Greenpeace claims The Credit for Voluntary Early Action Act (CVEA) will reward corporations which use accounting loopholes and self-reporting to make ‘paper’ cuts in greenhouse gas pollution.

The environmental group also says the CVEA will encourage companies to invest in projects that reduce emissions in countries other than the US and will credit corporations for developing tree plantations rather than for making reductions in the production of greenhouse gases.

“While the concept for early action is important, this bill is fatally flawed. The bill would award credit to corporations that have made paper cuts rather than real cuts in greenhouse gas pollution,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace Climate Issues Specialist.

The CVEA is to be reintroduced by Senators John Chafee (Republican, Rhode Island), Connie Mack (Republican, Florida) and Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut).

“Although corporations should be encouraged to reduce emissions, the Credit for Early Action Act would serve to reward many big polluters for continuing with business as usual,” stated Cook. ” It should come as no surprise that this bill has the support of the Global Climate Coalition-an industry funded lobby group.”

Points of concern outlined by Greenpeace include:

  Greenpeace claim that corporations would be able to use accounting loopholes and self-reporting in order to receive credits for ‘paper’ reductions rather than real cuts in greenhouse gas pollutants.

Mechanisms such as emissions trading, lack of a uniform baseline for measuring reductions, and crediting for unverifiable reductions could allow companies to receive credits for without having taken any action to reduce their own emissions, say Greenpeace.

  The bill encourages companies to invest in projects that reduce emissions in countries other than the US, countries where proper verification and monitoring are often impossible.

Greenpeace say this approach would undermine the development of renewable energy, lead to the US losing out on the creation of renewable energy jobs, and prevent US citizens from benefiting from cleaner air and water.

  The bill would credit corporations for developing tree plantations rather than for making industrial reductions in greenhouse gas and air pollution. Greenpeace say that, in its current form, the bill would allow companies to clear cut old-growth forests, and get credit for planting fast growing mono-culture tree farms.

While acknowledging the environmental benefits of tree planting, Greenpeace point out that the absorptive capacity of trees and other ecosystems is still not entirely known. A report on how much carbon natural systems are able to absorb is expected in 2000.

  The bill could also provide an added incentive to increase the use of nuclear power.

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