|C2ES President Bob Perciasepe moderates a Solutions Forum panel with (l to r): Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment; David Paylor, Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; and Janet Coit, Director, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.|
States will have tremendous flexibility to choose how to reduce their carbon emissions under the Clean Power Plan, and one idea they should explore is putting a price on carbon.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) recently brought together legal and economic experts, state environmental directors, and business leaders to explore the potential to use market mechanisms to reduce these damaging emissions efficiently and cost-effectively.
Here are three key insights from this Solutions Forum:
- Market-based policies are the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions.
Economists have plenty of evidence that market-based policies can achieve environmental objectives at lower overall costs. The U.S. acid rain cap-and-trade program reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants about twice as fast and at a fraction of the cost of traditional regulation. Setting a price on carbon sends a clear market signal to businesses so they can make the best investment and technology decisions and seize new opportunities. Ten U.S. states are already using carbon trading programs to reduce emissions while minimizing costs. There’s also the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax where we’d tax something we don’t want – carbon pollution – while reducing taxes on things we do want, like productivity and employment.
- States and businesses are willing to explore the idea of being “market-ready.”
The options available to states go beyond creating or joining a cap-and-trade program or instituting a carbon tax. Pieces can be put in place, such as common definitions, measurement and verification processes, so that states or companies could be in a position to trade within their state or across borders. Martha Rudolph, director of environmental programs for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said modest programs that allow companies to trade carbon credits should be explored. Skiles Boyd, DTE Energy vice president of environmental management and resources, urged states to look beyond efforts to block the Clean Power Plan and instead seek the best solutions to implement it. “‘Just saying no’ gives you tremendous uncertainty,’’ Boyd said. “Let’s try to develop a rule base that can be the best for our customers.”
- State and business leaders recognize the need to talk to one another about the best ways to reduce emissions.
To achieve the goal of reducing emissions in the smartest way, states and businesses will need to work together. David Paylor, director of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality, said his state has a preference for market-based tools. “Solutions are going to be facilitated when the business community can get behind certain ideas and say, ‘This is the thing that makes the most economic sense to us,”’ Paylor said. And Katie Ott, senior manager of federal government affairs at Exelon, said businesses recognize their responsibility to bring forward reasonable, low-cost ideas. “Markets have successfully internalized the cost of pollution before,” Ott said, “and there’s no reason why they can’t do it again, this time for greenhouse gases.”
All agreed that greater flexibility in the planning process would help states make progress in implementing market-based policies.
C2ES will continue the conversation with states and businesses on smart ways to implement the Clean Power Plan at two more events this spring. A Solutions Forum on May 18 will explore reducing emissions by using information technologies to improve energy efficiency. A June 25 Solutions Forum will examine how to finance clean energy technology and infrastructure.
By sharing insights and ideas, we’ll reach innovative, cost-effective solutions that will help us get to a clean energy future.
States, cities, and companies all have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building a clean energy economy, and strengthening resilience against increasing climate risks. In a three-part series of events, C2ES is bringing together these groups to explore opportunities and options for reducing power plant carbon emissions under the Clean Power Plan.
States have a vast array of policy options to consider. We explore how market-based approaches could be used to efficiently and effectively implement the Clean Power Plan, the role of information technology and energy efficiency, and the best models for financing clean energy technology.
Solutions Forum Events
Carbon Pricing & Clean Power
April 15, 2015
C2ES brings together state leaders and industry experts to explore market-based approaches to efficiently and effectively implementing EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan.
- Blog post: States should explore carbon pricing to encourage clean power
- Blog post: States can learn from each other on carbon pricing
- Brief: Market Mechanisms: Understanding the Options
- Video of this event:
Carbon Pricing, what are the options?
State Perspectives: Weighing the Options
Part 2: Businesses Perspectives: Carbon Pricing in Practice
Future Solutions Forum Events
Energy efficiency could be the least-cost way for a state to meet its carbon reduction goals under the proposed Clean Power Plan. C2ES has reported that widely deploying information and communications technologies could save billions in energy costs. Join business, state and city leaders exploring options for increasing energy efficiency with information technolog
May 18, 2015
9 a.m. – Noon
101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20001
Financing Clean Power Technology
Mobilizing clean technologies will require investment. C2ES brings together city, state and business leaders to share ideas on the best ways to finance technology to reduce emissions and be more energy efficient.
June 25, 2015
9 a.m. – Noon
The George Washington University Law School, Lerner Hall, Jacob Burns Moot Courtroom, 2000 H St, NW, Washington, DC 20052
States have an array of policy options to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. In the first of a three-part clean power series, C2ES brings together state leaders and industry experts to explore market-based approaches to efficiently and effectively implementing EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan.
April 15, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
(Doors open at 8:30 a.m.)
