Business

Breaking the Ice on U.S. Clean Energy Opportunities

On Friday, March 12, we held a briefing on jobs and opportunities in clean energy markets.

Today, the President signed an Executive Order creating an Export Promotion Cabinet of top officials and an Export Promotion Council, a private-sector advisory body. This Executive Order serves to highlight once again how important American exports and competitiveness are to economic recovery and continued US economic strength.  While much hand-wringing has occurred over the potential for climate and energy policy to hurt the ability of U.S. firms to compete in international markets, the opportunity of such policy to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses has received less notice. The irony is that even as the planet warms, the United States may be left standing out in the cold if it doesn’t choose to lead in the development of next-generation energy technologies.

Press Release: Pew Center Briefs Point to Clean Energy Jobs, Detail Carbon Market Oversight

Press Release
February 17, 2010
Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, (703) 516-4146


MARKET-BASED SOLUTIONS CAN GROW U.S. CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY
Pew Center Briefs Point to Clean Energy Jobs, Detail Carbon Market Oversight

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has released two timely publications that make the case for market-based clean energy and climate solutions.

Clean Energy Markets: Jobs and Opportunities, a new brief, explains how investment in clean energy technologies will generate economic growth and create new jobs in the United States and around the world. Comprehensive, market-based national policy that attracts investment in clean energy markets can help create these economic benefits.

A second brief, Carbon Market Design & Oversight, assesses the opportunity now before Congress to create the optimal design and oversight mechanisms to ensure a viable, transparent, and robust carbon market.

“It’s in our economic self-interest to ramp up development and deployment of U.S. clean energy technologies so that we can compete in the rapidly growing global clean energy markets,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “It’s not too late for the U.S. to position itself as a global clean energy leader, but we must act now. Passing comprehensive climate and energy legislation that prices carbon will give businesses the certainty needed to unleash millions of dollars in clean energy investments that will create U.S. jobs and expand economic opportunities.”

Worldwide, clean energy markets are already substantial in scope and growing fast, explains the Clean Energy Markets brief. Historically, regions where an industry gains an initial foothold are more likely to become a major center of growth for the industry. In the United States, comprehensive climate and energy policy can give nascent clean energy industries this initial start by attracting investment in clean energy markets and helping to create homegrown jobs.

In crafting sensible, market-based climate and energy policy, lawmakers should build on best practices and lessons from a number of existing markets to create the optimal carbon market design and oversight mechanisms. The Carbon Market brief provides policymakers a thorough yet concise assessment of the key considerations involved in establishing a sound, transparent U.S. carbon market. These include:

  • Roles and rationales of exchange-based and over-the-counter markets;
  • Options for improving oversight of these markets;
  • Assessments of potential regulatory agencies for a U.S. carbon market; and
  • Comparisons of carbon market oversight provisions in legislative proposals.

“Effective carbon market oversight will be critical, but it is fundamental and achievable,” said Claussen.
For more information about global climate change and the activities of the Pew Center, visit www.c2es.org.

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The Pew Center was established in May 1998 as a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Regulatory Uncertainty Hinders Business in Alaska and Nationwide

ANCHORAGE - Alaska is a big state, with big mountains, big wildlife, and big development projects.  It’s also a place of big changes: the state has warmed more than 4 degrees, creating tremendous pressures on the natural environment and society.  But in a place where the people are always looking for the next big economic driver, like a $40 billion Alaska natural gas pipeline, uncertainty about carbon regulation is an Alaska-sized problem.

A Question of American Leadership

If you take a look today at page A16 of today's Wall Street Journal, or inside the pages of the Politico, you will find something remarkable.  Just a day after some pundits declared that energy and climate legislation could be off the agenda after the Massachusetts election, a diverse group of 88 organizations has come together to say the exact opposite.  The message is unambiguous: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should unite behind bi-partisan, national energy and climate legislation that increases our security, limits emissions, while both preserving and creating jobs.

Call for American Leadership - Support Climate & Clean Energy Legislation

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has joined a broad, diverse coalition of 93 organizations, including leading businesses, NGOs, national security experts, veterans' organizations, labor unions, and faith-based groups in an ad calling for Democrats and Republicans to unite behind bi-partisan, national energy and climate legislation that increases our security and limits emissions, as it preserves and creates jobs. These organizations include more than 75 businesses and unions representing over $2.6 trillion in revenue and 11 million American workers.

Click here to download a PDF version of the ad.

