CARBON CAPTURE & SEQUESTRATION PUBLIC WORKSHOPS
New York City: March 5, 2009
Bloomberg National Headquarters
731 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor Auditorium
Click for Agenda.
Washington D.C.: March 6, 2009
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2322
Click for Agenda.
The Pew Center co-sponsored two East Coast workshops exploring issues related to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The events, organized by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund, contributed to the public understanding of and dialogue regarding the important role of CCS in lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
CCS is a key technology in the portfolio of low-carbon technologies necessary to achieve significant reductions in global GHG emissions. The process of CCS entails capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large stationary sources, such as power plants and refineries, and injecting the captured CO2 into deep underground formations for permanent retention, thereby keeping it out of the atmosphere.
The workshops featured speakers who are leading experts on CCS from academia, industry, finance, government, and the environmental policy field. The speakers provided a comprehensive overview of CCS, including:
- An explanation of what CCS is and how it works
- The potential for CCS to provide significant, cost-effective GHG emission reductions
- The technology behind CCS, real-world experience with this technology, and the scientific/engineering challenges that remain
- The regulatory framework and economic incentives necessary to facilitate CCS deployment
Side-by-Side Comparison of the USCAP Blueprint for Legislative Action to the EU Emissions Trading System
On January 15, 2009, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) issued A Blueprint for Legislative Action – a detailed framework for legislation to address climate change that calls for an economy-wide greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. This document (produced while as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) provides an accessible comparison between the USCAP plan and the EU-ETS on the following key topics:
- Targets & Timetables
- Scope of Coverage
- Allowance Allocation
- Other Cap-and-Trade Cost Containment Elements
- Additional Climate Related Measures Related to Coal, Performance Standards, Tranportation, and Energy Efficiency
USCAP is an unprecedented coalition of 5 leading non-governmental organizations, including the Center, and 25 major corporations. This diverse group of business and environmental leaders have come together to call for mandatory action, with a comprehensive approach involving near-, mid-, and long-term targets, and a range of effective policies.
By Eileen Claussen
This article originally appeared in Environmental Finance.
The prospects for serious US action to address climate change have never been better – and it’s not just because we have a new President. In fact, an important reason why we’re likely to see real action on this issue by the current Congress is because of leadership not in the world of politics but in the world of business. Even in the middle of a serious economic downturn, many of America’s top business leaders are standing firm in their support for climate solutions.
Just days before the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, the US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) took its engagement on the climate issue to a new level, issuing “A Blueprint for Legislative Action.” The Blueprint represents two years and literally thousands of hours of work by USCAP members and offers federal lawmakers a consensus plan for an integrated package of policies to slow, stop and reverse the growth of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
USCAP includes the CEOs of 26 major companies in industries from automobiles and oil to coal mining and coal-burning utilities, together with representatives of five non-governmental organisations, including the Pew Center. The coalition’s role as a catalyst for change, and one that has significant influence across the political spectrum, was evident when USCAP CEOs testified before the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee in January. During the hearing, the panel’s new chairman, Henry Waxman, pledged to pass a climate bill through the committee in May.
Since USCAP’s launch in 2007, its corporate members – which include General Electric, Duke Energy and DuPont – have been calling with their NGO partners for enactment of a domestic cap-and-trade programme. USCAP’s new landmark recommendations provide Congress with details for how such a programme could be designed to achieve steep reductions in emissions in an economically sustainable manner.
