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Welcome To Our Blog

Welcome to our new blog. This blog presents ideas and insights from the Center and its experts on topics critical to the climate conversation. These topics include domestic and international policy, climate science, low-carbon technology, economics, corporate strategies to address climate change, and communicating these issues to policymakers and the public. Our bloggers include policy analysts, scientists, economists, and communication specialists – all of whom are working to advance solutions to our climate and energy challenge.

Thank you for visiting our blog, and check back often for more timely posts.

Tom Steinfeldt is Communications Manager

Press Release: Pew Center, Entergy Launch 'Make An Impact' Web Site

Press Release                                       
July 30, 2009

Pew Center Contact: Jenny Denney, (703) 516-4146   
Entergy Contact: Alex Schott, Entergy Services, Inc., aschott@entergy.com

 


 

 

ENTERGY, PEW CENTER ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE LAUNCH NEW WEB SITE
Custom-built Carbon Calculator Offers Personalized ‘CO2 Footprint’ Analysis

New Orleans, La. – Entergy and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change today launched a new Web site – http://entergy.c2es.org/ – that is designed to help visitors take action in reducing their carbon footprints. The Make an Impact Web site offers customized tools for employees, customers and communities to better manage their individual impact on the environment, reduce their energy usage and become part of the solution to global climate change.

The Make an Impact Web site features:

  • A custom-built carbon calculator that offers a personalized CO2 footprint analysis and action plan. 
  • Profiles of Entergy employees who are making an environmental difference in their own unique ways.
  • A user-generated list of local environmental resources.
  • A kids section with environmental tips, resources and games.

“We’re honored to be partnered with the Pew Center on this important Web site,” said Kay Arnold, Entergy’s vice president of public affairs. “An increasing number of our employees and customers have recently asked what actions they could take to offset their carbon footprint, and how they can best teach their children about making smart energy and environmental decisions. Therefore, we feel it’s important to provide them with the tools to understand and manage their environmental impact because energy efficiency is both an easy way to reduce energy cost and the quickest route to lower CO2 emissions.”

“Along with business and government, individuals have an important role to play in developing a solution to climate change and lower energy costs,” said Pew Center President Eileen Claussen. “Through our partnership with Entergy we hope to empower people to make changes, small or large, in their daily lives because individually we can make a difference – and together we can make an impact.”

The Make an Impact Web site was funded by Entergy through an environmental stewardship grant to the Pew Center. The Web site complements Entergy’s comprehensive environmental actions including the company’s voluntary efforts to stabilize CO2 emissions, restore coastal wetlands, promote energy efficiency, improve communities and encourage recycling.

“The Web site is only the first phase of the Make an Impact program. A second phase will be announced in the fall,” said Arnold.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $13 billion and approximately 14,700 employees.

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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Entergy’s online address is www.entergy.com.
More information about the Pew Center can be found online at www.c2es.org.

Press Release: Alstom and CME Group Join Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council

Press Release                                       
July 14, 2009

Pew Center Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, (703) 516-4146   
Alstom Contact: Tim Brown, (860) 713-9530
CME Group Contact: Allan Schoenberg, (312) 930-8189   

 


    

 


ALSTOM and CME GROUP JOIN PEW CENTER’S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Global Leaders Share Innovative Solutions that Address Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pew Center on Global Climate Change announced today that Alstom and CME Group have joined the Pew Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) and its efforts to address global climate change.
“Alstom and CME Group bring diverse expertise and unique strengths to the issue, but they are united in their belief that strong corporate leadership is critical in confronting the challenge of climate change,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “By joining the BELC, they are demonstrating that leadership, and I look forward to working with them as we develop sound business and policy solutions to climate change.”

Alstom is a leading producer of integrated power plant systems and innovative transportation solutions. With annual sales of $26.34 billion and more than 80,000 employees in 70 countries, Alstom is also a pioneer in the development of technologies that capture and store CO2 emissions from power plants.  Additionally, the company is the top global manufacturer of high speed rail systems, including the new AGV high speed train that consumes 15 percent less energy than comparable trains. In its own operations, Alstom has committed to a 20 percent reduction by 2015 in overall energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions.

“At Alstom, we are committed to developing new power generation and transportation technologies that result in significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” said Pierre Gauthier, Alstom’s US CEO. “We have a unique approach to advocating for constructive policy solutions and we are excited about collaborating with the Pew Center to develop and promote policies that will stimulate private sector solutions to climate change.”

