20090115 generating station co2 84005010 18
The Department of Water and Power (DWP) San Fernando Valley Generating Station in Sun Valley, Calif. - 


Bob Moon: Some 30 corporate executives and environmental leaders head to Washington today united behind this message: cap greenhouse gas emissions now. And the coalition, which includes players like GE, Duke Energy, and the big three automakers, says the tanking economy only bolsters their case. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.

Sam Eaton: The 32 members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership want Congress to pass legislation that would cut CO2 emissions 14 [percent] to 20 percent over the next decade, and 80 percent by mid-century.

Jonathan Lash: That's a pretty complete change from business as usual.

That's Jonathan Lash, head of the World Resources Institute. He says businesses are making decisions today about how to invest in a clean energy future. And without a clear price for carbon, that money -- and the jobs it would create -- may not be spent.

Lash: There's an enormous carbon question hanging over all these decisions, and it's a carbon question that can only be answered by Congress.

The coalition, including the World Resources Institute, favors a mandatory cap and trade system rather than a carbon tax, because it would set specific targets for emissions reductions. He says that would make planning easier for the group's members, which represent just about every sector of the economy.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

Follow Sam Eaton at @eatonsam