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Honda Fan Asks Company to ''Call Off Their Lawyers'' in California Greenhouse Gas Lawsuit

Better World Club has joined the Board of Directors of CERES, one of the nation's leading business/environmental groups. Below is a letter which Joan Bavaria, one of CERES founders, wrote to the President of American Honda regarding it's decision to join a lawsuit to block California's attempt to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions of automobiles:

February, 2005

Koichi Kondo
President and CEO
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
1919 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501

Dear Mr. Kondo,

I am the CEO of the socially responsible investment firm, Trillium Asset Management Corporation. As CEO, I split my life between our Boston branch and our San Francisco branch; both states are leaders in environmental standards. But more importantly, I am a real Honda fan – I own a Honda Accord, my son owns an Odyssey, and my husband and I also own a Honda CRV in California. I am looking forward to purchasing a new Honda hybrid when I am able, and I regularly promote Honda vehicles among my friends as the best designed, most durable of all the automobiles I’ve ever owned or known. Honda has always seemed to me to stand a bit apart from, and above, the automobile industry around environmental and social issues.

I was thus extremely disappointed to hear that you are party to the lawsuit to stop progress on an issue of critical importance to our health, our economy and our environment -- the urgent need to cut global warming pollution. More

For more than 40 years, California has led the nation and the world in creating sound, sensible air pollution standards -- leadership that has long been acknowledged in federal clean air laws. That's why more than 80 percent of Californians backed the world's first law designed to reduce automotive global warming emissions when it passed three years ago. The new performance standards are supposed to phase in starting in 2009, giving you ample time to deploy new technology. But instead of stepping up to meet the challenge, your company and others have gone to court to try to block the law.

You have the know-how and technology to fix the global warming problem. Smart engineering such as cylinder deactivation and continuously variable transmissions are available today to build cleaner cars and trucks that get us where we're going with less pollution.

As a consumer, as the CEO of a company dedicated to highlighting companies with positive social and environmental profiles, and also as a real fan of Honda, I urge you to call off your lawyers and use your resources to continue to innovate, not litigate. Please withdraw your company from the litigation blocking California's pioneering safeguard.


Joan L. Bavaria