The USCAP Blueprint calls for a cap on US emissions of 14-20% below 2005 levels by 2020, 42% below by 2030, and 80% by 2050. USCAP believes we can achieve these targets while rebuilding and reinvigorating the US economy. Its key features include:
- A robust carbon offsets programme, setting an overall annual upper limit for offset use starting at 2 billion metric tons with authority to increase the amount to 3 billion metric tons should market conditions warrant. Within this upper limit of 2 billion metric tons, domestic and international offsets would be limited so that each is no more than 1.5 billion metric tons in a given year. For example, the programme would allow for the use of 1.5 billion metric tons of domestic offsets and 500 million metric tons of international offsets;
- A Carbon Market Board to oversee a strategic offset and allowance reserve pool, containing a sufficiently large set of other offsets and, as a measure of last resort, allowances borrowed from future compliance periods that could be released into the market in the event of excessive allowance prices; and
- A combination of an auction of allowances with a significant initial free allowance allocation that facilitates the transition to a low-carbon economy for consumers and businesses, provides capital to support new low- and zero-GHG-emitting technologies, and funds adaptation measures. The free distribution of allowances would be phased out over time.
All of these measures were painstakingly negotiated as a way to both reduce emissions and revitalise the U.S. economy. They are joined in the USCAP Blueprint by a range of other proposals that would complement the national cap-and-trade programme with incentives for rapid technology transformation in areas from coal technology and transportation to buildings and energy efficiency.
Now to the question at the top of everyone’s mind: What are the actual chances of this kind of plan getting enacted during the 111th Congress? While we can only speculate at this point, the Pew Center’s belief is that the chances are very good. And we see several reasons why.
President Obama, in one of his first major policy statements after the election, reaffirmed his commitment to reducing US emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80% below that by 2050, and to enacting a GHG cap-and-trade law. He has since appointed an environment and energy team with tremendous expertise and commitment to climate action.
In Congress, the Democratic leadership is made up of some of Congress’s strongest advocates of climate action, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the chairmen of the key committees: Waxman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barbara Boxer of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Jeff Bingaman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Key Republicans are also continuing their leadership on the issue, including Senator John McCain, who plans to reintroduce a cap-and-trade bill with his longtime ally, Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Finally, we see the prospects for near-term enactment of a serious cap-and-trade law as good because of the very fact that these proposals have the backing of many of the nation’s leading businesses. Today, for the first time since climate change appeared as a faint bleep on the national radar screen in the mid-1980s, we are seeing what appears to be a critical mass of leadership and engagement in the White House, Congress and the business community.
However, while the stars may be aligned as never before, the push for serious climate action still faces enormous challenges. Designing an effective cap-and-trade programme will be very hard work – and hard politics.
But progress is possible, and we are beginning to see the outlines of a consensus approach to this problem. Even as the US is facing a significant economic challenge, the nation’s business and political leaders are increasingly vocal about their commitment to addressing climate change not at a later date but right now.
The current consensus bodes well for serious climate legislation finally emerging from Congress – and for the US finally to start exercising leadership on the most important global issue of our time.
- Eileen Claussen is President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
To inform the climate change dialogue, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has produced a series of brief reports entitled Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change, Updated January 2011.
These reports provide a reliable and understandable introduction to climate change. They cover climate science and impacts, climate adaptation, technological solutions, business solutions, international action, federal action, recent action in the U.S. states, and action taken by local governments. The overview serves as a summary and introduction to the series.
For more information, be sure to listen to our Climate Change 101 podcast series
The complete set of six reports plus the overview in one volume.
This overview summarizes the key points from each of the Climate Change 101 reports.
This report provides an overview of the most up-to-date scientific evidence and also explains the causes and projected impacts of climate change.
This report details how adaptation planning at the local, state and national levels can limit the damage caused by climate change.
This piece discusses the technological solutions both for mitigating its effects and reducing greenhouse gas emissions now and into the future.
This report discusses how corporate leaders are helping to shape solutions.
This report discusses what will be needed for an effective global effort, one calling for commitments from all the world's major economies.
This report discusses federal policy options that can put the country on the path toward a lower-carbon future.
This report highlights states' efforts as they respond to the challenges of implementing solutions to climate change.
This report describes the actions taken by cities and towns.
This report explains the details of cap and trade.
November 12-14, 2008
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Point Carbon invite you to Carbon Market Insights Americas 2008, taking place in the heart of political decision making, the week following the U.S. presidential election.
