is now. Miller says this is their way of pushing, banding together with like-minded businesses.

“Collective action on the behalf of the corporate community is an incredibly strategic lever to pull as it relates to action on climate change,” Miller said.

In this case, that lever is a collaboration between nonprofits Ceres and the We Mean Business Coalition, a group of more than 300 major U.S. companies that represent $3 trillion in economic activity. They are asking for at least a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, based on a 2005 baseline.

Miller says you can’t underestimate the power of large American corporations standing together.

“On many things they compete, on many things they would not agree, but this is a group of major employers and economic actors who are saying, we can do this,” said Anne Kelly, the vice president of government relations for Ceres.

The companies range from ten employees to thousands and span all 50 states. And while companies set their own goals and regulations, Kelly says federal guidance is also crucial.

“And from the federal level imparticular, we absolutely need the right rules and regulations in place, and I think companies know that,” Kelly said.

Miller says for a small state often punching above its weight class on issues like climate change, they are proud to play a role in the larger global community.

“We are proud to use the power, privileges, and influence that we have in service of what is urgently required,” he said.

Other Vermont businesses that signed on include SunCommon, Burton and Seventh Generation.

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