The US must address climate change in an international context, not just from a domestic lens, Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens told CNBC.
“The air knows no border,” said Owens. “For us to impose a significant cost on carbon that’s not reflective of a cost that’s incurred around the world, my concern is that it would have an adverse impact on particularly our basic industries – aluminum, steel and chemicals.”
“If we price those basic industries out of the market, which are the feedstock for other manufacturers like ourselves, then we impede our ability to compete in the world market effectively," Owens added.
Caterpillar recently came under fire from some shareholders and energy companies for its involvement with the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), which backs moves to cap carbon dioxide emissions.
Owens told CNBC it has always been his company’s position that climate change legislation be addressed in a global context.
“When legislation went through that was very focused on unilateral domestic initiatives, we did not support it,” he added.