In This Issue
Was Katrina's Power a Product of Global Warming?
With a unique combination of geography, expansive lowlands (particularly in the New Orleans area), wetland loss, deforestation, rapid development, large populations of the poor, and a heavy concentration of industry, the Gulf Coast is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes. Although we cannot be certain global warming intensified Katrina per se, it clearly has created circumstances under which powerful storms like Katrina are more likely to occur now and in the future. Learn more.
General Electric Company Joins the Pew Center's Business Environment Leadership Council
General Electric Company has joined the Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council and their efforts to address global climate change. GE, one of the world's largest companies, has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions one percent by 2012 and the intensity of its GHG emissions 30 percent by 2008 (both compared to 2004). Based on the company's projected growth, GE's GHG emissions would have risen 40 percent by 2012 without further action. In addition, GE is committed to doubling its investment in environmental technologies to $1.5 billion by 2010. These efforts are part of GE's 'Ecomagination' initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.
Read the press release and learn more about GE's Ecomagination initiative.
U.S. Mayors Adopt Climate Protection Agreement & Other States News
The U.S. Conference of Mayors voted unanimously to support the Climate Protection Agreement sponsored by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. The agreement, adopted June 13, 2005, commits the 1,183 cities represented to the goal of reducing GHG emissions 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.
Other States News:
*Texas increased its Renewable Portfolio Standard when Governor Rick Perry signed a bill on August 1 increasing the amount of renewable generation required in the state. In January 2002, Texas implemented a renewable energy mandate that required 2,000 MW of new renewable generation be built in the state by 2009. The updated law increases this capacity requirement to 5,880 MW by 2015, which will meet about 5% of the state's projected electricity demand. The legislation also sets a cumulative target of installing 10,000 MW of renewable generation capacity by 2025 and requires that the state must meet 500 MW of the 2025 target with non-wind renewable generation.
*Illinois enacted Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards when the Illinois Commerce Commission adopted Governor Rod Blagojevich's two- part Sustainable Energy Plan on July 19. To implement the RPS, the state's two largest utilities have agreed to acquire 2% of their electricity from renewable sources (wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biomass, and existing hydropower) by the end of 2006; add another 1% every year; and reach the goal of 8% by 2013. To implement the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, the utilities will create programs to slow the increase in electricity demand 10% by 2008, with an ultimate goal of slowing Illinois' growth in electricity demand 25% by 2015.
* New Mexico joined a growing number of states with targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions when Governor Bill Richardson signed an Executive Order on Thursday, June 9, 2005. The Governor set New Mexico's targets at achieving 2000 emissions levels by 2012, 10% below 2000 levels by 2020, and a 75% reduction below 2000 emissions levels by 2050.
Learn more about these and other steps taken at the state level.
Climate Data: A Sectoral Perspective - New International Report
This new international report "Climate Data: A Sectoral Perspective" examines emissions, production, and consumption data for energy, transportation, manufacturing, land use and other key economic sectors. It focuses primarily on the 25 countries with the largest greenhouse gas emissions, and is a companion to "Climate Data: Insights and Observations," an earlier Pew Center report examining data at the global and national levels. Both papers were prepared by the World Resources Institute for the Pew Center's Climate Dialogue at Pocantico, an ongoing series of discussions among senior policymakers and stakeholders on the international climate effort. A closer look at sectoral data will be provided in a forthcoming WRI report, Navigating the Numbers: Greenhouse Gas Data and International Climate Policy, due for release in December.
The U.S. Electric Power Sector and Climate Change Mitigation - New Report
This report, "The U.S. Electric Power Sector and Climate Change Mitigation," is essentially "Climate Change and Electricity 101." The report explores options for reducing the electric power sector's GHG emissions over the next decade and over the next half century.
Towards a Climate-Friendly Built Environment - New Report
This report, "Towards A Climate-Friendly Built Environment," is essentially "Climate Change and Buildings 101." The report explores options for reducing GHG emissions from buildings over the next decade and over the next 50 years.
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