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Business support for the Paris Agreement


 

Twelve major corporations based or operating in the United States are voicing strong support for the Paris Agreement as an expression of the strong governmental leadership needed to smoothly transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future.

The companies are endorsing a statement organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions encouraging governments to move expeditiously to formally join the Paris Agreement, and pledging to "work with countries to enact and implement the domestic measures needed to achieve their national contributions."

The full text is below.
Download a pdf of the statement.

BUSINESS STATEMENT WELCOMING THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

This statement was developed by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and is supported by the major companies listed below.

The Paris Agreement on climate change is a landmark achievement – it establishes an inclusive, pragmatic and, hopefully, durable framework for progressively strengthening efforts globally to address the causes and consequences of climate change.

We recognize the rising environmental, social, economic, and security risks posed by climate change.  As businesses concerned about the well-being of our investors, our customers, our communities and our planet, we are committed to working on our own and in partnership with governments to mobilize the technology, investment and innovation needed to transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.

We welcome the Paris Agreement as an expression of the strong governmental leadership needed to smoothly transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future.  The Agreement will help to facilitate and strengthen the role of the private sector in this transition by:

  • Providing Long-Term Direction – The goals of keeping warming below 2°C, peaking global emissions, and achieving net greenhouse gas neutrality signal markets to shift investment toward the diverse range of technologies needed to achieve them.
  • Promoting Transparency – By requiring countries to be transparent about their policy intentions and implementation, the agreement will provide greater clarity on policy landscapes, enabling companies to better anticipate regulatory risks and economic opportunities.
  • Addressing Competitiveness – Global participation and the regular, simultaneous renewal of national contributions will promote a greater comparability of effort, helping to address potential carbon leakage and competitive imbalances that remain a concern for business.
  • Facilitating Carbon Pricing – Allowing, and ensuring the environmental integrity of, international emissions trading will help facilitate the growth and credibility of carbon markets, a critical tool for cost-effective emissions reduction.

We encourage governments to move expeditiously to formally join the Paris Agreement, and pledge to work with countries to enact and implement the domestic measures needed to achieve their national contributions.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY ENERGY • CALPINE • HP Inc. • INTEL • LAFARGEHOLCIM
MICROSOFT • NATIONAL GRID • PG&E • RIO TINTO • SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC • SHELL • SIEMENS

 

Additional Resources

COP 21 Initiatives

In addition to producing the Paris Agreement, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference generated an unprecedented showing of action and support from all levels of society. “Non-state actors” such as cities, states and companies offered pledges via the online NAZCA Portal set up under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda. At the time of the conference, the portal listed nearly 11,000 commitments from more than 2,250 cities, 150 regions, 2,025 companies, 424 investors, and 235 civil society organizations.

Here is a sampling of the many initiatives launched in Paris by governments and/or non-state actors.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition

Members: Twenty-six investors, including Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Bill Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures), Jack Ma (Alibaba Group), Pan Shiyi (SOHO China), Ratan Tata (Tata Industries), Meg Whitman (Hewlett Packard), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).

Purpose: Form a network of private capital committed to building a structure that will allow informed decisions to help accelerate the change to the advanced energy future. Success requires a partnership of increased government research, with a transparent and workable structure to objectively evaluate those projects, and committed private-sector investors willing to support the innovative ideas that come out of the public research pipeline.

The focus is on early stage financing (e.g. seed, angel and Series A investments, rather than financing ideas at a more mature development stage. Investment sectors include: electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial use, agriculture, and energy system efficiency.

Contact: info@breakthroughenergycoalition.com

Caring for Climate

Members: Endorsed by 448 organizations from 65 countries across 30 sectors.