CME Group is the world's largest and most diverse derivatives exchange, offering the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes.  This includes futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, and alternative investment products such as weather and real estate.  In addition, CME Group is one of the founding members of Green Exchange Holdings LLC, developing the Green Exchange venture as a platform for trading environmental commodities, including CO2 allowances, futures, and options on futures for emission products. It is intended that green products futures and options will be listed for trading as part of the Green Exchange venture once that venture has sought and achieved appropriate regulatory status. The Green Exchange venture will be working with U.S. and European regulators and intends to seek recognition in the U.S. as a designated contract market and approval from the FSA in the U.K.

“We are excited about the long-term opportunities to join with the other 44 BELC members in working with the Pew Center to strengthen markets for managing risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions,” Craig S. Donohue, CEO of CME Group said. “We especially appreciate the ongoing opportunity to offer our perspective on emissions market development and oversight as the Pew Center formulates its views on this important topic.”

The BELC was established by the Pew Center in 1998, and the Center is 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 45 companies representing over $2 trillion in combined revenue and more than 4 million employees.

The other members of the BELC are: ABB; Air Products; Alcoa Inc.; American Electric Power; Bank of America; BASF; Baxter International Inc.; The Boeing Company; BP; California Portland Cement; CH2M HILL; Citi; 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.

Pre-Report: Energy Efficiency Workshop I: Operational & Facilities Strategies

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Companies including Air Products, Citi, Deere and Co., Exelon, and United Technologies presented on their strategies to reduce energy use in their internal operations and facilities.

Energy Efficiency Workshop I - Operational & Facilities Strategies
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change hosted its first Corporate Energy Efficiency Workshop on July 16, 2008, and focused on Operational and Facilities Strategies. Presentations from the workshop are available below. Click on the speaker's name to view the presentations.

 

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Jo Cooper, Vice President, Government and Industry Relations, Toyota

 

Lunch Keynote

R. Neal Elliot, PhD., Industrial Program Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

 

Company Panel 1
Lisa Shpritz, Senior VP of Corporate Workplace, Bank of America
Bruce Schlein, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Citi

 

Company Panel 2
Vanessa Stiffler-Claus, Manager of Federal Affairs, Deere & Co.
Deborah Kuo, Director of Real Estate, Exelon Corp.

 

Company Panel 3
Paul Vitello, Director of Environmental Sustainability, United Technologies
Wendy Graham, Clean Energy Market Manager, Air Products

 

 

Workshop I:
Operational & Facilities Strategies
Workshop II:
Supply Chain Strategies
Workshop III:
Products and Services
Workshop IV:
Sharing Best Practices

 

Pre-Report: Energy Efficiency Workshop II - Supply Chain Strategies

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
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Hewlett-Packard and Mars were among the companies that shared their strategies to reduce energy use in their supply chains. Additionally, Clear Carbon Consulting presented on supply chain footprinting.

Energy Efficiency Workshop II - Supply Chain Strategies
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change hosted its second Corporate Energy Efficiency Workshop on October 23, 2008, and focused on Supply Chain Strategies. Presentations from the workshop are available below. Click on the speaker's name to view the presentations.

 

Morning Keynote
Dr. Michael Russo
Charles H. Lundquist Professor of Sustainable Management, University of Oregon, Lundquist School of Business

 

Company Panel 1: Supply Chain Footprinting
Kyle Tanger, Principal, Clear Carbon Consulting
Kevin Rabinovitch, Director of Sustainability, Mars

 

Company Panel 2: Reporting and Managing Emissions from the Supply Chain
Hewlett-Packard
Dave Newman, Global Climate & Energy Manager, Nike

 

Company Panel 3: Reducing Energy Use in Logistics
Mitchell Greenberg, Manager, EPA's SmartWay Transport Programs
Russell McKnight, Director of Global Logistics Procurement, Johnson Controls

 

 

Workshop I:
Operational & Facilities Strategies
Workshop II:
Supply Chain Strategies
Workshop III:
Products and Services
Workshop IV:
Sharing Best Practices

New Administration Puts Carbon Reduction on the Agenda

Featured in MetalMag's June edition.  See page 66.

New Administration Puts Carbon Reduction on the Agenda

By Andre de Fontaine

During the past decade, climate change steadily has moved up the political agenda. Now, with a new administration in Washington, D.C., that has demonstrated a clear commitment to action, comprehensive climate-change legislation appears ripe for passage within the next couple years. As a result, many industries are appropriately wondering what the new regulatory environment will mean for their businesses.

First, it is important to note that reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions will impose a cost to society, though that cost is likely to be small and manageable within the context of the overall economy. These costs must also be balanced against the costs of unabated climate change, which are projected to be much greater than taking action now. Still, there likely will be distributional impacts as the U.S. transitions to a low-carbon economy, with certain industries being able to handle the transition with greater ease than others.