Capitol View Conference Center
101 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Video of the introduction and Panel 1
Video of Panel 2
Director, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
Vice President, Environmental Management and Resources, DTE Energy
Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility, Holcim (US) Inc.
Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, Duke Energy
Senior Manager, Federal Government Affairs, Exelon
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Professor, Stanford Law School
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Photo by Ellie Ramm
Elizabeth Craig of the EPA (left) speaks with three representatives of 2015 Climate Laedership Award winners, Andy Battjes of Brown Forman, Bridgeport, Conn., Mayor Bill Finch, and Alexis Limberakis of Clorox
When it comes to climate leadership, the way a message is delivered can be the key to success.
Winners of the 2015 Climate Leadership Awards found that being creative in communicating ideas on sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions helped the message resonate with constituents, customers, and employees.
Sixteen organizations, including C2ES Business Environmental Leadership Council members Bank of America and General Motors, won Climate Leadership Awards this year. The awards are co-sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Association of Climate Change Officers, and The Climate Registry.
Three winners -- Bridgeport, Conn., Mayor Bill Finch, household consumer product maker Clorox, and wine and distilled spirits manufacturer Brown Forman – spoke at the Climate Leadership Conference about three ways to connect climate goals to your audience.
For electric vehicles (EVs) to hit the mainstream and make a meaningful contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they’ll need a robust public charging infrastructure that lets drivers go where they take gasoline-powered cars now. Our recent work for Washington state identified some promising ways to get the private sector to fund more of that infrastructure in the near term, and fund all of it eventually.
The C2ES study was commissioned by the Washington State Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee and guided by an advisory panel of state legislators, EV experts, and other stakeholders. The findings, which could be implemented in the state through a bipartisan House bill, demonstrate that, with continued public support and accelerated EV market growth in the near term, the private sector could predominantly fund commercial charging stations in about five years.
A frequent question about funding infrastructure for EVs is, “Why not just follow the gas station model?” Under that model, an investor would pay to install and operate equipment and make a profit by selling the electricity to charge an EV.
Putting aside the fact that gas stations make most of their money at the convenience store or repair shop and not at the pump, this business model doesn’t work for EV charging for three reasons. First, the cost of owning and installing EV charging equipment is high. Second, the market for EVs is small in most places and the demand for charging is uncertain. And third, EV drivers are not willing to pay a high price
EV Charging Financial Analysis Tool
The EV Charging Financial Analysis Tool was developed for this project by C2ES and the Cadmus Group to evaluate the financial viability of EV charging infrastructure investments involving multiple private and public sector partners.
It uses the discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis method to determine the expected financial returns for EV charging infrastructure investments over the expected lifetime of the charging equipment based on inputs provided by the user.
The tool also provides financial viability metrics from the perspective of both private and public sectors as well as sensitivity analyses for key inputs and assumptions.
February 24, 2015
Climate Leadership Award Winners Announced
WASHINGTON – Sixteen organizations and one individual are being honored today with Climate Leadership Awards for their accomplishments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving climate action.
The awards are given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, in collaboration with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the Association of Climate Change Officers and The Climate Registry. Awardees will be honored this evening at the Climate Leadership Conference in Arlington, VA.
The awardees come from a wide array of sectors, from finance and manufacturing to retail and local government. Recipients have demonstrated leadership in managing and reducing emissions, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and preparing for the impacts of climate change.
Information on the award winners is at: www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/2015winners.html
Following is EPA's press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2015
UPS, Bank of America, SC Johnson among 16 Organizations across the U.S. Recognized for Climate Action
EPA also recognizes Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative in new Innovative Partnerships Category
WASHINGTON – From an innovative partnership enabling colleges to sell carbon credits to fund clean energy projects on campuses to some of the country’s leading corporations setting and exceeding aggressive emission reduction goals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leadership Award winners announced today are demonstrating that innovative actions to combat climate change are smart business decisions. Sixteen organizations and one individual representing a wide array of industries from finance and manufacturing to retail and technology show exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.
“I am proud to recognize our Climate Leadership Award winners for their actions to reduce the harmful carbon pollution that’s fueling climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Our winners are demonstrating that a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. These organizations are providing the leadership, commitment, and solutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet head on the challenge of a changing climate.”
EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, in partnership with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (TCR), announced the fourth annual Climate Leadership Award winners.
The 2015 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:
- Innovative Partnerships Certificate (new category): This award recognizes organizations working collaboratively on leading edge climate initiatives with established objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas reduction goals and/or adaptation and resilience activities. This year’s recipients include:
o ChevroletClean Energy Campus Campaign (Detroit, Mich.): The Chevrolet Campus Clean Energy Campaign marks the first time college campuses have been able to use carbon performance methodologies to earn revenue via GHG reductions that result from on-campus efficiency and clean energy. The Campaign set a 100 percent absolute GHG reduction goal through 2014 (2012 base year).
o San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (San Diego, Calif.): The Climate Collaborative supports members in setting and meeting GHG reduction targets via trainings and information on GHG inventory and monitoring tools; sharing climate action plan templates; supporting local governments in developing climate action plans; developing capacity for local governments to implement measures in their climate action plans; and more.
