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Beyond the Horizon: Corporate Reporting on Climate Change

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Free Webinar:

Beyond the Horizon:
Corporate Reporting on Climate Change

Monday, Oct. 2, 2017

Noon - 1:30 pm

 

 

Increasingly, companies are taking a closer look at how they describe climate risks and opportunities to their investors and other stakeholders. This summer, the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures provided recommendations to improve the quality and consistency of this reporting. C2ES invites you to a public webinar to discuss corporate climate reporting. The webinar will discuss opportunities and challenges drawn from a new C2ES report "Beyond the Horizon: Corporate Reporting on Climate Change."

Speakers

Dr. Neil Hawkins
Chief Sustainability Officer and Corporate Vice President for Environment, Health & Safety
The Dow Chemical Company  

Dr. Neil C. Hawkins serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer and Corporate Vice President for Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) for The Dow Chemical Company, where he is in his 29th year of service. Hawkins is a global leader in sustainable business practices, EH&S management, and public policy platforms for global sustainable development. Dr. Hawkins led Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals development, which aim to help chart a new course for business in global sustainable development. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the Harvard University School of Public Health, as well as an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech.

Matt Arnold
Managing Director and Global
 Head of Sustainable Finance
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Matt Arnold is Managing Director and Global Head of Sustainable Finance at JPMorgan Chase. He leads the firm’s client engagement on sustainability across all sectors globally. JPMorgan Chase helps clients navigate environmental and social risks, engages stakeholders and partners in advancing environmental and social progress, and structures targeted impact investment funds. Mr. Arnold was a Principal and leader of Sustainable Business Solutions at PwC and a founder of Sustainable Finance Ltd, acquired by PwC in December 2008. He holds an AB degree in Psychobiology from Harvard College, an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University.

Fatima Maria Ahmad
Solutions Fellow

C2ES

Fatima Maria Ahmad is a Solutions Fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) where she focuses on financing opportunities and policy development for energy technologies, including carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS). In a volunteer capacity, Ms. Ahmad is the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law International Environmental Law Committee and is the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment Vice-Chair for Membership.

 

 

 

 

Survey finds cities are pushing ahead with climate change efforts

For Immediate Release
Monday, September 18, 2017

Contacts:
Alec Gerlach, 703-516-0621, press@c2es.org
Sara Durr, 202-215-1811, sara@durrcommunications.com    

Cities Push Ahead with Climate Change Efforts

Nationwide Survey Finds Many U.S. Cities Leveraging Purchasing Power, Business Relationships to Drive Climate and Energy Solutions

NEW YORK, NY – As weather patterns continue to grow more erratic and powerful, as seen with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the recent wildfires in Los Angeles, mayors across the country are taking action to address these real climate change threats by committing to reduce carbon emissions. A nationwide survey released today by the U.S. Conference of Mayors(USCM) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) as part of their partnership—the Alliance for a Sustainable Future—found that nearly two-thirds of the responding cities are procuring green vehicles, purchasing renewable electricity and requiring efficient government buildings. The Alliance also released today a case study of six cities, which provides a more detailed description that illustrates the breadth of carbon reduction programs.

The survey demonstrates that cities are pushing ahead with their efforts to implement climate programs to expedite carbon reduction initiatives to meet aggressive goals, and that they are eager to partner with business and other communities to do it. Eighty-five percent of cities are interested in or already partnering with the business community to advance climate solutions in the areas of electricity, buildings, and transportation.

But the survey also shows that there is much work to be done and the potential for growth in these programs is significant.

The survey included the responses of 102 cities from 35 states.  They represent a broad geography and range in size from 21,000 (Pleasantville, NJ) to 8.5 million (New York City).  Together, the cities surveyed represent nearly 42 million Americans.

