AP ran this article today, CEOs Ask Bush to Back Climate Protection, reporting that a group of CEOs are petitioning Bush to implement a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions.  The rhetoric was most agreeable.

“We can and must take prompt action to establish a coordinated, economy-wide market-driven approach to climate protection.”

Being my cynical self, my first thought was, there must be something in it for them.  Sure enough, Reuters followed-up with this, Business Smells Whiff of Money in Climate Change.

[C]ompanies may be able to make climate change work for them without necessarily tweaking their business plans — with the right policies.

Citigroup noted in a research briefing on Monday that even “dirty” power companies can profit from carbon markets, citing the example of RWE AG, one of Europe’s biggest power-producing companies.

Under the EU carbon trading program — the bloc’s main climate change strategy — power companies get a certain quota of greenhouse gas emission permits for free, but still pass on the price at which they trade to consumers, bagging a profit.

“Despite emitting about 90 million tons of carbon dioxide (in 2005), or about 10 percent of Germany’s total, this ‘dirty’ utility has been enjoying windfall profits,” the note said.

I guess there may be something here beside simply being a good corporate citizen.