Purpose: Caring for Climate is an initiative mobilizing business leaders to implement and recommend climate change solutions and policies by advancing practical solutions, sharing experiences, informing public policy and shaping public attitudes. Companies can join by endorsing the Caring for Climate Statement, offering signatories on-going engagement opportunities in five work streams:

  • Carbon Pricing
  • Climate Adaptation
  • Climate and Energy Action Hub
  • Climate Policy and Engagement
  • Transparency and Disclosure

Contact: caring4climate@un.org

Compact of Mayors

Members: Mayors of 484 cities, representing 413,076,762 people worldwide and 5.70% of the total global population have committed to the Compact of Mayors.

Purpose: The Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders to reduce GHG emissions, track progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The coalition aims to:

  • Share best practices;
  • Encourage increased capital flows into cities to support local action;
  • Demonstrate commitment to action by voluntarily agreeing to rigorous transparency standards; and
  • Establish a consistent, transparent accountability framework that can be used by national governments, private investors or the public.

To become a part of the compact, a city must first register a commitment to become compact compliant. A mayor then has up to three years to assess the current impacts of climate change in his or her city, update its GHG inventory, set a target to reduce emissions, conduct a vulnerability assessment consistent with compact guidance, and report in its chosen platform. The compact operates under the leadership of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues.

Contact: info@compactofmayors.org

Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC)

Members: Twenty countries: Armenia, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Dubai, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United States, and Vietnam; 8 major groups: Lafarge Holcim, Saint Gobain, Velux, Consolidated Contractors Company, Danfoss, Veolia, Sekisui House, Suez Environnement; more than 50 national and international organizations, professional networks and funders.

Purpose: This worldwide alliance aims to gather countries, cities and public and private organizations of the building sector value chain, in order to scale up the implementation of ambitious actions toward the "below 2°C" pathway in buildings and construction sector. The alliance’s first priority is to collectively address major challenges in three clusters:

  • Public strategies and policies: To support member cities, states, regions, and countries in developing, building capacity for, and implementing, comprehensive building efficiency strategies and policies.
  • Value chain transformation: To work together to develop comprehensive action plans across the entire buildings value chain, including focus on workforce development, skills and training, support for technology transfer, and capacity building.
  • Finance: To work to increase financing options adapted to accelerate investment and funding for building mitigation projects and programs.

Contact: buildings.day@unep.org

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Members: The Alliance will cover 120 countries including many African and Asian nations, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, China and the United States. Companies involved in the project include Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel.

Purpose: The ISA will expand solar power primarily in countries that are resource-rich but energy poor, by mobilizing public finance from richer states to deliver universal energy access. The ISA could support progress toward a clean energy pathway by lowering financing costs, developing common standards, encouraging knowledge sharing and facilitating R&D collaborations and co-development of technology.

Mission Innovation:

Members: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States.

Purpose: Each participating country will seek to double its governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years. New investments would be focused on transformational clean energy technology innovations that can be scalable to varying economic and energy market conditions that exist in participating countries and in the broader world.

Mission Innovation will work with the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to generate private sector interest in continuing investment in technologies with the greatest potential following the public investment stage. There is also a commitment of Mission Innovation participating countries to make available all relevant data, expertise and analysis so that they can be easily accessed by all.

A first implementation meeting of Mission Innovation will be held in early 2016.

Montreal Carbon Pledge

Members: More than 120 investors with more than $10 trillion in assets under management, based in Europe, US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Africa.

Purpose: The Montreal Carbon Pledge commits investors to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of our investments annually, with the aim of then developing a strategy or setting reduction targets. The Montreal pledge formalizes commitments to the goals of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition. The Montreal Carbon Pledge is organized by the Principles for Responsible Investors (PRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

Contact: montrealcarbonpledge@unpri.org

New York Declaration on Forests

Members: Thirty-six national governments, 20 subnational governments, 53 companies, 16 indigenous peoples’ groups, and 54 NGO/CSOs.

Purpose: Members will do their part to achieve a range of outcomes, including to halve the rate of natural forest loss by 2020, and end it by 2030. There are more specific goals to eliminate deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities by 2020, as well as broader goals to provide alternative incomes to local communities, provide incentives for governments which perform well and strengthening the rule of law in managing forests.

