Nations need to agree to reduce aviation emissions

Image courtesy International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The new Paris Agreement provides a broad global framework to strengthen efforts to address climate change. Now, governments are working toward another agreement on a critical issue Paris doesn’t directly address – reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.

The Paris Agreement, negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), ties together national efforts pledged by more than 180 countries to limit or reduce their own emissions. However, international aviation is inherently a cross-border activity, and a global approach to reducing emissions from aviation is being negotiated separately under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). A new sector-wide agreement is expected this October.

Emissions from the aviation sector comprised 2 percent of global emissions in 2013, but that share is set to expand rapidly by 2050 without policy interventions. In 2010, the aviation industry carried 2.4 billion passengers and 40 million metric tons of goods. By 2050, that could grow to 16 billion passengers and 400 million metric tons of goods.

C2ES Highlights Findings from 16 Plug-in Electric Vehicle Initiatives

Press Release

Feb. 19, 2014

Contact: Laura Rehrmann,, 703-516-0621

C2ES highlights findings from 16 plug-in electric vehicle initiatives

WASHINGTON -- Cities and states are building the expertise needed to encourage mass market adoption of electric vehicles, according to a new report prepared by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The report summarizes the lessons learned from 16 government, educational and nonprofit groups that received $8.5 million in Energy Department grants to advance the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Participants in projects across 24 states and the District of Columbia spent 18 months assessing the barriers to and opportunities for PEV deployment in their regions and preparing and executing plans.=

This report is designed to be useful to public officials, business leaders, and any decision-maker interested in unlocking the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles," said C2ES President Eileen Claussen. “Expanding adoption of advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles will help Americans save money, keep more money in local economies, minimize pollution, and increase energy security.”

“To expand the market for PEVs, we’ll need policies that make it easier to own and operate PEVs, strategically deploy vehicle charging stations, and integrate PEVs into the electrical grid,” said report author Matt Frades. “By laying out strategies for ongoing work and forging new partnerships, the efforts begun across the country under these grants will foster PEV deployment for years to come.”

The C2ES report, “A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects,” highlights some of the key findings, including:

  • Public outreach about PEVs raises awareness, dispels misconceptions, and supports prudent policy. More information will help consumers make choices and help businesses and governments make decisions about charging station deployment.
  • Incentives help overcome the roadblocks to early PEV adoption. Income tax credits and other incentives such as high-occupancy vehicle lane access have spurred PEV purchases
  • Access to charging is vital at multi-family residences and workplaces.  These are the two highest priority charging locations after single-family homes, but obstacles include low early demand, lack of familiarity with PEVs, and questions about recovering costs.
  • Local governments play a key role in charging station deployment. Both public and private charging infrastructure can be governed by local permitting, inspection, building codes, and zoning, parking, and signage rules.
  • Electric utilities should plan for PEV adoption. Utilities will need to ensure the grid is responsive to increased demand from PEVs. They can also explore how PEVs can help manage the grid using emerging technologies.

C2ES collaborated with the Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory on the report to help communities across the country learn from the actions grant recipients took to identify and overcome barriers to PEV deployment.

Read the C2ES synthesis report:

Read the 16 PEV readiness plans:

Read the DOE blog: 10 Ways Communities Can Pave the Way for PEVs

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at

Electric Vehicle Readiness Project Highlights

South Coast Air Quality Management District

Region covered: California, with individual plans covering the Bay Area, Central Coast, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, and South Coast regions
Highlights: More than 500 local planning officials and members of the public attended the California grantee’s community workshops on the basics of PEV technology, ownership and charging. This workshop model could be replicated elsewhere. The grantee also developed a detailed toolkit with links to resources and sample language for local policies.

American Lung Association of the Southwest
Region covered: Colorado
Highlights: The Colorado grantee performed a detailed well-to-wheels life cycle analysis, taking into account emissions from electricity generation, that concluded that the total emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides from PEVs driven in the state are consistently lower than emissions from conventional vehicles.