Clean Energy and Climate Legislation

 

 

A Question of American Leadership

  • How will America take back control of its energy future while enhancing our national security?
  • When will the U.S. economy regain its competitive edge instead of letting other countries corner the emerging global clean energy market?
  • How can we get the U.S. back on track by creating American jobs in the new low-carbon economy?
  • How can we protect our natural resources and future generations from climate change?

These are the questions we’re asking our policy makers as America faces a once-in-a-century opportunity to lower greenhouse gas emissions and become the world’s leader in a burgeoning clean energy economy.

We are a broad and diverse group of leading businesses, environmental organizations, national security experts, veterans’ organizations, labor unions and faith-based groups.

We believe it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to unite behind bi-partisan, national energy and climate legislation that increases our security and limits emissions, as it preserves and creates jobs.

It’s a question of American leadership.

 

Click here to read a related blog post.

Our Year in Review

Domestically and internationally, climate action in 2009 laid critical groundwork for potential breakthroughs in Congress and global negotiations in 2010. Yet with an issue as complex and political as climate change, turning groundwork into policy is a challenge.  2010 will undoubtedly be a pivotal year for climate change – but first it is instructive to take a look back at what happened in 2009 and how that shaped where we are today.

We captured these highlights in our annual Year-in-Review Newsletter – a useful compilation of 2009’s big climate change stories and related insights. The year’s major domestic action included passage of the landmark House climate and clean energy bill along with numerous Obama administration efforts to improve our climate and economy. These accomplishments included the stimulus bill’s $80 billion in clean energy-related funding and EPA actions, including the endangerment finding, the greenhouse gas reporting rule, and stricter auto-efficiency standards.

Copenhagen consumed international climate attention in 2009, culminating in the pre-dawn hours of December 19 when final touches were put on an accord directly brokered by President Obama and a handful of key developing country leaders. While many questions remain after Copenhagen, our summary of the conference provides a sound starting point for grasping what transpired at the year’s largest climate event.

The lead-up to 2009’s main events required a great deal of work, and some of the year’s highlights include the detailed Blueprint for Climate Action released one year ago this month by the influential business-NGO coalition U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). More industry leaders also showed support for mandatory climate action by joining our Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC). And efforts to reach business communities, employees, and families expanded through the Make An Impact program. In partnerships with aluminum manufacturer Alcoa and utility Entergy, we continue to provide individuals with strategies to save energy and money while protecting the environment. 

We continued to educate policy makers and opinion leaders, producing reports, analyses, and fact sheets on topics ranging from clean-energy technologies, climate science, competitiveness, and adaptation. Featuring expert insights and thoughtful opinions, we informed broad audiences about the immediate need for climate action. And our timely, relevant work moves forward in 2010 as we seek progress in addressing the most important global issue of our time.

Tom Steinfeldt is Communications Manager

USCAP Economic Modeling

December 2009

Following the release of its Blueprint for Legislative Action, the U.S. Climate Action Parntership (USCAP) conducted extensive analysis of the economic impacts of climate legislation. The USCAP analysis was conducted using two economic models similar to those employed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Information Agency in their review of climate legislation. The analysis is primarily based on provisions of the Blueprint but includes H.R. 2454 provisions where the Blueprint does not provide sufficient detail (use of H.R. 2454 provisions in the analysis should not convey official USCAP endorsement of these provisions) .

Key findings include:

  • A well designed climate policy is compatible with robust economic growth of about 2.7 percent per year. GDP is projected to increase approximately 70-71 percent between 2010 and 2030, as compared to approximately 71-72 percent in the no-policy case.
  • The average annual household cost of implementing the Blueprint, defined as a reduction in real consumption from the no-policy case, is projected to be $57, $89, and $269 in 2015, 2020, and 2030, respectively. All figures are in undiscounted 2005$.

 

Click here for more findings and detailed analysis from the study.

Click here for a PowerPoint summary of the study and findings.

 

 

 

Conference and Report to Spotlight Leading Corporate Energy Efficiency Strategies

Dow Chemical has saved about $8.6 billion in energy costs since 1994. IBM overachieved on a 3.5 percent annual energy savings target, instead hitting 6.1 percent in 2008, saving millions of dollars in the process. And United Technologies Corporation met an original 25 percent energy efficiency target five years ahead of schedule, reset the target to 40 percent, and blew past it to achieve a 56 percent efficiency improvement by 2006.

How did these companies do it? What lessons can we draw from their extraordinary efforts? Can their successes be replicated across the broader economy?