According to the declaration, the cumulative impact of these measures could be between 4.5-8.8 billion tons of greenhouse gases per year by 2030.

Contact: Charles.mcneill@undp.org

Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation

Members: Led by the International Network of Basins Organizations (INBO/RIOB), the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Adaptation consists of a wide geographic coalition of almost 290 national and cross-border river basin organizations and governments, funding agencies, local governments, companies and civil society.

Purpose: The initiative is designed to make countries mobilize their own basins organizations, in order to strengthen their resilience and their adaptation actions. The Pact encourages actions that:

  • Reinforce capacity development and knowledge;
  • Adapt basin management planning to climate change;
  • Reinforce governance; and
  • Ensure adequate financing.

These actions will contribute to reach Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Contact: veronique.massenet@cop21.gouv.fr

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC)

Members: ABP, Allianz, AP4, Australian Ethical, Caisse des Dépôts, Church of Sweden, Environment Agency Pension Fund, Fonds de reserves pour les retraites (FRR), Humanis, KLP, Local Government Super, MN, Le Régime de Retraite additionelle de la Fonction publique (ERAFP), Storebrand, The University of Sydney, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, A Capital, Amundi Asset Management, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Hermes Investment Management, Inflection Point Capital Management, Mandatum Life, Mirova, RobecoSAM, Sonen Capital.

Purpose: The PDC is a multi-stakeholder initiative to reduce the GHG emissions in investment portfolios. The coalition focuses on two separate initiatives; generating information on a carbon footprint and disclosing this information, and taking action to reduce the exposure of investment portfolios to greenhouse gas intensive companies and projects. The coalition has committed to a decarbonization of $600 billion, of a total of $3.2 trillion in assets under management. This surpasses the original target of $100 billion.

Contact: pdc@unepfi.org

SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Members: FAO and Messe Düsseldorf are collaborating with donors, bi- and multi-lateral agencies and financial institutions and private sector partners (the food packaging industry and others) to develop and implement a program on food loss and waste reduction.

Purpose: The SAVE FOOD initiative aims at encouraging dialogue between industry, research, politics, and civil society on food losses. The initiative will regularly bring together stakeholders involved in the food supply chain for conferences and projects and will support them in developing effective measures. Another goal will be to raise public awareness of the impact of food waste. Four pillars of the SAVE FOOD initiative:

  1. Raising awareness, through a global communication and media campaign, the dissemination of Save Food program findings, and Regional SAVE FOOD Congresses, of the impact of and solutions for food loss and waste.
  2. Collaboration and coordination of world-wide initiatives and establishing a global partnership of public and private sector organizations and companies.
  3. Policy, strategy, and program development, including a series of field studies on a national-regional basis and studies on the socio-economic impacts of food loss and waste.
  4. Private and public sector support to investment programs and projects, including food supply chain actors and organizations either at the food subsector level or policy level.

Contact: save-food@fao.org

Under 2 MOU

Members: One-hundred-twenty-seven subnational jurisdictions, representing 729 million people and over $20 trillion in GDP

Purpose: Members are willing to commit to either reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, or achieving a per capita emissions target of less than two metric tons by 2050. This is in line with the scientifically established emissions level necessary to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Contact: laura.carr@opr.ca.gov

ZEV Alliance

Members: British Columbia, California, Connecticut, Germany, Maryland, Massachusetts, The Netherlands, New York, Norway, Oregon, Québec, Rhode Island, The United Kingdom, Vermont

Purpose: Members signed a common statement to work together on encouraging Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)deployment. This includes creating and sharing targets for future ZEV deployment across members. In addition, sharing data and best practices to be more effective in their ZEV deployment strategies.

Contact:  nic@theicct.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Paris: From Agreement to Action on Climate Change

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
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8:30-10 a.m.Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center901 K Street, NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20001Watch video of the event

             

Beyond Paris: From Agreement to Action on Climate Change

Hosted by: Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

The historic Paris Agreement represents not only the culmination of years of negotiations, but also a unique moment in which businesses, cities, and heads of state from over 150 countries gathered to make their own commitments and discuss solutions to climate change.