South Florida Regional Planning Council
Region covered: Southeast Florida region, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: With multi-unit residences making up 41 percent of housing in Southeast Florida, the grantee developed fact sheets, seminars, and workshops to help residents make the case for charging stations and help building managers plan for them. The Florida grantee also completed a detailed master plan for a demonstration project for a car-sharing program along the U.S. 1 corridor in Miami Dade County. The plan calls for 15 to 20 percent of the car-share vehicles to be PEVs and for charging stations to be installed at 12 mass transit stations.
Report (Parts 1& 2):

Metropolitan Energy Information Center, Inc.
Region covered: Greater Kansas City area with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Kansas City grantee developed a model to test for weak points in the electricity distribution infrastructure under various scenarios of PEV adoption. The grantee conducted a technical analysis to support PEV travel between Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita, including identifying charging station sites, and developed a platform to facilitate future corridor development. The grantee also worked with local community colleges to develop curricula for PEV technician training programs.

University of Hawaii
Region covered: Maui, Hawaii with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Maui grantee planned a smart grid demonstration project in which 200 private, car share, and fleet PEV owner partners will interconnect with charge management systems (an electronic system that manages the timing of battery charging). The grantee also produced 12 episodes of a television program to inform the public about PEVs and developed an alliance of stakeholders that continues to collaborate with communities on PEVs throughout the state.

Clean Energy Coalition
Region covered: Michigan
Highlights: The Michigan grantee developed a toolkit for local communities with detailed recommendations, sample code language, and alternative approaches based on the desired level of action.

New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities, Inc.
Region covered: New York City
Highlights: The New York City grantee investigated the feasibility of fast-charging taxi fleets and worked with managers of car share and retail delivery vehicle fleets to use PEVs. The grantee also developed a training manual on PEV operation and charging for garages and conducted training sessions for attendants.

Centralina Council of Governments
Region covered: North Carolina, with individual plans covering Greater Ashville, Greater Charlotte, Greater Triangle, Piedmont Triad regions as well as a statewide plan
Highlights: The North Carolina grantee compiled a detailed overview of PEV incentives offered in the state and throughout the country, presented survey results on the incentives that are desirable to fleet owners, and analyzed policy implications for the state. The effort also created structures for partnership and coordination among local and regional governments and stakeholders.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Region covered: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia
Highlights: The Northeast Regional grantee identified nine ideal types of locations for charging stations, with in-depth site typologies and case studies, to help public planners and private investors understand the opportunities and challenges inherent in each location type. The grantee also developed toolkits for how to best install charging stations, including diagrams and guidelines specific to installation settings (such as on-street parking, garages, and commercial lots). Another toolkit includes case studies and model codes for EV readiness to help local governments prepare for PEV adoption.

Clean Fuels Ohio
Region covered: Ohio
Highlights: The Ohio grantee analyzed the local economic impacts of fuel savings from PEV adoption and determined that out of every dollar spent on gasoline, only 16.4 cents continues to circulate in the Ohio economy. The Ohio grantee found a $1,300 economic benefit per PEV adopted in the state, in part, because saving money on gas allows consumers to spend locally.

Oregon Business Development Department
Region covered: Oregon
Highlights: The department staged ride-and-drive events to give consumers firsthand experience with PEVs. It also identified issues that are making organizations reluctant to install charging stations and recommended developing a workplace outreach and information program. The grantee is exploring financing options for public and nonprofit fleets that cannot access tax incentives and proposed a program to loan PEVs to fleet managers to raise awareness.

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Region covered: Richmond region, with consideration given to Virginia statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Richmond grantee organized high-profile events to educate the public about PEVs and forged new stakeholder partnerships in the community.

Center for Transportation and the Environment
Region covered: Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina
Highlights: The grantee analyzed the future need for charging infrastructure in its regions and developed plans for charging station deployment. The analysis indicated that the majority (57 percent) of charging will occur at home, followed by the workplace (26 percent). Only 17 percent of charging is projected to occur at public charging stations.

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Region covered: Philadelphia-Camden-Trenton metropolitan area, including counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Highlights: The grantee analyzed household travel survey and demographic data to inform charging infrastructure investment and siting. The grantee concluded that many vehicles in its region can readily be replaced by PEVs and that a majority of the region’s charging demand can be met with residential and workplace charging.
Report (Parts 1 & 2):

City of Austin, Austin Energy
Region covered: Central Texas region, including the greater Austin and San Antonio communities, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Texas River Cities grantee developed a tool to help electric utilities and private investors evaluate whether and how to invest in charging infrastructure. The grantee developed a best-practices guide, including a checklist and flowcharts that detail the specific roles and responsibilities of business owners, contractors, electric utilities, and government authorities. The grantee also developed a technical planning roadmap for PEV interoperability with the grid that characterizes the devices and systems necessary to enable smart grid applications, identifies and prioritizes all the points where existing and future technologies must interact, and lays out a plan for facilitating smart grid development.

Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies
Region covered: Texas Triangle region including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, and San Antonio-Austin urban areas, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Texas Triangle plan itemized a menu of activities to promote PEV readiness and proposed that the state establish a PEV-Friendly Community program to provide guidance to and recognition of localities that take actions to support PEVs. The grantee also planned demonstration projects for a fleet of electric medium-duty trucks to test their ability to generate extra revenue by selling electricity back to the grid when it is most needed.


Electric vehicle consumers - beyond early adopters

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States nearly doubled last year—and with consumer acceptance broadening, sticker prices dropping, new models on the way, and policy support growing, the outlook is even better for 2014.  

In 2013, EVs increased their market share by 70 percent from 2012 levels, while all-vehicle sales grew 8 percent to reach a six-year high. Still, EV sales continue to lag forecasts made when these cars hit the market in late 2010, accounting for less than 1 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales. The strong growth in vehicle sales is mostly due to rising sales of gas-guzzling pickup trucks.

Optimism for EV market expansion is warranted, however, not only due to steady sales growth but also due to three key developments in 2013.

C2ES Interactive Tool Helps State Transportation Officers Support Electric Vehicles

Press Release

January 17, 2013

Contact: Laura Rehrmann,, 703-516-0621

C2ES interactive tool helps state transportation officers support electric vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With thousands of new electric vehicles hitting the road each month, state transportation departments need to know how to integrate these transformative vehicles into the systems they manage.

That’s why the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has developed an interactive Plug-in Electric Vehicle Action Tool, which guides state transportation officials through a variety of possible actions to foster an electric vehicle market in their state.

The tool, which C2ES developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation and eight state transportation departments, was unveiled this week at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting attended by more than 11,000 transportation professionals.

Using the tool’s Actions Map, state transportation officials can chart a path, from determining their goals for plug-in electric vehicle deployment to implementing new programs and policies. The tool helps officials answer such questions as:  What should be the state’s role in deploying charging stations? What’s the best way to explain the public benefits of electric vehicles? How can we build consensus with stakeholders for action?

The tool is also a resource for learning about plug-in electric vehicles and best practices from other state agencies. Many of the suggested actions and resources are also applicable to other state agencies and local governments.

Electric vehicles offer a transformative opportunity to address energy security, air quality, climate change, and economic growth. Sales for electric vehicles rose 200 percent from 2011 to 2012. But sustained growth is needed to fully realize their benefits.

“State transportation departments are playing an important role in defining public policy that can support electric vehicle deployment,’’ said Judi Greenwald, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at C2ES. “The PEV Action Tool provides them with all the necessary information on what actions they can take – whether their state is just getting started or leading the way.”

Initially spearheaded by Washington State Department of Transportation, the project also included the state DOTs from Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

"We're very pleased the toolkit is now available to colleagues in transportation departments around the nation,’’ said Jeff Doyle, Director of Public/Private Partnerships for Washington State Department of Transportation. “We focused on making this tool relevant and useful to all states, not just those already involved in supporting electric vehicles."

For more information on the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Action Tool:

About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Consumers and global climate will win with new vehicle standards

As early as this week, the federal government will announce what is likely the largest move ever to save oil. If last year’s proposal becomes final, as expected, the fuel economy of a typical new car will go up by more than 70 percent by 2025. The standards will improve how far cars and trucks travel on a gallon of gas even more than the original corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, enacted by Congress in 1975.

The new passenger vehicle standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions are also the single largest move by the federal government to address climate change. Three critical factors made this possible: consumer commitment, technological progress, and smart public policy.

State Transportation Officials Meet in Raleigh to Pave Way for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Press Release
June 25, 2012

Contact: Rebecca Matulka, 703-516-0621,

State Transportation Officials Meet in Raleigh to Pave Way for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Transportation officials from eight states are meeting today and tomorrow in Raleigh to develop state-level strategies for accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

The two-day workshop is being co-organized by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) as part of a broader effort with industry, environmentalists, and policymakers to advance PEVs nationwide. The workshop is being hosted by the city of Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center. Speakers include North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti and Raleigh Mayor Pro Tem Russ Stephenson.

