Business

Eileen Claussen Comments on the Federal Government's New Fuel Economy Standards

Statement of Eileen Claussen
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Aug. 28, 2012

This is a win all around - it saves consumers money, reduces dependence on foreign oil, and is the biggest step ever by the United States aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

While Congress remains utterly gridlocked on energy and climate issues, the Obama administration and the auto industry have proven that real progress is still possible.  Working together, they've crafted a common-sense solution that taps technological innovation to benefit both the economy and the environment. Credit also goes to the state of California, for paving the way, and to the regulatory flexibility afforded by the Clean Air Act.

This is a victory for climate protection, but only one of the major steps needed to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions. Next we must tackle emissions from power plants and other stationary sources. The climate benefits may not be as easy to see as lower prices at the pump, but are no less real.

Recent extreme weather and the worst drought in half a century illustrate the costly toll of increased warming. Climate change is no longer a prediction - it is here and now. As the costs become more pronounced, we will hopefully see the strong public support and political leadership needed to mobilize an effective across-the-board response.

For more information, view our Federal Vehicle Standards page.

Contact: Laura Rehrmann, 703-516-0621, rehrmannl@c2es.org
 

2013 Climate Leadership Awards Application Period Now Open

Press Release
August 22, 2012

Contact: Laura Rehrmann, 703-516-0621, rehrmannl@c2es.org

2013 Climate Leadership Awards Application Period Now Open

Apply NOW, due October 12

Calling national attention to exemplary leadership in response to climate change, the Climate Leadership Awards program is seeking its 2013 crop of corporate, organizational and individual leaders. Officially opening its application period, U.S. EPA and its three NGO partners -- The Climate Registry (The Registry), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) -- are now accepting applications for 2013 awards through October 12, 2012. EPA’s Climate Leadership Awards webpage details the application process.

Climate Leadership Award winners will be publicly honored in early 2013 at an awards gala in conjunction with the Climate Leadership Conference to be held in Washington, DC. Awards criteria have been updated, recognizing leadership in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate)
    Recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify corporate GHG inventories and publicly set aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals.
  • Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award)
    Recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify corporate GHG inventories and achieve aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals.
  • Supply Chain Leadership Award
    Recognizes organizations that have their own comprehensive GHG inventories and aggressive emissions reduction goals and can demonstrate they are at the leading edge of managing GHGs in their organizational supply chains.
  • Organizational Leadership Award
    Recognizes organizations that not only have their own comprehensive GHG inventories and aggressive emissions reduction goals, but also exemplify leadership both in their internal response to climate change and through engagement of their peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain.
  • Individual Leadership Award
    Recognizes individuals exemplifying extraordinary leadership in leading their organizations’ response to climate change and/or affecting the responses of other organizations.

Questions?

Please direct questions as follows:

Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to receive government recognition for your climate leadership and highlight your achievements and competitive edge to key stakeholders.

Dates to Remember

October 12, 2012
Deadline for 2013 CLA applications
January 2013
CLA winners notified
February/March 2013
Climate Leadership Awards Gala and Conference (dates to be announced shortly)

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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.

 

CBRE Group, Inc. Joins C2ES Business Environmental Leadership Council

Press Release
August 13, 2011

Contact: Laura Rehrmann, 703-516-0621, rehrmannl@c2es.org

CBRE Group, Inc. Joins C2ES Business Environmental Leadership Council


The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) announced today that CBRE Group, Inc. has joined the C2ES Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) and its efforts to address the twin challenges of energy and global climate change.

“Buildings provide a huge energy efficiency opportunity, and as the global commercial real estate leader, CBRE will join other BELC members delivering effective solutions that work for the environment and the economy,” said C2ES President Eileen Claussen. “The BELC’s growth from 13 original members in 1998 to 36 today is a testament to the business community’s commitment to addressing climate change.  CBRE recognizes that this issue isn’t going away, and we commend them for taking an active role in helping to meet our climate and energy challenges.”