Key findings include:

  • 64 percent of cities responding reported that they were generating or purchasing renewable electricity to power city buildings or other city operations. Additionally, 16 percent of cities source more than 40 percent of their electricity from renewables.
  • Of 99 cities responding, 63 indicated they already purchase green vehicles for their fleet and an additional 23 cities are actively exploring the possibility. And, 63 percent of cities offer public charging for electric vehicles.
  • 69 percent of responding cities purchase hybrid passenger vehicles; 51 percent purchase electric passenger cars; and another 51 percent purchase natural gas heavy duty vehicles.
  • Cities are taking action to promote energy efficient municipal buildings. 67 percent of cities responding have efficiency policies in place for new buildings, while 64 percent have policies in place for existing buildings. And, more than two-thirds of cities are employing energy audits to track consumption.
  • The purchasing power of responding cities alone is significant as they spend more than $1.4 billion on total electricity and procure more than 11,500 total vehicles every year—showing that they have the potential to leverage changes in the marketplace.  

The survey provides a baseline for understanding city efforts to develop climate solutions and create sustainable communities, and helps identify innovative practices, emerging trends and areas for assistance.  Today’s final survey release follows the prior release of preliminary results in June.

See here for the full survey.

“With the severe hurricanes and wildfires on the rise, we are in a race against time to address climate change,” said Chair of the Alliance Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales.  “Without the federal government’s partnership, cities and the business community will now have to bear the responsibility to reduce carbon and the effects of climate change.  It is critical that we expedite renewable technology deployment and adopt policies to meet aggressive carbon reduction goals.”

“These results show a growing momentum in cities to develop emission reducing programs and to strike new partnerships with other governments and the private sector,” said Vice-Chair of the Alliance Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Now is the time to work together at the state and local level to buy green vehicles, retrofit our buildings, purchase renewable electricity and develop more renewable energy projects.” 

“The nation’s mayors are assuming a national and global leadership role to respond to climate change. We have no choice but to act now,” said CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Tom Cochran. “The time for talking is over. Through our ongoing work, we will continue to track the progress cities make in implementing carbon reduction programs and meeting aggressive renewable energy goals.”

“This confirms that incredible strides are made when mayors and business leaders collaborate. But, we’ve learned too that cities want to do more, and we will be working to encourage city-business partnerships for the great number of cities interested in working with the business community,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe.

EVENT INFORMATION

The Alliance for a Sustainable Future will discuss the survey results and how cities are partnering with the business community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Tuesday, September 19, in New York at Climate Week NYC. Case studies will also highlight partnerships between cities and the business that are already accelerating momentum toward sustainable, low-carbon communities. Details are below.

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 9:30- 11:15 a.m.

Place: NYU Wagner, 295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor, New York, NY

Speakers will include: Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, AECOM Global Director of Resilience Josh Sawislak, NYU Wagner Dean Sherry Glied, U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran, and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions President Bob Perciasepe.

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About the Alliance for a Sustainable Future: The Alliance for a Sustainable Future was formed by USCM and C2ES in 2016 with the shared goals of keeping city officials and business leaders informed and empowered to design and implement local plans for low-carbon, sustainable communities.

About The U.S. Conference of Mayors: The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Learn more at www.usmayors.org.

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Companies set their own carbon price to guide decisions

Business leaders know that climate change impacts are here and on the rise. They also know there are significant economic opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. But factoring these risks – and opportunities – into corporate decision-making isn’t always easy.

An internal carbon price is increasingly being used by companies across sectors and geographies to translate the risks and opportunities of a low-carbon economy into business decisions.

Some companies set a theoretical price on carbon, or a “shadow price,” to evaluate investments, test assumptions, and guide business strategy. Some use a “carbon fee” to assign an explicit monetary value to emissions from business units to change behaviors and raise funds for clean energy and energy efficiency projects. Still others use a combination of these or other approaches.

A new C2ES brief, The Business of Pricing Carbon, examines how companies are using internal carbon pricing and why: to prepare for future regulation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, respond to shareholder concerns, build more resilient supply chains, gain a competitive edge, and showcase corporate responsibility.

According to 2016 disclosures to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), more than 1,200 companies worldwide are either pursuing internal carbon pricing or preparing to do so soon—up 23 percent from 2015. While most of these companies are based in North America and Europe, more companies in emerging economies, including Brazil, China, India, and Mexico, are exploring carbon pricing.

