Hearings - Testimony
 
FULL COMMITTEE Hearing on the U.S. Climate Action Partnership Report
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
 
Charles O. Holliday Jr.
Chairman Dupont

Thank you, Chairman Boxer and Senator Inhofe for convening a hearing today on this important topic. I am pleased to be here representing DuPont. I am also here as a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (US CAP), a group of companies and NGOs who have come together to forge a consensus view regarding U.S. action on the challenging issue of climate change.

At DuPont our goal is sustainable growth, which we define as the creation of shareholder and societal value while reducing our environmental footprint along the value chains in which we operate. Our sustainable approach to climate change is informed, in part, by our experience with chlorofluorocarbons in the 1980s. When atmospheric research on ozone depletion led to the Montreal Protocol and an international agreement to phase out the use of CFCs, DuPont led in that effort, and used our science to develop better replacement materials.

In the course of that work DuPont became more aware of the potential business and environmental implications of climate change. We believe that the science is sufficient to compel prudent action. Since 1991 we have reduced our own greenhouse gas emissions by 72% globally, and avoided $3 billion in energy costs. By 2015, we will further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 15% from a base year of 2004.

DuPont will continue to do its part, using our science to bring new products to market that help others reduce their emissions. These sustainable solutions include alternative energy sources such as photovoltaic solar cells and next generation biofuels, value-adding materials produced from agricultural feedstocks rather than petroleum like our DuPont™ Sorona® polymer fiber and biofuels, and energy efficiency aids such as next generation refrigerants and DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap®. In addition, DuPont made a corporate commitment to acquire at least 10% of our power from renewable energy sources by 2010, and we are already more than halfway there.

While members of US CAP have a range of reasons for joining the coalition, from a sense of the strength of the science to a desire for greater business certainty, we all believe that there is a leadership role for the U.S. to play in addressing this serious global issue. Prompt action by Congress is needed to enact a market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is environmentally effective and economically sustainable.

Many of our members have already taken extensive voluntary actions to address their own greenhouse gas emissions. But voluntary efforts alone will not solve the problem – we need sound policy that takes broad, coordinated action across the entire economy. To achieve this, climate protection policy must be coupled with U.S. energy policies that result in diverse and adequate low-carbon energy supplies.

The US CAP principles are built around the following central themes.

1. Clear and strong near- and mid-term goals are important to prepare us for the long term reductions that will be needed.

2. Action across the entire U.S. economy will be required. However, one size does not fit all, and different approaches and timeframes may be required for different sectors of the economy.

3. Any solution must be economically sound, and harness the power of the market. A federal program should include market mechanisms such as cap and trade, and additional policies and measures such as energy efficiency standards.

4. We must drive innovation and open up new markets by funding aggressive technology R&D, demonstration and deployment programs.

5. We need to encourage early action, and be fair, by recognizing voluntary actions taken to reduce emissions, and addressing disproportionate economic impacts that may occur to economic sectors, regions of the country, or income groups in the early years of a program.

US CAP has offered detailed recommendations in areas where we have been able to reach consensus. In some areas we have identified a range of potential policies without attempting to specify the ideal approach. My colleagues with me today will address these recommendations in greater detail.

In closing, DuPont has taken these actions and policy positions because they are the right things to do, both for business and the environment. We will continue to work hard to bring new products and technologies to market that will help address the global climate challenge. But business cannot solve the problem alone. Federal legislation will help create the marketplace that will drive innovation, economic growth, and environmental progress. DuPont is proud to be part of a growing group of businesses who believe that it is time for the U.S. to take action on climate change. We appreciate this opportunity to exchange views with you, and look forward to working with you to enact effective legislation.

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