- Organizational Leadership Award: Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) is being honored with this award for not only completing its own comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory and setting an aggressive emissions reduction goal, but also exemplifying extraordinary leadership in its internal response to climate change through engagement of its peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain, and addressing climate risk in its enterprise strategies. Bank of America issued the first corporate green bond to fund energy efficiency projects in 2013. Bank of America is setting an absolute global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 15 percent from 2010 levels through 2015. This goal builds on a previous total reduction of 18 percent of its U.S. GHG emissions from 2004-2009.
- Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award): The following organizations are being honored for publicly reporting and verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and achieving publicly-set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals:
- The City and County of San Francisco;
- The Clorox Company (Oakland, Calif.);
- DPR Construction (Redwood City, Calif.);
- SC Johnson (Racine, Wis.);
- Sprint (Overland Park, Kan.); and
- UPS (Atlanta).
- Individual Leadership Award: Mayor Bill Finch, City of Bridgeport, Conn., is being recognized for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in driving meaningful climate action within the Greater Bridgeport community and throughout the City’s operations. The Mayor is implementing an emission reduction goal for the city of 10 percent below 2007 levels by 2020.
- Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate): The following organizations are being honored for publicly reporting and verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and publicly setting aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals:
- Brown-Forman Corporation (Louisville, Ky.);
- California Department of Water Resources;
- Capital One Financial Corporation (McLean, Va.);
- CH2M HILL (Englewood, Colo.);
- The Clorox Company (Oakland, Calif.);
- EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, Mass.);
- The Hartford (Hartford, Conn.); and
- Tiffany & Co. (New York).
“After the hottest year globally on record, action on climate change is more urgent than ever,” said Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of C2ES. “We applaud the CLA winners for demonstrating the many paths forward to a low-carbon future, and hope others follow their example.”
“The Climate Registry is honored to recognize an impressive group of climate champions for their dedication to and leadership in addressing climate change in their operations,” said David Rosenheim, executive director of TCR. “This year’s deserving award winners are leading the way in reducing carbon pollution through greater transparency and consistent data, demonstrating the path to a more sustainable future.”
“Climate change presents immense challenges across an incredible array of sectors, geographic regions and job functions," said Daniel Kreeger, executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers. "The 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners have shown that incorporating climate into decision making is critical to their organizational success and are raising the bar on climate action."
The awards were presented at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference in Arlington, Va.
EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership establishes norms of climate leadership by encouraging organizations with emerging climate objectives to identify and achieve cost-effective GHG emission reductions, while helping more advanced organizations drive innovations in reducing their greenhouse gas impacts in their supply chains and beyond. The Center provides technical tools, guidance, educational resources, and opportunities for information sharing and peer exchange among organizations interested in reducing the environmental impacts associated with climate change.
More information about the 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners: www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/2015winners.html
More information about EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership: www.epa.gov/climateleadership
One city, company, state or nation can’t solve our climate and energy challenges overnight. Meaningful progress requires a variety of approaches by multiple actors, and that’s why partnerships are critical.
The benefits, indeed, the necessity of partnering and collaborating on climate action is increasingly being recognized.
The MIT 2014 Sustainability Report notes that “a growing number of companies are turning to collaborations — with suppliers, NGOs, industry alliances, governments, even competitors — to become more sustainable.” Collaborating with non-traditional partners was the focus of this month’s National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) Winter Conference, where C2ES President Bob Perciasepe touted the benefits of water and energy utility partnerships. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize the importance of innovative partnerships for the first time in the upcoming 2015 Climate Leadership Awards to be announced Feb. 24 in Washington D.C.
Successful partnerships on climate and energy challenges, like successful relationships, take work. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, we offer the following six rules for strong partnerships:
A new C2ES report highlights lessons useful for companies and policymakers as more states and countries consider carbon pricing to spur innovative technologies and cut emissions at the lowest possible cost.
The report, written for the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), examines how three companies — Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Rio Tinto, and Royal Dutch Shell -- prepared for carbon pricing programs.
The PMR shares this type of information with developing countries to help them create their own market-based policies. We were pleased to partner with the PMR to explore how a few of the companies in our Business Environmental Leadership Council prepared for carbon pricing and we thank the companies for sharing their expertise.
The lessons they shared fall into two categories – what business can learn from other companies operating in carbon markets and what governments considering market-based climate policy can learn from business.