Among the leaders:

  • Since 2012, Microsoft business groups have paid a fee, from $5 to $10 per metric ton, on the carbon emissions associated with their electricity consumption and employee air travel. The revenue is used to buy renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and e-waste recycling, and buy carbon offsets. Microsoft has been carbon neutral in its global operations since July 2012.
  • Shell has used an internal carbon price of $40 to $80 per metric ton since 2000 to evaluate investment decisions. Its greenhouse gas Project Screening Value has influenced decisions to invest in carbon capture technology, natural gas, and biofuels. Shell reduced its direct greenhouse gas emissions from facilities by 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2015 to 2016.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the world’s largest manufacturer of tractors, became the first Indian company to launch an internal carbon fee of $10 per metric ton in 2016. The funds help reduce waste, water usage, and carbon emissions through projects such as LED lighting, energy-efficient motors, and waste-to-energy projects. M&M’s goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity 25 percent by 2019 from 2016 levels.
  • Mining company BHP has had a shadow price of $24-$80 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent since 2004 to inform decisions to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its existing operations, and diversify its portfolio for a carbon-constrained future. The company reduced emissions 13 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Companies are using an internal carbon price to help advance their greenhouse gas reduction targets. For example, C2ES found that almost half of the companies committed to the RE100 (100 percent renewable energy) and Science-Based GHG Targets have adopted an internal carbon price or plan to do so in the next couple of years.

Most companies that have adopted a shadow price use a level higher than current government carbon pricing levels (which according to experts is $10 per metric ton) to prepare for a transition to a low-carbon world. This is particularly true for companies in the oil and gas and metals and mining sectors, which use shadow price ranges that are compatible with the levels recommended for governments by the High-Level Commission on Carbon Pricing ($40-$80 per metric ton by 2020 and $50-$100 per metric ton by 2030).

Setting an internal carbon price is just one tool in the toolbox for companies seeking to reduce their exposure to climate risks, increase their business opportunities in a low-carbon future, and show sustainability leadership to their shareholders, employees, and customers. We encourage more companies to explore the options.

Read the brief:.

Watch the webinar.

 

C2ES outlines how and why companies use carbon pricing to prepare for climate change

Press Release
Sept. 12, 2017
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org, 703-774-5480

C2ES outlines how and why companies use carbon pricing to prepare for climate change

WASHINGTON – Companies across sectors and geographies are turning increasingly to an internal carbon price to prepare for climate-related business risks, and guide and fund investments in low-carbon solutions.

A new C2ES brief, The Business of Pricing Carbon, examines how companies are using internal carbon pricing – either through an explicit fee on business-related carbon emissions that can fund carbon-reducing projects, a theoretical “shadow” price to guide investment decisions, or a hybrid of these approaches.

For example, Microsoft business groups pay a fee, from $5 to $10 per metric ton, on the carbon emissions associated with their electricity consumption and employee air travel. The revenue is used to buy renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and e-waste recycling, and buy carbon offsets. Shell's internal carbon price of $40 to $80 per metric ton has influenced decisions to invest in carbon capture technology, natural gas, and biofuels.

C2ES author Manjyot Bhan Ahluwalia will lead an online discussion at 10 a.m. today with top officials from Microsoft, BP America, and The Mahindra Group, who are among the companies examined in the brief, about how and why they are setting their own price on carbon. Media wishing to join today’s webinar can register here.

Among the brief’s key findings:

  • Companies are using internal carbon pricing to achieve multiple goals. Among the reasons for an internal carbon price are: to reduce emissions, respond to shareholder concerns about climate-related business risks, build resilient supply chains and portfolios, increase competitiveness, prepare for future regulations, and demonstrate corporate social responsibility.
  • Just having an internal carbon price sends an important signal. Prices range broadly, from $2 to $893 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. For a carbon fee, the price itself may be less important than the business-relevant signal it sends to employees and business units that carbon emissions have costs and need to be managed. For a shadow price, the price may need to be higher than current government levels and increase over time to affect long-term decisions. (The High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices recommends that governments use $40-$80 per metric ton by 2020 and $50-$100 per metric ton by 2030.) 
  • Companies have choices in how to price carbon. There is no one best way to internally price carbon; each has its benefits and challenges. Companies are using approaches such as a carbon fee, shadow pricing, implicit carbon pricing, and/or combining these strategies. A company should adopt the approach that aligns with its objectives. For example, a carbon fee can engage employees and help meet emissions reduction targets while a shadow price can inform long-term investment decisions.
  • Corporate carbon pricing is only one tool to address climate-related risks. Corporate carbon pricing alone will not be sufficient to ensure a transition to a global low-carbon economy. These approaches must be complemented with other corporate greenhouse has reduction strategies.

