Local business groups distance themselves from Climate-hating U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • Posted on: 7 May 2010
  • By: admin

Here's a guest post from Stephanie Finneran, an amazing activist with Greenpeace in Boston, MA:

For years the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working to confuse the public on the science of climate change and to stop any climate legislation from passing through lobbying and scare tactics. The U.S. Chamber claims to represent and speak for the business community, but the only companies they are representing are a small number of massive fossil fuel companies, such as ExxonMobil and Massey Energy.

What we’re doing in Greenpeace field offices around the country is trying to prove that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce definitely doesn’t represent most businesses. One of the ways in which we are doing this is to have businesses and local Chambers of Commerce sign our petition, which states that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce does not speak for them on this issue. Climate change will have a severe negative impact on the business community, and that we need to act now to switch to a clean energy economy before it is too late.

At our local steering committee meeting in Boston, we decided to reach out to our own local communities here in Massachusetts. I very quickly received an email back from the executive director of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce himself! He thanked me for my email and said he would be happy to meet with me.

When I first asked if he knew anything about the U.S. Chamber’s horrific actions, he said that he had been receiving calls from Brookline residents to express their concerns. Harry, the director, said that he explained to them that they are not affiliated and that their views are not reflected in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – this is essentially what our petition that we wanted them to sign said.

In order for the Brookline Chamber of Commerce to sign, he had to present it to a board of about 20 board members. I also had a nice chat with his assistant about how environmentally friendly Brookline is, and about their hard work to organize a Green Business Expo last year and how successful it was.

I soon heard from Harry that the board of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce has voted to sign our petition. I am very grateful to live in a place where those acting in the name of business interests realize the importance of the threat we are facing; they are not just acting on behalf of destructive, damaging, and deceitful corporations, which is exactly what the U.S. Chamber has done.

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