CBRE adopted a new environmental sustainability policy in July 2012 committing to measure and report its internal carbon footprint as well as supply chain emissions by 2013.  The company will also develop standards and policies to reduce energy and resource consumption and waste production and report those results. For areas under the company’s control, CBRE will establish annual reduction targets and verify progress through continued development of environmental management programs.  It is also taking steps to establish at least 70 percent of its corporate facilities over 20,000 square feet in space or buildings with recognized green building standards by 2017.

“Our partnership with C2ES is a reflection of our longstanding, leading environmental commitment,” says Larry Midler, CBRE’s Executive Vice President responsible for the company’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability programs. “At CBRE, we recognize the responsibility that comes with our industry leadership position. We look forward to engaging with C2ES and other businesses in the BELC to advance solutions related to climate change.”

The BELC is the largest U.S.-based association of corporations focused on addressing the challenges of climate change.  Launched in 1998 with 13 companies, the BELC now has 36 members representing over $2 trillion in combined revenue and more than 3.5 million employees.  Membership includes mainly Fortune 500 companies representing a diverse group of industries including energy, automobiles, manufacturing, chemicals, metals, mining, forest products, consumer goods and high technology. Individually and collectively, these companies are demonstrating that it is possible to take action to address energy and climate challenges while maintaining competitive excellence, growth, and profitability.

The BELC members are: Air Products & Chemicals, Alcoa, Alstom, American Water, AREVA, Bank of America, Bayer, BP, CBRE, Cummins, Daimler, Delta Air Lines, Dominion, Dow Chemical Company, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, DuPont, Entergy, Exelon Corporation, GE, GM, HP, Holcim, IBM, Intel, Johnson Controls, National Grid, NextEra Energy, NRG Energy, PG&E Corporation, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Shell, Toyota, TransAlta, and Weyerhaeuser.

For more information about global climate change and the activities of C2ES and the BELC, visit www.c2es.org.

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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.

About CBRE
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2011 revenue).  The company has approximately 34,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our Web site at www.cbre.com.
 

Fixing A Broken National Flood Insurance Program: Risks And Potential Reforms

Fixing A Broken National Flood Insurance Program: Risks And Potential Reforms

June 2012

by Dan Huber

Download the full brief (PDF)

Read the related blog post


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insures 5.6 million American homeowners and some $1 trillion in assets. For many years, however, the premiums collected have not been sufficient to cover losses, resulting in a current debt to the U.S. Treasury of more than $18 billion. A number of factors, including increased flooding as a result of climate change, are likely to further widen the gap between revenue and risk. Reforms are needed to put the NFIP on the path to solvency and to reduce homeowners’ exposure to chronic and catastrophic flooding risk. Ideally, such reforms should fully account for the increased risks posed by climate change. At a minimum, steps are needed to adjust premiums, improve flood mitigation measures, and prepare for the catastrophic risk of events like Hurricane Katrina. 
 

Introduction

With government budgets still reeling from the effects of the recent recession, and ongoing debates over the future costs of Medicare and Social Security, unfunded public liabilities are of growing concern. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is one such liability that is often overlooked. The NFIP is already significantly in debt due to premiums that have not reflected the true risk of flood damages. Looking forward, the risk of further losses only increases, as demographic trends place more infrastructure in harm’s way, watersheds are developed and climate change increases flood risk over time.[1]

This paper explores the structural issues underlying the growing gap between flood insurance premiums and actual flood risk. It also examines reforms that can put the program on a more sound financial footing and the incentives needed to reduce the potential costs of future flooding. A report by the American Enterprise Institute found that insurers have “a huge opportunity today to develop creative loss-prevention solutions.” [2] Using both adaptive and financial tools to manage the rising risks posed by climate change will be critical to preventing losses and maintaining the insurability (and therefore property values) of trillions of dollars in at-risk property assets.

