The US Chamber of Commerce has been given an ironic award this month: the Rubber Dodo. According to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the award is give to ‘those who have done the most to drive endangered species extinct.’
Voted on by members of the conservation organization, this year’s award—the fifth of its kind—was given to the US Chamber of Commerce for its unwavering support of the fossil fuels industry and for environmental deregulation.
According to Kierán Suckling, executive director of the CBD, the US Chamber of Commerce is “one of the most environmentally destructive forces in America. It puts profits above all else, including human health, human rights, the environment and wildlife.”
The Chamber of Commerce has received its harshest criticism from environmentalists for combating climate legislation. In 2009 the group asked that climate change be put on ‘trial’; its position on climate change led to a number of companies leaving the Chamber of Commerce.
On its website, the Chamber of Commerce states: “Along with world economic growth, global greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Regardless what this means for climate change, the private sector and Congress have expressed a very important common point of view, specifically: measures taken to address any stated climate change challenge—such as limiting greenhouse gas emissions to no more than double what they were in pre-industrial times—must not harm the United States economy.”
The US Chamber of Commerce did not reply to request for comment.
Last year the Rubber Dodo award, named after the extinct dodo from the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, went to BP CEO Tony Hayward in the wake of the Deepwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
(10/17/2011) Global carbon emissions are a complicated matter. Currently, officials estimate national fossil fuel-related emissions by what is burned (known as production) within a nation, but this approach underestimates the emissions contributions from countries that extract oil and oil for export. Is there a better way to account for a country’s total climate change footprint?
(10/12/2011) By a margin of just two votes (74-72), Australia’s plan to put a price on carbon passed its toughest hurdle today. It is now expected that the Australian legislator will moved forward to put the carbon tax into law. The carbon tax, pushed aggressively by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, was just as ferociously opposed by business leaders and opposition party leader, Tony Abbott.
(10/11/2011) Climate and environmental activism in the US received a shot of enthusiasm this summer when it focused unwaveringly on the Keystone XL Pipeline. During a two week protest in front of the White House, 1,253 activists—from young students to elder scientists, from religious leaders to indigenous people—embraced civil disobedience for their cause and got themselves arrested. Jamie Henn, spokesperson with Tar Sands Action, which organized the protests, and co-founder of climate organization 350.org, told mongabay.com that,”the reason the Keystone XL pipeline has emerged as such a key fight is because it is on a specific time horizon, the Administration says it will issue a decision by the end of this year, and the decision whether or not to grant the permit rests solely on President Obama’s desk. This is a clear test for the President.”