The event will involve key decision makers in the forthcoming U.S. Administration and Congress and provide participants with a fresh analysis on climate policy and carbon markets in North America. It will offer key insights into how federal policy changes are likely to affect regional cap-and-trade schemes in North America, the global carbon market, and emissions trading around the world.
Click here to Register and to get more information about the conference.
October 22, 2008
Pew Center Contact: Tom Steinfeldt, (703) 516-4146
Johnson Controls, Inc. Contact: Jennifer Mattes, (414) 524-2349
THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY AND JOHNSON CONTROLS JOIN
PEW CENTER’S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Industry Leaders Show Strong Commitments to Advance Climate Change Solutions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pew Center on Global Climate Change announced today that The Dow Chemical Company and Johnson Controls, Inc. have joined the Pew Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) and its efforts to address global climate change.
“It is a testament to both the continued leadership of the business community and the critical nature of the climate issue that in the midst of these trying economic times ¬– we welcome two new members to our Business Environmental Leadership Council,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “Both Dow and Johnson Controls have demonstrated excellent corporate leadership on the climate issue over the years, and I look forward to working with them to fashion a reasonable and economically sustainable climate policy for the U.S.”
Dow is a leading diversified chemical company that combines human innovation, science, and technology to deliver products and services in about 160 countries. With annual sales of $54 billion and 46,000 employees worldwide, the Midland, Michigan-based company helps provide a range of products and services, including fresh water, food, pharmaceuticals, paints, packaging, and personal care products.
“We are very excited about joining the Business Environmental Leadership Council,” said David Kepler, Dow’s Executive Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer. “At Dow, we believe providing humanity with a sustainable energy supply while addressing climate change is one of the most urgent environmental issues society faces. We look forward to working with the Pew Center on solutions to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions here in the U.S. and around the world.”
Since 1990, Dow has reduced its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 percent, a more rapid reduction than required by Kyoto Protocol targets. Through its conservation and efficiency efforts, Dow has reduced its energy usage by 1,400 trillion BTUs since 1994, equal to the electricity used by California households for 16 months. These actions by Dow have resulted in preventing 70 million metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Johnson Controls is a diversified industrial company that provides innovative automotive interiors, offers products and services that optimize energy use and improve comfort and security for buildings, and provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid-electric vehicles, along with systems engineering and service expertise. The Milwaukee-based company has 140,000 employees in more than 1,300 locations serving customers in 125 countries.
Through its business practices, products and services, Johnson Controls demonstrates a commitment to sensible climate action. Johnson Controls’ guaranteed energy savings retrofit projects have saved their customers $1.5 billion in energy costs and 11.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions since January 2000. The company has also pledged to work with major cities around the world, through the Clinton Climate Initiative, to reduce emissions by improving energy efficiency in buildings.
"We're honored with this recognition of our climate action initiatives," said Steve Roell, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. "As partners with the other 43 members of the BELC and the Pew Center, we are committed to making the world more comfortable, safe, and sustainable by helping our customers around the world address global climate change."
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 44 companies representing over $2 trillion in combined revenue and nearly 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.; Deere & Company; Deutsche Telekom; DTE Energy; Duke Energy; DuPont; Entergy; Exelon; GE; Hewlett-Packard Company; Holcim (US) Inc.; IBM; Intel; Interface Inc.; Lockheed Martin; Marsh, Inc.; Novartis; Ontario Power Generation; PG&E Corporation; PNM Resources; Rio Tinto; Rohm and Haas; 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.
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.
About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.
October 6, 2008
Alcoa Contact: Tricia Napor, + 1 212 836 2798
Pew Center Contact: Katie Mandes, +1 703 516 4146
The Pew Center and the Alcoa Foundation Partner for Unique Employee Program
Growing concern around the environmental impacts of climate change and rising energy costs has prompted many to question what they can do to take action in their daily lives.
