Gap Inc., eBay Inc. and Symantec Corp. have joined a business coalition calling for strong U.S. climate and energy policies in 2009 to spur clean energy and reduce global warming pollution.

The companies joined the four-month old coalition, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP_, which already includes founding members Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Sun Microsystems, Starbucks and The Timberland Co, Ceres President Mindy Lubber said yesterday. Ceres is a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change.

BICEP supports stimulating renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and green jobs, requiring 100% auction of carbon allowances and limiting new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions.

The coalition's goal is to work directly with key allies in the business community and members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation consistent with its eight core principles, which include:

Setting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets to at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050;

Establishing an economy-wide GHG cap-and-trade system that auctions 100% of carbon pollution allowances, promotes energy efficiency and accelerates clean energy technologies;

Establishing aggressive energy efficiency policies to achieve at least a doubling of our historic rate of energy efficiency improvement;

Stimulating job growth through investment in climate-based solutions, especially "green-collar" jobs in low-income communities and others vulnerable to climate change's economic impacts; and

Adopting a national renewable portfolio standard requiring 20% of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020 and 30% by 2030.

Details on all of the eight principles can be found at