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Biz Leaders Urge Biden on Climate Goal 04/13 06:00

   More than 300 businesses and investors, including such giants as Apple, 
Google, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, are calling on the Biden administration to set 
an ambitious climate change goal that would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 
by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than 300 businesses and investors, including such 
giants as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, are calling on the Biden 
administration to set an ambitious climate change goal that would cut U.S. 
greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

   The target would nearly double the nation's previous commitment and require 
dramatic changes in the power, transportation and other sectors. President Joe 
Biden is considering options for expected carbon reductions by 2030 ahead of a 
virtual climate summit the United States is hosting later this month.

   The so-called Nationally Determined Contribution is a key milestone as Biden 
moves toward his ultimate goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Biden has 
promised to reveal the nonbinding but symbolically important 2030 goal before 
the Earth Day summit opens April 22.

   "A bold 2030 target is needed to catalyze a zero-emissions future, spur a 
robust economic recovery, create millions of well-paying jobs and allow the 
U.S. to 'build back better' from the pandemic,'' the businesses and investors 
said in a letter to Biden.

   "New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency and clean transportation 
can build a strong, more equitable and more inclusive American economy,'' they 
wrote.

   An ambitious 2030 target would guide the federal government's approach to 
sustainable and resilient infrastructure, as well as zero-emissions vehicles 
and buildings, and "would inspire other industrialized nations to set bold 
targets of their own,'' the group wrote.

   Besides the tech and consumer products giants, companies with major energy 
holdings, including Exelon, General Electric, PG&E and Edison International, 
also signed the letter.

   The letter comes as fissures between corporate America and the Republican 
Party have opened over the GOP's embrace of conspiracy theories and rejection 
of mainstream climate science, as well as its dismissal of the 2020 election 
outcome. The most recent flashpoint was in Georgia, where a new 
Republican-backed law restricting voting rights drew harsh criticism from Delta 
Air Lines and Coca-Cola, whose headquarters are in the state, and resulted in 
Major League Baseball pulling the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta.

   More than 100 business leaders participated in a Zoom call last weekend to 
discuss how to oppose Republican-backed proposals across the country that could 
limit voting. Options include stopping political donations and holding off in 
investments in states that approve the laws.

   On climate, the business leaders told Biden they "applaud your 
administration's demonstrated commitment to address climate change head-on, and 
we stand in support of your efforts.''

   Millions of Americans are already feeling the impacts of climate change, 
they wrote, citing the severe winter storm that caused blackouts in Texas and 
other states, deadly wildfires in California and record-breaking hurricanes in 
the Southeast and Gulf Coast.

   "The human and economic losses of the past 12 months alone are profound,'' 
they wrote. "Tragically, these devastating climate impacts also 
disproportionately hit marginalized and low-income communities who are least 
able to withstand them. We must act now to slow and turn the tide.''

   While Biden has reentered the U.S into the Paris climate accord and made 
climate action a pillar of his presidency, more action is needed, the business 
leaders said. "An effective national climate strategy will require all of us,'' 
they told Biden, but "you alone can set the course by swiftly establishing a 
bold U.S. 2030 target.''

 
 
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