Between 1980 and 2005, U.S. insurers paid out a total of $320 billion in weather-related insurance claims.[3] While not all weather-related claims are flood claims, losses from weather events are increasing.[4] Today, the NFIP covers over $1.2 trillion in assets, representing more than a fourfold increase since 1980.[5] If providing this coverage is to remain affordable, Congress must provide FEMA with the tools to accurately price and manage risk.
 

References

1. Kousky and Kunreuther, (2010, March 1). Improving Flood Insurance and Flood-Risk Management: Insights from St. Louis, Missouri. Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 11.

2. Kunreuther and Michel-Kerjan, (2009, January 15). Market and Government Failure in Insuring and Mitigating Natural Catastrophes: How Long-Term Contracts Can Help. Washington D.C., USA: American Enterprise Institute Conference on Private markets and Public Insurance Programs

3. Stephenson, John B., (2007). Financial Risks to Federal and Private Insurers in the Coming Decades Potentially Significant. Washington D.C., USA: United States Government Accountability Office

4. Kunreuther and Michel-Kerjan, Market and Government Failure in Insuring and Mitigating Natural Catastrophes: How Long-Term Contracts Can Help. Op. Cit.

5. Michel-Kerjan, Forges and Kunreuther, (2011). Policy Tenure Under the U.S. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Risk Analysis. 

 

Daniel Huber
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Promoting Low-Carbon Innovation at Rio+20

As Rio+20 negotiators rush to complete a consolidated text of outcomes before heads of state begin arriving tomorrow, participants at hundreds of side events are calling on business and government to take stronger action on clean energy, poverty elimination, food security, oceans, sustainable cities, green technology development, education, and more.

On Sunday at the U.S. Center pavilion, C2ES and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) convened a panel of companies, small-business innovators, and business representatives highlighting the critical roles played by each in promoting low-carbon innovation and sustainable development.

Mobilizing Information and Communications Technology in Rio to Deliver Sustainable Energy for All

One of the centerpieces of this month’s Rio+20 summit is an important initiative called Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All). C2ES is pleased to be contributing to this initiative as a founding member of a new global partnership aimed at improving energy efficiency and curbing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of information and communication technologies.

Led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, SE4All recognizes the dual energy challenges facing the global community. We need to rapidly expand access to affordable energy for the 1.3 billion people who now lack even basic services, but do so in an environmentally sustainable manner that doesn’t put their health at risk or threaten the climate stability of our planet.

Bringing Lessons in Low-carbon Innovation to Rio+20

Opportunities for low-carbon innovation are growing, driven by policy changes, market shifts, and continued growth in energy demand, particularly in developing countries. This Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the UN’s “Rio+20” Conference on Sustainable Development, C2ES will have a chance to share what it’s learned about low-carbon innovation with partners from around the world.

With the Global Environment Facility (GEF), we will convene a panel of companies (Johnson Controls, DuPont), small-business innovators (from the Cleantech Open), and government and business representatives (from UNIDO and ABDI) to share stories and lessons from the front lines of clean-tech entrepreneurship. The event, to be held at the U.S. Center pavilion, will examine the keys to successful low-carbon innovation, and the benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation, energy security, resource efficiency, and job creation.

Evaluating Corporate Influence on the Climate Debate

Last week, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a new report, A Climate of Corporate Control: How Corporations Have Influenced the U.S. Dialogue on Climate Science and Policy. It’s an important topic, as we know there are professional merchants of doubt whose sole purpose is to exaggerate scientific uncertainty on environmental issues where in fact the science is quite clear. As the report points out, we have seen this time and again with topics such as tobacco, leaded gasoline, SO2, asbestos, DDT, and now climate change. 

Here’s how the authors describe their aim: “…Ultimately, we seek a dialogue around climate science and policy that prioritizes peer-reviewed scientific information over the agendas of specialized interest groups.” That’s a goal we at C2ES certainly share. And toward that end, we’d encourage a somewhat more nuanced and realistic perspective on how companies behave and why. Let me explain.

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