Four big companies have joined the legal battle in favor of the Obama administration’s signature climate change regulations that would curb emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Software maker Adobe, candy company Mars, furniture giant IKEA, and insurance behemoth Blue Cross Blue Shield filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in support of the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce climate change-causing pollution.
The plan, unveiled last summer, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2030. Twenty-seven states and a group of oil companies are suing, accusing President Barack Obama's administration of overstepping its authority.
“(We) believe the Clean Power Plan, when fully implemented, would not cause business harm to (our) operations as large energy consumers and purchasers,” the four companies wrote in their submission to the court. “Swift and full implementation of the Clean Power Plan will directly benefit" the companies' operations.
Supporters of the plan include 18 states and 208 current and former members of Congress. The Supreme Court in February halted implementation of the plan while the appeals court decides the lawsuit. The appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments in June.
By taking a legal position in support of the Clean Power Plan, the companies intend to show that renewable energy makes financial sense, Rob Olson, IKEA’s chief financial officer, told HuffPost. “It becomes more practical and real when a company can demonstrate their value and the return they see in solutions that provide clean power,” he said. “It makes true business sense across the board. It has produced the return on investment that we need to see.”
IKEA is on track to offset all of its global power consumption with renewable energy production within the next four years. The company said in July it plans to spend $1.13 billion on clean power and steps to help developing countries -- in most cases, those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change -- deal with global warming. Ikea bought 83,000 acres of Romanian forest in 2014 in an effort to reduce wood consumption in its furniture and to more sustainably manage woodlands where it harvests timber.
“We are able to invest in this and have a positive business impact, as well as a positive environmental impact,” Olson said.