Initiatives

Mayors Leading the Way on Climate: How Cities Large and Small are Taking Action

Mayors Leading the Way on Climate:
How Cities Large and Small are Taking Action

September 2017

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Mayors across the country are taking action to address these real climate change threats by committing to reduce carbon emissions. A nationwide survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as part of their partnership, the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, demonstrates that cities pushing ahead their efforts to implement climate programs. The survey also shows that cities are eager to partner with  business and other communities to expedite carbon reduction initiatives to meet aggressive goals. 

Read case studies from this survey.

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Webinar -- The Business of Pricing Carbon

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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.

A year after a devastating flood, lessons in building resilience

Nearly one year after a devastating flood in Ellicott City, Maryland, shoppers pass by reopened businesses and shuttered ones in the same block of historic Main Street.

Nearly a year after a devastating flood, business is bustling again along Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland, but signs of the disaster remain. Just steps away from shops with flags flying and doors open are others with “space available” signs and boarded-up windows. Construction equipment sits at the corner.

Climate change is increasing the odds that communities across the United States will face similar risks. To withstand these disasters, communities must become more resilient, and a C2ES report offers ways for state and local governments to help.

On July 30, 2016, more than six inches of rain fell in two hours in a low-lying area in central Maryland bounded by two rivers. Water gushed down a historic Ellicott City street lined with antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. The flood damaged 90 businesses and caused more than $22 million in damages to infrastructure.

The economic damage didn’t stop there. The county where Ellicott City is located lost between $42 million and $67 million in economic activity and as much as $1.3 million in tax revenues because of the flood.

With the help of loans from the state and private donations, more than 90 percent of the damaged businesses have reopened, and some new ones are moving in.

The National Weather Service classified the storm as a thousand-year rainfall event – meaning that scientists using historic data calculate a one-in-a-thousand chance of an event like this occurring each year. But as the climate keeps changing, the odds of seeing extreme weather go up, increasing the risks to communities and businesses throughout the country.

Almost 40 percent of small businesses nationwide never reopen their doors following a disaster event. Those closings can have an especially big impact; small businesses account for more than half of U.S. sales and jobs.

Small business owners often are unaware of their climate risks and lack the time and resources to prepare for the impacts. Fewer than half of Maryland small businesses that replied to a C2ES survey said they knew about climate risks. Most said they lacked resources to learn about them, and that available resources do not directly address local risks most relevant to them.

But state and local governments in Maryland and elsewhere can help their small businesses become more climate-resilient by following the recommendations in C2ES’s framework for engagement.

When engaging with small businesses on weather and climate resilience, the C2ES framework recommends state and local officials:

1.    Use trusted messengers to convey climate information. These include organizations that small businesses frequently interact with, like city or county chambers of commerce, trade associations, and other business organizations.

2.    Leverage existing channels of communication. State agencies and local agencies often already interact with businesses on preparedness, emergency planning, flood management, long-term planning, and economic development. Climate resilience information can be incorporated into these interactions. Likewise, existing resilience efforts can be broadened to include the business community.

3.    Identify new opportunities. New programs and information can be developed on small business resilience, such as public-private partnerships and business resilience networks. Training materials and other resources can be distributed via trusted messengers.

4.    Distribute targeted information. Businesses need more information on what they can realistically do to become more resilient to extreme weather and climate change. Sector- and location-specific information can help businesses better understand their risks and opportunities for enhancing resilience. 

The extreme weather risk to communities like Ellicott City will only increase as the Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm from rising greenhouse gas emissions. But state and local governments have opportunities to open new channels of communication to help small businesses become more climate resilient and able to survive disasters.

State of the Art: Innovations in CO2 Capture and Use

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Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902RSVP Here

State of the Art: Innovations in CO2 Capture and Use

September 14, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902

120 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC

RSVP Here

Imagine if carbon dioxide from power and industrial plants could be put to productive use.

U.S. companies are already investing in innovative technologies to capture and re-use carbon emissions in jet fuel, automobile seats, and other products. Aligned with objectives of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, researchers are exploring new ways to transform carbon emissions into commercial products such as low carbon fuels and building materials.

At this free, public event, experts will provide updates on these breakthrough technologies, and lawmakers will discuss ways to speed up their deployment.

Agenda

8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast

9 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Bob Perciasepe
President, C2ES

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
(D-ND)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
(D-RI)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
(R-WV)

Sen. John Barrasso
(R-WY)

9:30 – 11 a.m. Corporate Investment in CO2 Utilization

David Greeson
Vice President of Development, NRG Energy

Al Collins
Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs, Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Christopher Romans
Senior Manager for Government Relations, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America

Moderator
Bob Perciasepe
President, C2ES

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Next-Generation Technologies in Carbon Capture Use and Storage

Laura Nereng
Sustainability Leader for the Electronic and Energy Business Group, 3M

Dr. Marcius Extavour
Director, Energy, NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

Bill Brown
Chief Executive Officer, NET Power LLC

Dr. Julio Friedmann
CEO, Carbon Wrangler, LLC

Moderator
Dr. Janet Peace
Senior Vice President for Policy and Business Strategy, C2ES

Bipartisan support grows for carbon capture

Bipartisan support is growing on Capitol Hill and beyond to accelerate carbon capture deployment on power plants and industrial sources like steel and cement plants. This support comes from lawmakers who share a common interest in increasing the production of domestic energy resources and reducing carbon emissions.

