General Motors Corp. on Tuesday became the first automaker to join a business coalition dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are tied to global warming.
The nation's biggest automaker joined the United States Climate Action Partnership along with 13 other newcomers including Dow Chemical Co. and PepsiCo Inc.
"GM is very pleased to join USCAP to proactively address the concerns posed by climate change and applauds its members for recognizing the important role that technology can play in achieving an economy-wide solution," GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in a statement.
In testimony before Congress in March, Wagoner said the time had arrived for automakers to develop a "comprehensive and forward-looking national strategy" aimed at reducing oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
The partnership is an alliance of big business and environmental groups that in January told President Bush that mandatory emissions caps are needed to reduce the flow of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
With Tuesday's additions, there now are 27 members of USCAP, said John Files, a spokesman for the coalition.
Companies that already had joined the partnership include Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. arm, London-based oil company BP PLC and Houston-based ConocoPhillips. Other members include General Electric Co., Alcoa Inc., DuPont Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Duke Energy Corp.
In January, the CEOs of 10 members said in a letter to Bush that the cornerstone of climate policy should be an economy-wide emissions cap-and-trade system.
The CEOs have said mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions can be imposed without economic harm and would lead to economic opportunities if done across the economy and with provisions to mitigate costs.
Many of the corporate members already have voluntarily moved to curb greenhouse emissions, but some corporate executives have noted they don't believe voluntary efforts will suffice.
GM sees vehicles powered by numerous energy sources as key way to reduce greenhouse emissions.
"A central element as we see it is energy diversity, being able to offer consumers vehicles that can be powered by many different energy sources and advanced propulsion systems to help displace petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Wagoner said in the statement.
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