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U.S. Climate Action Partnership

Meridian convened a groundbreaking coalition of Fortune 500 companies and national environmental organizations—and supported their advocacy to reduce carbon emissions.

The Challenge
  • Major corporations and environmental advocates are often on opposite sides of the table. But in the face of the accelerating climate crisis, they need to find common ground—and leverage their combined influence—to advance policy solutions for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Partners
  • Two dozen Fortune 500 companies
  • Leading environmental organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and World Resources Institute
The Outcome
  • Major national environmental organizations and Fortune 500 companies formed a climate policy coalition for the first time, developing consensus-based recommendations that strongly influenced legislation in the U.S. Congress.


Project Overview

Recognizing the immense risks that climate change poses to people and the planet, several large companies and national environmental and climate policy organizations came together as the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) to advocate for climate action at the federal level. Meridian helped the USCAP’s diverse membership reach agreement on strategy and policy recommendations. These consensus recommendations strongly influenced landmark legislation, commonly referred to as the Waxman-Markey bill, passed by the House of Representatives in 2009.

USCAP formed after the 2006 midterm elections. Its members represented utility, energy, manufacturing, consumer products, and financial services companies, as well as leading national environmental groups focused on climate change. The group first developed principles and recommendations in a Call for Action, which was issued in January 2007. After sharing its general principles with lawmakers, USCAP published a Blueprint for Legislative Action in January 2009, which included detailed recommendations for legislation on a cap-and-trade system that could achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Meridian managed the entire USCAP process, including facilitating all policy negotiations of USCAP’s staff-level steering committee and CEO-level board—effectively guiding the first instance of major national environmental groups and Fortune 500 companies coming together to reach agreements about climate policy. Though the USCAP has since disbanded, the lessons learned inform current efforts of companies and environmental groups to influence climate policy, including the CEO Climate Dialogue.

Project Team

Learn more about the team that led the U.S. Climate Action Partnership project.