Officials from Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin and from the U.S. Department of Transportation will examine how state transportations departments can help ensure the smooth introduction of the new infrastructure needed for charging electric vehicles. Other participants include representatives of Raleigh and other cities taking the lead on introducing PEVs.

“PEVs are a transformative technology—they offer us a way reduce both our reliance on imported oil and our carbon footprint,” said Judi Greenwald, C2ES’s vice president for technology and innovation. “But to realize this potential, a broad range of stakeholders and policymakers will need to work together. We’re very pleased to be working with these states and others to help make sure that happens.”

"Our goal for this project is to not only help DOTs define their role with respect to electric vehicles, but to create a community of practice so that we can learn from each other and share resources as this rapidly evolving technology comes into the market," said Jeff Doyle, director of public/private partnerships at the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The Raleigh workshop will lead to a new “self-assessment” tool to help state transportation planners understand PEV needs in their states and develop cost-effective strategies to meet them. It follows a similar workshop in March at the University of California, Berkeley.

The workshop is part of a broader C2ES initiative implementing the recommendations of its PEV Dialogue Group, which includes automakers, electric utilities, policy makers, environmental groups and others. In March, the group released An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid, which outlines steps to safeguard grid reliability while ensuring that PEV owners can plug in at home and on the road.  Washington State and Raleigh both participate in the PEV Dialogue Group.

C2ES is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program to help communities across the country assess PEV-related needs such as revising codes and updating permitting processes to smooth the installation of residential and commercial charging stations.

Some PEVs such as the Nissan Leaf run exclusively on rechargeable batteries; others such as the GM Volt couple batteries with gasoline engines that extend their range to that of a conventional vehicle. More than 30,000 PEVs have been sold in the United States since January 2011. Nearly 10 companies now have PEVs on the road, and over the next year or two, all of the major automakers plan to offer them.

More information on this project and the PEV Dialogue Group Initiative is available at


About C2ES
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues. C2ES is led by Eileen Claussen, who previously led the Pew Center and is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Can ICAO Meet the Challenges of Responding to Climate Change?

A Senate Transportation Committee hearing tomorrow will be the latest show of ire against the European Union’s effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation through its mandatory Emission Trading System (EU ETS). From Beijing to Delhi to Washington, governments claim the EU’s unilateral move violates international aviation law.

Indeed, in Washington, this is one of the rare issues these days where Democrats and Republicans find themselves on the same side opposing the EU’s action. The Obama Administration has weighed in with a strongly worded letter from Secretaries Clinton and LaHood urging the EU to drop its unilateral efforts and to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to reduce aviation sector emissions. 

But if tomorrow’s hearing before the Senate Transportation Committee is simply another round of EU-bashing, it will be a missed opportunity to focus on the one solution that virtually everybody (including the EU) appears to support—effective action by ICAO.  Frustrated by years of inaction within ICAO, the real motivation behind the EU’s move may be to reignite efforts to reach agreement within ICAO.

Join Us 3/20 at 1 pm ET for a Live Chat: Plugging Electric Vehicles into the U.S. Grid

While Americans bought nearly 18,000 PEVs last year, 2012 is the first full year when plug-in electric vehicles will be available nationwide. The long-term success of PEVs could bring some very real benefits to energy security, air quality, climate change, and economic growth.

Ridesharing: Context, Trends, and Opportunities

Ridesharing: Context, Trends, and Opportunities

March 2012

by Cynthia J. Burbank and Nick Nigro

Download the full brief (PDF)


Transportation in the United States faces significant challenges, including uncertain funding, congestion, unsustainable trends in energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and high costs to households and government. Ridesharing represents a cost-effective option for addressing many of these concerns. Although ridesharing has declined in recent decades, it continues to play an important role in the transportation system today, and new developments such as social media present opportunities to increase ridesharing nationwide. This paper examines the role and potential of ridesharing, specifically carpooling and vanpooling (C/V), in the U.S. transportation system, and concludes that ridesharing merits greater support from federal, state and local transportation agencies.
Cynthia J. Burbank
Nick Nigro

Eileen Claussen's remarks at Electric Vehicles: Plugging into the U.S. Grid Event

Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us. I’m Eileen Claussen, President of C2ES, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Some of you may have known us until recently as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Judging from recent headlines, and from what you hear on the campaign trail, the biggest energy challenge facing America today is the rising price of a gallon of gas. And indeed, for many Americans, this is a genuine concern. But the reality – as I suspect you all know – is that there is virtually nothing that anyone at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue can do in the near term to bring prices down. Oil moves in a global market, and as long as oil remains a mainstay of our economy, we will be subject to its gyrations. 