“Many companies are leading the way toward a low-carbon future. They see the risks of climate impacts to their businesses and the opportunities to create jobs and increase their competitiveness through clean and efficient energy,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “Internal carbon pricing is one innovative tool more companies can explore to show sustainability leadership to their shareholders, employees, and customers.”

Read the brief at: http://bit.ly/c2esCarPr

Event: The Business of Pricing Carbon: How Companies are Preparing for Risks and Opportunities
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 10-11 a.m. ET
Location: Free online webinar. More info at: http://bit.ly/c2esICP
Speakers:

  • Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Mahindra Group
  • Bob Stout, Vice President & Head of Regulatory Affairs, BP America
  • Liz Willmott, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
  • Manjyot Bhan Ahluwalia, Policy and Business Fellow, C2ES

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org

What Hurricane Harvey tells us about climate change

The heartbreaking consequences of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Texas and Louisiana over the past week have led many public figures to comment regarding the potential connection between hurricanes and global climate change. With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Caribbean and Florida, this question will likely get another bump in the news cycle.

What does the science tell us about this connection? In 2014, the White House released the latest update of the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment (NCA), a report produced by the relevant scientific agencies every few years. The NCA made the following statement:

The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. The relative contributions of human and natural causes to these increases are still uncertain. Hurricane-associated storm intensity and rainfall rates are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm.

That remains a good summary as far as hurricanes go, but there is a more fundamental point that I think decision-makers should be focused on as they consider how to direct investments to enhance our resilience to climate change: Precipitation extremes are intensifying and will continue to do so as the climate warms.

Consider the following:

  • In April 2014, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle experienced a historic rainstorm that set local records for daily and hourly rainfall totals. In Pensacola, nearly 6 inches of rain fell in an hour and more than two feet of rain fell over two days, causing catastrophic flash flooding.
  • In October 2015, many areas of Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas experienced extreme rainfall and flash flooding. The greatest totals were south of Dallas, where more than 20 inches of rain flooded highways and derailed a freight train. Houston received around 10 inches and experienced flash flooding.
  • In March 2016, Louisiana experienced historic flooding and areas of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas experienced extreme rainfall and flash flooding. More than 20 inches of rain fell in Monroe, Louisiana, with one reporting station recording nearly 27 inches over three days.

Now we have Hurricane Harvey.

These events are a small selection of a large number of major flood events to strike Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas recently. Gulf states have seen historic flooding disasters from extreme precipitation every year for at least four years running. Many of these events were associated with hurricanes (or tropical storms in general). All of them required an enormous source of atmospheric moisture to generate such extreme rainfall totals in a matter of hours to days. 

That moisture source is no mystery: It is the warm tropical waters of the North Atlantic (principally the Gulf of Mexico) and eastern Pacific oceans. These bodies of water have been warming over recent decades and are evaporating more and more moisture into the atmosphere along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. The atmosphere is also warming, and warmer air holds more water vapor. As the climate warms, therefore, more moisture becomes available to supply rainfall.

This fact is basic physics and there isn’t any real uncertainty about it. Moreover, it is well understood that the oceans and atmosphere are warming as a direct result of manmade greenhouse gas emissions. (Without those emissions, the climate system would actually be cooling slightly).

The consequences are not limited to the Gulf Coast. The National Climate Asessment chart below shows the percent increase in the amount of rainfall associated with the heaviest 1 percent of downpours in regions of the United States from 1958 to 2012.

So what does Hurricane Harvey tell us about climate change? It confirms that our risk is rising as the climate warms. Harvey also teaches us about our vulnerabilities and adaptation needs.