Please join Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) for a lively discussion on Wednesday, April 27, 8:30-10 a.m., with senior representatives from various sectors to discuss innovative and proactive climate solutions, what Paris means four months later, and how to move from agreement to action on climate change. 

Watch video of the event

 

SPEAKERS

Robert Diamond
Special Assistant to the President and Director of Private Sector Engagement,
The White House

Elliot Diringer
Executive Vice President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Fred Humphries
Corporate Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft

Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio
Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft

Steve Harper
Global Director, Environment and Energy Policy, Intel

Alex Liftman
Global Environmental Executive, Bank of America

Cathy Woollums
Senior Vice President, Environmental Services and Chief Environmental Counsel
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Moderator
Bob Perciasepe

President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Additional panelists may be announced.

 

Follow the discussion on Twitter: #MSFTClimateAction

Advancing toward phasing down HFCs

International negotiators made significant progress last week in Geneva at the first of several meetings this year aimed at phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) through an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

HFCs are fast growing, powerful greenhouse gases used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances in refrigeration and air conditioning, as blowing agents, and as aerosol propellants.

In a stark departure from meetings in previous years, a number of key issues essential to reaching agreement on an HFC amendment were tentatively resolved and substantial progress was achieved on others.

For example, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states had raised concerns about the lack of proven substitutes for air conditioning that are suitable for the extreme heat experienced in their countries. A proposal to allow a time-limited and geographically targeted exemption until substitutes have been demonstrated was proposed and tentatively agreed to at the meeting. (See our brief on how to structure an exemption.)

Another issue raised in the past by a number of parties concerns the potential conflict between actions on HFCs taken under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and any HFC amendment under the Montreal Protocol. In Geneva, there was broad agreement that the treaties were independent of each other, that they could be implemented in a way that would be complementary, and that an HFC amendment would not in any way require a prior authorizing act by the climate treaty.

A good deal of time was spent discussing issues related to funding associated with HFC controls in developing countries. While agreement exists that the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund would continue to be the primary vehicle for providing financial support for emission reduction projects, issues concerning guidelines detailing what projects would be funded were left unresolved. Among these issues is payment for licensing of intellectual property rights for patent-protected technologies to produce and use some of the substitute chemicals. (See our brief: Ten Myths About Intellectual Property Rights and the Montreal Protocol.)

Ten Myths About Intellectual Property Rights and the Montreal Protocol

Ten Myths About Intellectual Property Rights and the Montreal Protocol

April 2016
 

By Steve Seidel and Jason Ye

Download the Brief (PDF)

This brief explores myths and facts about intellectual property rights as they are covered in the Montreal Protocol, an agreement to limit high global warming potential (GWP) gases. 

Jason Ye
Stephen Seidel
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Action on HFCs heats up

We’re seeing new movement toward phasing down the fastest-growing group of greenhouse gases – hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. These chemicals are widely used in refrigerators, air conditioners, foam products, and aerosols. And while they don’t stay in the atmosphere long, they can trap 1,000 times or more heat compared to carbon dioxide.

This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new regulations demonstrating its commitment to limiting the use of HFCs domestically. It proposed changes to its significant new alternatives program (SNAP) aimed at expanding the list of acceptable alternatives that minimize impacts on global warming while also restricting the use of HFCs in sectors where alternatives are now available. EPA estimates the proposed rule could avoid up to 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, which is equal to the energy-related emissions from about one million homes for one year.

Internationally, one sign of growing support for acting on HFCs came this month during the first visit by a U.S. president to Argentina in almost two decades. President Obama and newly elected Argentinian President Mauricio Macri explored opportunities to partner to address global challenges like climate change.