In what is believed to be a first for corporate America, aluminium company Alcoa and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change have launched a unique new program to help find the answers.
Make an Impact provides the tools for Alcoa's employees and the local community to manage their individual carbon footprint, reduce their energy costs, and become part of the solution to global climate change.
The Make an Impact program includes:
- Interactive website with tools and resources on reducing energy bills and living more sustainably;
- Custom-built carbon calculator with individual 'footprint' analysis and personalized action planning;
- Comprehensive outreach program of localized interactive workshops.
Pew Center President Eileen Claussen applauded the project, "We often think that solutions to climate change and energy costs can come only from business and government. But everyone needs to play their part - and through our partnership with the Alcoa Foundation - we are making that possible.
"We expect this program to serve as the benchmark on personal carbon accounting across business and the community and we look forward to sharing it with our business partners in the near future.”
Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said that this was a part of a global leadership position on addressing climate change and in addition to Alcoa reducing emissions inside its operations 33% from a 1990 base, Alcoa Foundation had invested over $8 million in community-driven climate change projects in the last year.
"Climate change is the most critical sustainability issue of our time and to make a real difference we all need to take action - on all fronts and at all levels, individually and together, said Mr Kleinfeld.
"Our 97,000 employees are finding new ways to meet this challenge every day and our product is also playing key role – not only can aluminum be recycled endlessly - taking only 5% of the energy needed to make new metal - but it is also reducing fuel use in transport by making lighter vehicles.”
"By providing our employees and neighbours the tools to understand and manage their environmental impact, we support them in being part of the solution to global climate change. Because as individuals we can all make a difference, but by working together, we can really make an impact.”
The Make an Impact program builds on the success of the program developed in Australia in 2006 through an Alcoa Foundation partnership with Greening Australia.
Make an Impact will kick off in the US on September 18th and initially be introduced at nine Alcoa locations from Washington to Pittsburgh, with plans to take the program elsewhere to other US locations and beyond.
To find out more visit www.alcoa.com/makeanimpact
PEW CENTER ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change was established in 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 Center engages decision-makers at the federal, state, regional, and international levels to achieve its goals for mandatory federal climate change policy and a post-2012 international climate agreement.
The Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), a group of 42 mainly Fortune 500 companies with over $2 trillion in combined revenue and employing more than 4 million people, is the largest U.S.-based association of corporations committed to advancing mandatory policy and business solutions to address climate change.
The Pew Center is also a founding member of the influential U.S. Climate Action Partnership.
ABOUT ALCOA FOUNDATION
Alcoa Foundation is a separately constituted nonprofit U.S. corporate foundation with assets of approximately $500 million. Its mission is to actively invest in the quality of life in Alcoa communities worldwide. Throughout its history, the Foundation has been a source of positive community change and enhancement, with nearly $466 million invested since 1952.
The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in over 36 countries by partnering with Alcoa communities around the world to make a difference. Global and local grantmaking is responsive to the needs and aspirations of Alcoa communities and marshals the combined expertise, energies, and values of Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation to provide a world-class standard of excellence in corporate citizenship.
In 2007, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation invested a combined total of $49.0 million in community programs in 36 countries, focusing on four areas of excellence: conservation and sustainability, global education and workplace skills, business and community partnerships, and safe and healthy children and families. Alcoa Foundation manages the Alcoa employee volunteer programs ACTION and Bravo! For more information, visit www.alcoa.com/foundation.