These questions form the basis of our ongoing research project on corporate energy efficiency strategies. Findings from the study, titled “From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices in Energy Efficiency,” will be released April 6, 2010, at the start of a two-day conference in Chicago. The conference offers an unprecedented opportunity to hear directly from dozens of business executives who have successfully guided their companies to world-class energy savings. Registration is open now; don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for the special early bird rate of $600 for the two-day conference. Keynote speakers and panelists will be announced in the coming weeks. Also check out the conference ad in the Nov. 12 edition of The New York Times.

Clean Energy Solutions Take Center Stage

Low-Carbon SolutionsAs President Obama called for U.S. leadership in clean energy technology in a speech at MIT Friday, up on Capitol Hill members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) demonstrated how they’re already putting innovative ideas into practice.

At a Clean Technology Showcase, we joined six corporations and fellow USCAP members to present cutting-edge solutions to a low-carbon future. While the displays varied from solar shingles to renewably-sourced swimwear to advanced coal technology, all participants agreed that making these solutions mainstream requires enacting comprehensive energy and climate legislation. Economy-wide federal policies that put a price on carbon and deliver incentives for clean energy development and deployment are today’s big missing ingredient.

Instead of the policy talk more common to Capitol Hill, Friday’s event focused on existing and emerging solutions to our energy and climate concerns. It proved an uplifting view of the opportunities that a clean energy economy can deliver.

Daimler Joins Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council

For Immediate Release

October 20, 2009

Pew Center Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, (703) 516-4146  
Daimler Contact: Han Tjan, (212) 909-9063


 

DAIMLER JOINS PEW CENTER’S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pew Center on Global Climate Change announced today that Daimler has joined the Pew Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) and its efforts to address global climate change.

“With the transportation sector accounting for more than one-quarter of U.S. emissions, the automobile industry has a critical role to play in helping to advance our clean energy future,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.  “We welcome Daimler to the BELC and look forward to working with them to secure mandatory climate and energy policy solutions that deliver a cleaner way forward for transportation.” 

Daimler is a leading supplier of premium automobiles and the world’s biggest manufacturer of heavy and medium trucks, with a wide range of first-class trucks, vans and buses.  With over 273,000 employees throughout the world, including 22,476 in the United States, Daimler reported annual revenues of $135 billion.

As part of its environmental commitment, Daimler developed a roadmap for sustainable mobility with a three-point emphasis: further improving the conventional drive systems, developing hybrid concepts and enhancing fuel efficiency, as well as zero-emission driving with battery-powered or fuel cell vehicles. Daimler has also committed to lowering CO2 emissions from production operations to result in 20 percent lower specific emissions in 2015 as compared to 2007.

“At Daimler, we are committed to developing future-oriented, sustainable solutions for the automotive sector in spite of challenging economic conditions,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler AG Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Sustainability continues to be the basic principle that governs our business operations, which is why we are looking forward to collaborating with the Pew Center and the BELC to encourage innovation and technological transformation for all industries.”

The BELC was established by the Pew Center in 1998, a leader in helping these and other major corporations integrate climate change into their business strategies. The BELC is comprised of mainly Fortune 500 companies representing a diverse group of industries including energy, automobiles, manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metals, mining, paper and forest products, consumer goods and appliances, telecommunications, and high technology. Individually and collectively, these companies are demonstrating that it is possible to take action to address climate change while maintaining competitive excellence, growth, and profitability. The BELC is the largest U.S.-based association of corporations focused on addressing the challenges of climate change, with 46 companies representing over $2 trillion in combined revenue and more than4 million employees.

The other members of the BELC are: ABB; Air Products; Alcoa Inc.; Alstom; American Electric Power; Bank of America; BASF; Baxter International Inc.; The Boeing Company; BP; California Portland Cement; CH2M HILL; Citi; CME; Cummins Inc.; Dow Chemical Company, Deere & Company; Deutsche Telekom; DTE Energy; Duke Energy; DuPont; Entergy; Exelon; GE; Hewlett-Packard Company; Holcim (US) Inc.; IBM; Intel; Interface Inc.; Johnson Controls Inc., Lockheed Martin; Marsh, Inc.; Novartis; Ontario Power Generation; PG&E Corporation; PNM Resources; Rio Tinto; Royal Dutch/Shell; SC Johnson; Toyota; TransAlta; United Technologies; Weyerhaeuser; Whirlpool Corporation; and Wisconsin Energy Corporation.

For more information about global climate change and the activities of the Pew Center and the BELC, visit www.c2es.org.

 

 

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The Pew Center was established in May 1998 as a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

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