They affirmed their commitment to take action this year to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, which are substitutes for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were successfully phased out under the 1989 Montreal Protocol. The two leaders also endorsed the understandings reached at the Dubai Montreal Protocol meeting in November 2015 on financial support for developing countries to implement an HFC phasedown.

A key opportunity will come next week when Montreal Protocol negotiators meet in Geneva to build on the progress made toward reaching agreement this year on an HFC phasedown amendment.

Approaches to Structuring a High Ambient Temperature Exemption

Approaches to Structuring a High Ambient Temperature Exemption 

March 2016

By Steve Seidel, Jennifer Huang, and Stephen O. Andersen

Download the Brief (PDF)

As parties to the Montreal Protocol consider an amendment to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), one critical concern is whether suitable alternatives for air-conditioning applications are available and adequately demonstrated for cooling capacity and energy efficiency under conditions of high ambient temperatures. Given the critical importance of these applications, one option being considered by parties is to provide a time-limited exemption for those uses in countries that could be adversely impacted by high ambient temperatures. This paper looks at a number of options for how such an exemption might be structured.

Jennifer Huang
Stephen O. Andersen
Stephen Seidel
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How the US can meet its climate pledge

The following was published in March 2016 on the EcoWomen blog. View the original post here.

I let out a cheer when Leonardo DiCaprio mentioned climate change during his Oscars acceptance speech. But concern about climate extends far beyond the red carpet.

Religious leaders, military officials, mayors, governors, business executives, and leaders of the world’s nations are all speaking about the need to address the greenhouse gas emissions that threaten our environment and economies.

Last December, world leaders reached a landmark climate agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) that commits all countries to contribute their best efforts and establishes a system to hold them accountable. COP 21’s Paris Agreement also sent a signal to the world to ramp up investment in a clean energy and clean transportation future.

The U.S. committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 level by 2025. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan was touted as a key policy tool to help reach that goal. However, with the recent surprise stay of the rule by U.S. Supreme Court, can the U.S. still meet its climate pledge? Simply put, yes.

Decoupling economic growth from carbon emissions

Source: International Energy Agency

For the second year in a row, the global economy grew and global carbon dioxide emissions did not.

Preliminary data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (from burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, industry, space heating and so on) remained unchanged from the previous two years at around 32.1 billion metric tons. Meanwhile, economic growth increased by more than 3 percent for the second consecutive year.

A couple years of data doesn’t necessarily translate into a trend. And continued ambition in the decades ahead - like we saw with the landmark Paris Agreement in December 2015 - will be required before we can announce that we have truly turned the corner on reducing CO2 emissions.

But the IEA noted that 90 percent of new electric generation in 2015 came from renewables. Yes, 90 percent. And this apparent decoupling – after decades of energy-related CO2 emissions moving in lockstep with economic growth -- is a positive sign that low-carbon policies may finally be gaining traction in many parts of the world.

The change is due to policies and market forces affecting two factors – energy intensity and fuel mix – both in China and in the developed economies.

Bob Perciasepe statement on US-Canada climate cooperation

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

March 10, 2016

With their joint announcement today, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau have set the stage for closer cooperation than ever before between the United States and Canada in meeting our shared climate and energy challenges. Given the inextricable links between our economies and our energy systems, it’s in everyone’s interest that our respective efforts are more closely aligned. 

We’re especially encouraged by the emphasis placed by the two leaders on the use of market-based approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as cost-effectively as possible. California and Quebec have already formally linked their emissions trading systems, and the recent Paris Agreement can facilitate broader use of market-based policies globally. As the United States and Canada work to strengthen their domestic policies and implement the Paris Agreement, they should explore opportunities to realize the environmental and economic benefits of a more fully developed regional trading system.

In other areas, including the urgent need to reduce short-lived climate forcers such as methane and hydrofluorocarbons, the two leaders have set ambitious goals. In pursuing their common agenda, it is vital the two governments continue work in close partnership with the private sector to ensure that policies aimed at achieving those goals are practical and cost-effective.

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

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the challenges of energy and climate change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

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