updated 5/1/2007 12:21:35 PM ET 2007-05-01T16:21:35

Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. arm said Monday it has joined a corporate/environmental coalition urging Congress to require limits on greenhouse gases tied to global warming, the third oil major to do so.

The Anglo-Dutch company said it has joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, an alliance of big business and environmental groups that in January sent a letter to President Bush stating mandatory emissions caps are needed to reduce the flow of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.

Shell joins London-based oil company BP PLC and Houston-based ConocoPhillips among the partnership's ranks. Other members include General Electric Co., Alcoa Inc., DuPont Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Duke Energy Corp.

In a brief statement, Shell Oil said it fully supports the partnership's goal of enacting legislation that would place mandatory limits on greenhouse gases.

"Shell was one of the first energy companies to acknowledge the threat of climate change and is playing a leading role in demonstrating ways to manage CO2 responsibly," the company said.

Shell says it has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy and hydrogen projects, and it's working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2010.

In January, the CEOs of 10 major corporations, as part of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, said in their letter to Bush that the cornerstone of climate policy should be an economy-wide emissions cap-and-trade system.

The CEOs have said mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions can be imposed without economic harm and would lead to economic opportunities if done across the economy and with provisions to mitigate costs.

Many of the companies already have voluntarily moved to curb greenhouse emissions, but the executives noted they don't believe voluntary efforts will suffice.

Shell said the task of reducing emissions is complicated and far-reaching and will require significant government action.

"Several U.S. states are working on a greenhouse gas emission policy to regulate what industry can do and what consumers can do," the company said. "It will be very challenging for a company like ours to operate differently in all 50 states to meet the regulatory requirements of each state. Instead, a national solution is something we consider important to the future."

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