News Release: For Immediate Release — July 28, 2008
Alexia Kelly, The Climate Trust, 541-514-3633
Tom Steinfeldt, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 703-516-4146
NONPROFIT COALITION ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
DESIGN OF GHG OFFSET PROGRAMS IN CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEMS
Group Receives Major Grant from the Energy Foundation
PORTLAND and WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Offset Quality Initiative (OQI) will release a white paper today in San Diego at a briefing to be held before the opening of the Western Climate Initiative stakeholder meeting. Titled “Ensuring Offset Quality: Integrating High Quality Greenhouse Gas Offsets Into Cap-and-Trade Policy,” the document offers policymakers practical recommendations regarding the integration of greenhouse gas offsets into emerging regulatory systems at the state, regional and federal levels. OQI, a coalition of six leading non-profit organizations—The Climate Trust, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, California Climate Action Registry, Environmental Resources Trust, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, and The Climate Group—was founded in November 2007 to provide leadership on GHG offset policy and best practices.
“The availability of high-quality offsets is key to containing the cost of climate policy while delivering real greenhouse gas emission reductions,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “A rigorous and adaptable offset program design can ensure that offsets play a valuable role in an effective cap-and-trade system. OQI’s work will assist policymakers seeking to develop core components of a credible offsets program.”
In addition to regulatory design guidelines, the white paper addresses the key criteria for offset quality and discusses offset project types most appropriate for inclusion in emerging regulatory systems. OQI member organizations will discuss their recommendations with policymakers and other stakeholders over the next several weeks, beginning with today’s briefing in San Diego.
“Establishing confidence in the environmental integrity of offsets is critical for the successful launch and acceptance of future cap and trade regulatory systems. The goal of our paper is to provide policymakers with well-conceived and comprehensive recommendations for offset program design based on the collective knowledge and experience of the OQI members. Each nonprofit member of the coalition is a well-respected and established organization in climate change and brings valuable experience and knowledge to the group,” said Gary Gero, President of the California Climate Action Registry.
OQI recently received a one-year grant of $235,000 from the Energy Foundation to support its work. “We were excited and honored to receive the grant,” said Mike Burnett, Executive Director of The Climate Trust, which was awarded the grant on behalf of OQI. “This generous support from the Energy Foundation highlights the need for the unique work and perspective of OQI. We will use the funds to continue to advance sound greenhouse gas offset policy.”
For a copy of the white paper or for more information on the briefing, please visit www.offsetqualityinitiative.org.
About the Offset Quality Initiative
The Offset Quality Initiative (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: The Climate Trust, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, California Climate Action Registry, the Environmental Resources Trust, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, and The Climate Group.
The four primary objectives of the Offset Quality Initiative are:
- To provide leadership, education, and expert analysis on the issues and challenges related to the design and use of offsets in climate change policy.
- To identify, articulate, and promote key principles that ensure the quality of greenhouse gas emission offsets.
- To advance the integration of those principles in emerging climate change policies at the state, regional, and federal levels.
- To serve as a source of credible information on greenhouse gas offsets, leveraging the diverse collective knowledge and experience of OQI members.
Ensuring Offset Quality: Integrating High Quality Greenhouse Gas Offsets Into North American Cap-and-Trade Policy
An Offset Quality Initiative White Paper
Download full paper (pdf)
This paper aims to provide policymakers with practical recommendations regarding the integration of greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets into emerging regulatory systems. Offsets have an important role to play in controlling the costs associated with regulating and reducing GHGs, and in driving technology transformation in sectors not mandated to reduce their GHG emissions. In order for offsets to deliver on their intended purpose — the achievement of a real and verifiable reduction in global GHG emission levels beyond what would have otherwise occurred —regulatory programs must be designed to ensure the quality and effectiveness of offsets used to meet GHG reduction requirements. Policymakers must also have a clear understanding of both the opportunities and challenges presented by the integration of offsets into GHG emission-reduction systems.
This document represents the consensus of the member organizations of the Offset Quality Initiative: The Climate Trust, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, California Climate Action Registry, Environmental Resources Trust, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and The Climate Group. The GHG mitigation field is evolving at a rapid pace and will continue to do so over the next several years; this document will be updated over time to reflect any changes in the Offset Quality Initiative’s consensus positions.
The work of the Offset Quality Initiative is generously supported by the Energy Foundation.