As Dan Huber and I have explained, individual weather events are unpredictable, but our overall risk from changing weather patterns is predictable. Reducing our climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions will limit how much we ultimately ratchet up that risk. However, since the climate is already changing and the risk of damages is rising, we also need to adapt to the changes that are in the pipeline. Both reducing emissions and adapting to unavoidable change are essential to managing the risk

Jay Gulledge, Ph.D., is a Senior Adviser to C2ES

Webinar -- The Business of Pricing Carbon

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RSVP Here

Free webinar

The Business of Pricing Carbon:
How Companies are Preparing for Risks and Opportunities

September 12, 2017, 10 - 11 a.m. ET

 

Increasingly, companies across sectors and geographies are turning to an internal carbon price as one tool to help them reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate-related business risks, and identify opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. This C2ES public webinar discusses different internal carbon pricing approaches and reviews key opportunities, benefits, experiences, and challenges drawn from the C2ES brief, The Business of Pricing Carbon: How Companies are Pricing Carbon to Mitigate Risks and Prepare for a Low-Carbon Future.
 
Speakers
 
Anirban Ghosh
Chief Sustainability Officer, The Mahindra Group
 
Bob Stout
Vice President & Head of Regulatory Affairs, BP America
 
Liz Willmott
Environmental Sustainability Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
 
Manjyot Bhan Ahluwalia
Policy and Business Fellow, C2ES

 

Webinar: TheBusiness of Pricing Carbon, Sept. 12, 2017

 

Climate Solutions: How Mayors and Businesses Are Working Together

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NYU Wagner295 Lafayette Street, Second FloorNew York, NY 10012-9604RSVP Here

The U.S. Conference of Mayors
and
 Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

invite you to attend a Climate Week NYC event

Climate Solutions:
How Mayors and Businesses Are Working Together

Hosted by:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
9:30-11:15 a.m.
NYU Wagner
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012-9604

WE REGRET THAT THIS EVENT IS AT CAPACITY.
WE WILL BE VIDEO RECORDING THIS EVENT AND WILL POST IT ON THE C2ES YOUTUBE PAGE.

Cities and businesses are partnering to address climate change head on – by reducing the emissions causing climate change and preparing for the impacts already hitting communities. We’ll discuss results of a 100-city survey quantifying the direction of local climate policy, and highlight real-world case studies of city-business climate collaboration. Join us for a candid conversation with mayors and business leaders working together to advance climate solutions across the U.S. 
 

Featuring

Tom Cochran
CEO and Executive Director, The U.S. Conference of Mayors

Mayor Javier Gonzales
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Salt Lake City, Utah

Mayor Frank Cownie
Des Moines

Josh Sawislak
Global Director of Resilience, AECOM

Daniel A. Zarrilli
Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer, New York City Office of the Mayor

Mayor Richard Thomas
Mount Vernon, New York

Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)


The Alliance for a Sustainable Future is a partnership launched by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions to strengthen cooperation between cities and businesses committed to meeting our climate and clean energy challenges.

  

Getting Down to Business: Corporate Climate Leadership

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JPMorgan Chase & Co.270 Park Ave, 50th FloorNew York, NY 10017

building image

Please join C2ES and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for a conversation on
business leadership on climate change at Climate Week NYC  2017

Getting Down to Business: Corporate Climate Leadership

Thursday, September 21, 2017
4 — 7 p.m.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
270 Park Ave, 50th Floor
New York, NY 10017

 

This event is invitation-only. For information, please contact Pauline Chow at pauline.chow@jpmchase.com

Businesses are leaders in creating solutions that address climate change, while creating jobs and growing the economy. Leaders across a range of industries will discuss what's driving investment in actions that address climate change across their value chain—from reducing carbon emissions, to deploying innovative financing solutions, to investing in clean energy technologies. 

Agenda

4:00 p.m. – Registration

4:30 p.m. – Discussion
 

Welcome Remarks

Marisa Buchanan
Deputy Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

 

Panel

Kevin Butt
General Manager, Environmental Sustainability, Toyota

Steve Harper
Global Director, Environment and Energy Policy, Intel

Erin Robert
Head of Capital Strategies, JPMorgan Sustainable Finance

Bjorn Otto Sverdrup
Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Statoil ASA

Moderator
Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

5:45 p.m. – Reception

Additional speakers may be announced here

 

JPMorgan Chase seeks to comply with applicable rules concerning meals, gifts and entertainment offered to public officials and employees, including related disclosure requirements. We estimate the cost of hospitality to be provided at Getting Down to Business: Corporate Climate Leadership to be $53 per person. To the extent you wish to pay the cost of, or to decline, the hospitality to be provided at this event please contact Pauline Chow (pauline.chow@jpmchase.com, 212-270-3307) to make the necessary arrangements.