So the only real answer is to end our dependence on oil -- which of course is easier said than done. Even with our best possible efforts, weaning ourselves from oil will take not years, but decades -- which is all the more reason to get started on it right now.

We’re here today to talk about one part of the solution: plug-in electric vehicles. With PEVs, we now have a mass-produced alternative to the internal combustion engine. Depending on the model, PEVs either use no oil at all, or use it very sparingly. And, as they insulate their owners from rising gas prices, PEVs can deliver a whole range of other benefits as well. 

By reducing our reliance on imported oil, they enhance our energy security. When they’re running on their batteries – which is all or most of the time -- they produce no tailpipe emissions, and that reduce local air pollution. If we can make real headway in decarbonizing our electricity supplies, PEVs can play a very significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And they present a genuine opportunity to put American industries and workers out front on a truly transformative technology.

So there are lots of reasons to like PEVs. And thanks in part to some help from Washington – including tax incentives enacted under the Bush administration, and investments under President Obama’s stimulus package – these cars are now in the showrooms and on the road. In their first year on the market, PEVs sold 50 percent better than hybrids did when they were first introduced. Nearly 10 companies already have models on the road, and over the next year or two, all of the major automakers will be offering them. 

As GM can tell you, the PEV pathway is not without its bumps. But the same was certainly true for the internal combustion engine – and for so many other game-changing technologies that we now take for granted. For PEVs to take off – for them to truly deliver on their promise – we need to ramp up the effort. From the federal government, we need more support on the R&D side, in particular. But the real nuts-and-bolts challenges faced by PEVs are well outside Washington – and for the most part, so are the solutions. So that is where we at C2ES have chosen to focus our efforts.

It’s fairly obvious, I suppose, that if plug-in electric vehicles are to succeed, they need someplace to plug in. And creating that infrastructure – connecting plug-ins to the grid – involves a lot of different parties. It’s not just the consumers and carmakers. You need the electric utilities, which means you also need the state public utility commissions. You need the companies that make batteries and charging stations. You need people thinking about this from an environmental perspective. And you need them all working together.

That’s where we thought we could help. One year ago we convened the PEV Dialogue Group to bring together all of these interests. We said, let’s come up with a plan we can all agree on. And today, we are thrilled to be sharing with you the product of those efforts – An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid. A little later in the program, Judi Greenwald will give you a more detailed overview of the plan. In a nutshell, the plan provides a roadmap for coordinated action by the public and private sectors at the state and local level to ensure that PEV owners have a place to plug in – that they can conveniently charge their cars at home and on the road, without in any way compromising the reliability of the grid. It recommends ways to harmonize regulatory approaches across the country; balance public and private investments in charging infrastructure; and help consumers understand the benefits and choices offered by PEVs. 

As I said earlier, we see this as just one part of the solution. On the transportation front, we need to keep pushing ahead with stronger fuel economy standards, and we need to be advancing other alternative fuels and technologies. At C2ES, for instance, we’re also looking at the options presented by natural gas. 

But at a time of economic struggle, fiscal crisis and political gridlock, I believe this effort is an encouraging example of how we can and must make progress. Much as I would like to see comprehensive solutions to our climate and energy challenges, those don’t appear to be on the immediate horizon. But if we come at these issues one by one, look for opportunities where interests converge, and are open to compromise, we can arrive at practical solutions benefiting our economy and our environment. 

This same approach delivered another success two weeks ago, when we announced recommendations from a coalition of industry, state, labor and environmental leaders to boost domestic oil production while reducing CO2 emissions. Another win-win. The opportunities are there, if only we seize them.

I want to thank all the members of PEV Dialogue Group for the hard work and dedication that brought us to this moment. 

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