The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to take on the challenges facing the American business community based on the belief that a strong economy gives our citizens opportunity, contributes to national security, and underpins a healthier society.
The Chamber’s Position: The climate is changing and humans are contributing to these changes. We believe that there is much common ground on which all sides of this discussion could come together to address climate change with policies that are practical, flexible, predictable, and durable. We believe in a policy approach that acknowledges the costs of action and inaction and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.
The Chamber believes that an effective climate policy should:
- Support a Market-Based Approach to Accelerate GHG Emissions Reductions Across the U.S. Economy: We believe that durable climate policy must be made by Congress, and that it should encourage innovation and investment to ensure significant emissions reductions, while avoiding economic harm for businesses, consumers and disadvantaged communities. This policy should include well designed market mechanisms that are transparent and not distorted by overlapping regulations. U.S. climate policy should recognize the urgent need for action, while maintaining the national and international competitiveness of U.S. industry and ensuring consistency with free enterprise and free trade principles.
- Leverage the power of business: It will be largely up to the business community to develop, finance, build, and operate the solutions needed to power economic growth worldwide, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and build resilient, lower-carbon infrastructure. Thousands of businesses already are taking action in their own operations and along their value chains by investing in technology solutions and enhancing their efficiency.
- Maintain U.S. leadership in climate science: Climate policy should be informed by the best science and observations available. The U.S. should continue to be the world leader in climate change science and the major sponsor of the research used in multi-lateral scientific forums.
- Embrace technology and innovation: Advanced technologies and innovation offer the best solution for managing climate risks and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Breakthroughs in commercially-viable technologies are necessary to enable significant cuts in GHG emissions without harming economic growth or the competitiveness of energy-intensive trade-exposed industries. The U.S. should maintain a leadership role in technologies, such as advanced nuclear, energy efficient systems and building materials, and large-scale renewables, energy storage and batteries, high-efficiency low-emission power plants, and carbon capture and storage/utilization by supporting a broad-based public- and private-sector technology portfolio. The Chamber will continue to support strengthening America’s scientific enterprise, including its national lab system. A technology-neutral climate change policy offers the best opportunity to deliver cost-effective, achievable, and meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
- Aggressively pursue greater energy efficiency: Improving energy efficiency on both the supply and demand sides can bring almost immediate benefits to business operations and the environment.
- Promote climate resilient infrastructure: Adaptation and resilience is critical to minimizing the risk and impacts of climate change. Business is ready to design and build the resilient, low-carbon infrastructure of the future.
- Support trade in U.S. technologies and products: Demand for advanced technologies will offer opportunities for growing exports of American technologies, products, and services. Technology cooperation, public-private partnerships, innovative financing, and capacity building are necessary for facilitating commerce in climate solutions stamped “Made in the USA.” Trade rules should protect intellectual property.
- Encourage international cooperation: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement established a comprehensive framework for international action. Greater collaboration between governments and businesses is essential to build the best models to tackle climate challenges, which is why the Chamber supports U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. The Chamber is an official UNFCCC observer, and it will continue to work with its overseas business partners to pursue a formal channel to push for greater business input to the UNFCCC. Business must be at the table to be part of the solution.
Inaction is not an option. We call on policymakers to seize on an approach that rises to the challenge of climate change, leveraging business leadership and expertise, America’s energy edge and our ability to innovate.