The green-building industry widely is expected to be a major beneficiary of public policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions because policymakers recognize two related facts. First, the country’s existing buildings are major contributors to climate change, accounting for about 43 percent of U.S. GHG emissions; and second, a number of low-cost mitigation options available involve improving the efficiency of new and existing buildings. Additionally, as the nation is mired in a serious economic downturn, efforts to stimulate the economy are increasingly focused on green buildings as a major source of new jobs in the coming years.  For example, the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan of 2009 contained billions for weatherization assistance for low-income households, grants for states to improve the efficiency of residential, commercial and government buildings, and tax credits for energy efficiency improvements to existing homes.

While these stimulus provisions will benefit the green building sector in the near term, longer-term policy, in the form a cap and trade system for GHGs is also on the horizon. How does a cap-and-trade program work? The government sets an annual cap on allowable emissions, which declines over time. It then distributes allowances to entities– free of charge, through an auction, or a combination of the two – to entities included in the program. These typically are major emitters, like power plants and large manufacturing facilities. The total number of allowances distributed must match the total emissions allowed under the cap. 

Regulated firms must hold and submit to the government one allowance for each ton of GHGs they emit. This creates a market for allowances—a carbon market—and an economic incentive for firms to reduce emissions. Those that easily can cut emissions can position themselves to purchase fewer allowances and/or sell excess allowances to firms that face higher reduction costs.

Buildings would not be directly regulated under the cap, but they could be impacted by increases in electricity and fuel costs attributable to the price of carbon. These higher energy prices will, over time, make investments in efficiency more attractive in the buildings sector.

This year the prospects for aggressive government action appear better than ever. President Obama has made clear his commitment to cap-and-trade legislation and related clean-energy policies, and key members of the U.S. Congress have pledged fast action in moving climate change legislation forward. Adding to the momentum for action is a strong push from the business community. This especially is noticeable in the advocacy efforts of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a unique coalition of 25 businesses and five nongovernmental organizations that is calling on Congress to pass comprehensive climate legislation this year.

Even as the country faces a significant economic challenge, business and political leaders increasingly are vocal about their commitment to addressing climate change--not at a later date, but right now. The green-building industry uniquely is positioned to ride this wave and make a major contribution in the country’s transition to a low-carbon future.


Andre de Fontaine is a Markets and Business Strategy Fellow at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.  He works with the Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), a group of 43 largely Fortune 500 corporations that have partnered with the Pew Center to address issues related to climate change.  He also engages in Pew Center analytic work on climate-related markets and investment issues.

 

(See page 58 for the article)by Andre de Fontaine, Markets & Business Strategy Fellow— Appeared in Eco-Structure magazine, June 2009
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Maintaining Carbon Market Integrity: Why Renewable Energy Certificates Are Not Offsets

Maintaining Carbon Market Integrity: Why Renewable Energy Certificates Are Not Offsets

A brief by the Offset Quality Initiative
June 2009

 

 


Brief

Executive Summary

This brief explains how and why renewable energy certificates (RECs) differ from greenhouse gas (GHG) emission offsets (offsets). While the Offset Quality Initiative (OQI) is a strong supporter of renewable energy and believes it has a critical role to play in addressing climate change, OQI does not believe that RECs sold in voluntary green power or mandatory renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) markets should be treated as equivalent to GHG offsets. REC programs fail to meet two basic definitional requirements of emissions offsets: First, they do not adequately establish a clear and unambiguous claim of ownership to emission reductions. Second, they fail to adequately establish that RECs are associated with offsetting emission reductions. Specifically, REC programs do not ensure that emission reductions are additional to what would have occurred in the absence of a REC market.

In order to ensure that markets for RECs function appropriately and do not undermine the effectiveness and integrity of markets for GHG emissions reductions, OQI recommends the following:

  • RECs should not be treated as equivalent to GHG offsets.
  • The definition of a REC should be clearly established and consistently applied. A suggested definition would be the following: “A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is the unique and exclusive proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity has been generated from a qualified renewable resource connected to the grid.”
  • It is inappropriate to treat RECs as an environmental commodity that conveys ownership of indirect “emission attributes” such as GHG emission reductions. OQI strongly recommends against the inclusion of indirect or derived “environmental attributes” or “benefits” in any definition of a REC, including those used in the various certificate tracking systems (e.g., Generation Attribute Tracking System [GATS] and Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System [WREGIS]).
  • Purchasers of RECs should not make GHG emission reduction claims associated with the retirement of RECs.



In addition to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, OQI members include The Climate Trust, Climate Action Reserve (formerly CCAR), Environmental Resources Trust/Winrock International, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, and The Climate Group. OQI was founded in November 2007 to provide leadership on greenhouse gas offset policy and best practices. OQI is a collaborative, consensus-based effort that brings together the collective expertise of its six nonprofit member organizations.

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