A US coalition of industry giants and environmental groups wants firm limits on carbon emissions

Ten major US corporations, including industry giants General Electric, DuPont and Alcoa, have joined forces with leading environmental groups to call for a slash in carbon-dioxide emissions of 10-to-30 per cent over the next 15 years.

The New York Times says introduction of the group is aimed at bolstering the recent impetus for Congressional action on emissions controls and creation of a market “in which allowances to emit carbon dioxide could be traded in a way that achieves the greatest reduction at the lowest cost.”

The diversity of the group, set to make its formal announcement Monday ahead of President Bush’s State of the Union address, is expected to send a strong signal that businesses want to get ahead of the increasing political momentum for federal emissions controls, in part to ensure their long-term interests are protected.

Aside from General Electric and Alcoa, Caterpillar is the leading manufacturing company among the group, which also includes four utilities — Duke Energy, based in North Carolina; PG&E of California; the FPL Group of Florida; and PNM Resources of New Mexico. The group counts the multinational oil company BP and Lehman Brothers as members as well.

The group, called the United States Climate Action Partnership, had its origin in conversations last spring among business and environmental leaders who had worked together on GE’s Ecomagination program in 2005 — which combined pledges of emissions reductions with a new emphasis on energy-efficient and climate-friendly technologies.

Thanks to our friends at TreeHugger for this one.