WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Department of Energy, on behalf of the Administration, launched the President’s «Climate VISION» (Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now) — a voluntary, public-private partnership to pursue cost-effective initiatives that will reduce the projected growth in America’s greenhouse gas emissions. Climate VISION will be administered through the Department of Energy’s policy and international program.
Climate VISION directly responds to President Bush’s announcement made nearly one year ago, Feb. 14, 2002, to address the long-term challenge of global climate change. As part of this strategy, he committed to reducing America’s greenhouse gas intensity — the ratio of emissions to economic output — by 18 percent during the next decade, and challenged American businesses and industries to undertake broader efforts to help meet that goal. Climate VISION is part of the global climate change strategy to work with energy partners to meet the President’s greenhouse gas intensity goals. Climate VISION represents a beginning to seek greater reductions and the participation of other industry sectors going forward.
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, together with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Michael Jackson, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James Connaughton joined business and industry leaders participating in Climate VISION to recognize the significant initiatives that major, energy-intensive sectors of the American economy are undertaking to meet the President’s challenge. These initiatives build upon the progress made by the industrial sector in the past decade, from 1990 to 2001, while the economy grew by almost 40 percent, greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector were constant.
Statements at today’s event from Administration officials included:
Energy Secretary Abraham: «We look forward to working closely with American industry and other sectors in fulfilling commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a growing and productive US economy. Together, the participants in Climate VISION will bring forward their best efforts, best ideas, technologies and industrial processes to reduce, avoid and sequester greenhouse gas emissions.»
EPA Administrator Whitman: «The industry leaders of America are answering the President’s call to work with the federal government and take voluntary actions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and for that, each of you should be commended for your initiative and leadership on this issue.»
Secretary of Agriculture Veneman: «The President’s plan recognizes the important role that forestry and agricultural lands can play in addressing climate change. The results of the partnerships announced today will help offset greenhouse gas emissions.»
DOT Deputy Secretary Jackson: «The commitments exemplified by the automotive and rail industries, and the other private sector industries represented here today, are exactly the sort of voluntary efforts that Americans are known for, and exactly the sort needed to meet President Bush’s ambitious vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.»
The sectors at today’s event included the energy, manufacturing, transportation and forest industries and the following associations: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Aluminum Association, American Chemistry Council, American Forest and Paper Association, American Iron and Steel Institute, American Petroleum Institute, American Public Power Association, Association of American Railroads, Business Roundtable Table, Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Supply Association, Magnesium Coalition and the International Magnesium Association, National Mining Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, Portland Cement Association, and Semiconductor Industry Association.