Can retailers wait any longer for government to move on climate change?
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a group representing the largest retailers in the U.S., has come out in support of the goals outlined by President Joe Biden to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
Mr. Biden made the announcement at the Leaders Summit on Climate that is being billed as a milestone ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in November in Glasgow, Scotland. The President has pledged to go big on addressing one of the biggest threats facing the world as agreed upon by the vast majority of scientists, national security experts and business leaders. He has also made addressing this issue a key component of his infrastructure and job-creation plans.
“President Biden’s commitment to combating climate change is an important step in reclaiming America’s leadership role in addressing one of the most serious threats to our future,” said Erin Hiatt, vice president, corporate social responsibility of RILA. “To protect our global community, the United States must do its part and work collectively with other countries, industries and individuals to avoid climate change’s most disruptive effects.”
“Leading retailers know the intricacies of navigating complex relationships and operational realities in the pursuit of sustainability,” said Ms. Hiatt. “We urge the Biden administration and members of Congress to collaborate on bipartisan legislation that supports innovation, economic resiliency and energy efficiency to help the United States prepare our economy and workforce to meet necessary emissions reductions.”
Earlier this week, RILA released a report outlining its priority for achieving reductions, encompassing transportation, buildings and facilities, clean energy and waste.
On the transportation front, retailers are urging the government to provide support or incentives to minimize the associated costs tied to transitioning supply chain fleets and the associated infrastructure to make them work. RILA has pointed to the need for utilities to “work alongside fleets, regulators and manufacturers among others to identify cost-effective, reliable development solutions.”
One of the recurring themes in RILA’s report is the need to develop “sensible transition” policies that will not penalize retailers, particularly when it comes to technologies that have not yet been fully developed or in a stage of development that can be easily scaled.
RILA has not gotten behind a specific legislative solution to address climate change at this point.
- Retail Welcomes Climate Change Agenda – Retail Industry Leaders Association
- President Biden Sets 2030 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Target Aimed at Creating Good-Paying Union Jobs and Securing U.S. Leadership on Clean Energy Technologies – The White House
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest implications for the retail industry going forward should the government fail to aggressively address climate change at this point in time? Where do you see the best opportunities for the industry to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and what do you think are the paths to getting there?