Ann McCabe and Bob Perciasepe on the Climate Leadership Awards

Statement from Ann McCabe, executive director of The Climate Registry, and Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

August 25, 2017

On EPA dropping sponsorship of Climate Leadership Awards, Conference

We were disappointed to learn today that EPA will no longer co-sponsor the annual Climate Leadership Awards and Climate Leadership Conference. We thank EPA for the unique and vital role it has played over the past seven years in supporting the awards and conference.

In light of EPA’s decision, the awards and conference co-sponsors -- the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR) – will be stepping up to ensure both events continue to thrive.

Since 2012, more than 115 recipients have been recognized for leadership in addressing climate change by reducing carbon emissions in their internal operations and supply chains, and planning for climate impacts.

The Climate Leadership Conference and awards, drawing hundreds of sustainability professionals from across the country, will go forward in Denver, Colorado, on February 28-March 2, 2018.

We believe it’s more important than ever to encourage and recognize climate action by businesses, organizations, local governments, and individuals to reduce the man-made emissions that are causing our climate to change. We’re eager for opportunities to build new partnerships to ensure the 2018 Climate Leadership Conference and Awards are better than ever.

US companies, communities rely on federal climate science

Businesses rely on government for factual, unbiased information to help them make decisions about where and how to grow.

They need U.S. Census data to see how patterns of population growth could affect the demand for goods and services. They need energy supply and demand data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to understand this critical input to productivity.

And they need climate data to help them identify the risks climate impacts pose to their facilities, operations, and supply and distribution chains.

The National Climate Assessment -- mandated by Congress -- is one of the tools that helps companies understand and prepare for climate risks – risks that more than 90 percent of major companies recognize. The latest version (still in draft form) is the product of researchers at 13 federal agencies and has undergone rigorous, independent peer-review by a 14-member committee at the National Academies.

But the administration is disbanding the federal advisory panel that helps policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the National Climate Assessment into long-term planning. And researchers say they are worried the findings in the final release will be altered or suppressed by administration officials who oppose federal action on climate change.

That would be a mistake.

Government officials concerned about the health and competitiveness of U.S. businesses and the U.S. economy need to know that businesses rely on unbiased federal scientific data for decision making.

Sea-level rise projections let coastal property owners choose the right amount of flood protection for their needs. Accurate counts of frost-free days help farmers understand how growing seasons are changing so they can adjust their practices. City and state governments also need reliable data to ensure infrastructure is built to last and communities are prepared for more extreme heat waves, droughts, and downpours.

It is in the interest of the U.S. economy to see strong support for science continue at the federal level.

The National Climate Assessment is a valuable tool companies and communities use to plan for the impacts of climate change. It is by no means the only government report that gives evidence of the reality of climate change. Countless observations show us that the world of today is unlike the world of our parents. The annual State of the Climate report -- edited by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists, peer-reviewed, and published in August in the scientific journal Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society --  assembles the latest observations, including:

  • 2016 was the hottest year globally on record (surpassing record-setting 2015 and 2014)
  • Global mean sea level in 2016 was the highest since satellites began making measurements
  • Arctic temperatures reached 3.5°C above 1900 levels, a new high.
  • Greenhouse gas concentrations topped 400 parts per million for the first time in at least 800,000 years

Every credible line of evidence tells us that the Earth’s climate will continue to change in mostly harmful ways. That means governments, communities, and companies need to reduce climate-altering emissions and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts we’re already experiencing and that will grow worse without emissions reduction.

To help planners and risk managers in the public and private sectors make use of existing government climate data, C2ES is hosting a webinar to discuss “Using Climate Data in the Real World.” Government scientists from NOAA and Argonne National Lab will describe the climate datasets available for public use and how climate model outputs can be “downscaled” to provide granular data relevant to resilience planners. Business representatives will share their experience using this data in real world decision-making.

The September 27 webinar is just one component of C2ES’ work to promote information-sharing and collaboration between scientists, businesses, and governments to assess climate vulnerabilities and develop resilience strategies. 

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