On July 12, a bill co-sponsored by 25 senators was introduced that would provide a performance-based incentive to capture CO2, put it to productive use, and store it safely and permanently underground.

The FUTURE Act (Furthering carbon capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions) would extend and expand a federal tax credit, known as Section 45Q, which incentivizes capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from power and industrial sources for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and other uses. CO2-EOR is a decades-old process that produces domestic oil from existing fields, while safely and permanently storing billions of tons of CO2. Recent analysis demonstrates its climate benefits.

Bill supporters cross the aisle and the country. They include Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Other bipartisan bills would help unleash private capital to scale up more carbon capture projects. The Carbon Capture Improvement Act, introduced in April by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), would authorize states to use private activity bonds to help finance carbon capture equipment. A companion bill was introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Marc Veasey (D-TX). Private activity bonds are widely used to develop U.S. infrastructure, such as airports and water and sewer projects. (Join a free C2ES webinar on private activity bonds July 24.)

Clean Innovation: Why it Makes Business Sense

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Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center901 K Street, NW, 11th FloorWashington, DC 20001Watch video of this event

Please join Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) for a conversation on Clean Innovation: Why it Makes Business Sense. The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to discuss the business drivers for innovation in clean energy and low-carbon technologies across a broad range of industries.

U.S. companies are leading the world in developing new products and solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help support the economy including new, more efficient industrial technologies; alternative vehicles and transportation systems; renewable energy; and carbon capture and sequestration. The panel will explore the business drivers and challenges associated with clean innovation across multiple sectors and geographies.  These issues include growing customer demand, competitiveness concerns, cost pressures, efficiency gains and enhanced performance.  

Wednesday, July 19 • 10:00 am – 11:30 am • Light refreshments provided.

Watch the video here

OPENING REMARKS BY:

U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (ND – At large)
Member, House Committee on Energy and Commerce

A DISCUSSION FEATURING:

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

Peter Fuller 
Vice President, Market & Regulatory Policy, NRG Energy

Michelle Patron 
Director, Sustainability PolicyMicrosoft

Seth Roberts
Global Director, Energy & Climate ChangeThe Dow Chemical Company

Paul Steffes 
CEO and President, Steffes Corporation

Click to Register

Follow the discussion on Twitter:  #CleanInnovation

Event Location: Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center 
901 K Street, NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20001 

This event has been planned to comply with the requirements of the Legislative and Executive Branch gift rules. Executive Branch personnel wishing to attend should consult with their designated Agency Ethics Office.

 

 

Video: July 19, 2017 at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center


 

Action on VW settlement heating up as summer approaches

Summer is around the corner, bringing barbeques, warm weather, and road trips. U.S. residents may benefit from Volkswagen (VW) funding for those last two items (and Nissan bravely experimented with the barbeque): reducing air pollutants that cause harmful health effects in warm weather through a Mitigation Trust, and extending electric vehicles’ (EVs) driving range through a series of charging infrastructure investments. Both programs are set to take effect shortly, and cities and businesses may benefit from early action.

As a quick reminder, VW is putting $4.7 billion in two separate funds for mitigating nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and investing in zero-emission vehicles as part of a settlement for installing devices designed to bypass U.S. auto emissions tests. (The two funds are shown below and described in greater detail in this blog post.)

Mitigation Trust to Reduce NOx emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

The Mitigation Trust will allocate funding to each state to spend on reducing the NOx emissions that were created by the altered VW vehicles. The funding will be disbursed within the state by one lead agency that must be approved by an appointed trustee. The trustee, investment firm Wilmington Trust, was selected in March. Once all parties confirm Wilmington Trust, which could happen any day, the Trust Effective Date will be established. The Trust Effective Date is essentially the “starter’s pistol” that will set the process of distributing Mitigation Trust funds to states in motion. The general timeline for applying for and receiving funds is shown below, though several deadlines are flexible and may proceed more quickly than the maximum amount of time allocated.

 

Cities and businesses should contact and work actively with the lead agencies in their states to identify and promote opportunities to replace older diesel engines and vehicles. Several states have already identified their lead agencies or principal contacts and are beginning to design plans for how the available funding will be spent. Though funding can be spent over 15 years, as much as two-thirds can be spent within the first two years. Therefore, it is in the best interest of cities or businesses to engage with state agencies early.

ZEV Investment to Expand public EV charging

VW’s initial ZEV Investment is also ready to be put into action through a $200 million California Investment Plan and a $300 million National Investment Plan that covers all other states. VW submitted separate investment plans that cover the next 30 months earlier this year to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The EPA approved the National Investment Plan, which allocates $40 million to lower-powered community charging in 11 major cities and $190 million to higher-powered fast charging along selected highways across the nation. Community charging will be focused in New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, Portland (OR), Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Raleigh. Estimated highway charging installations are displayed in Table 3 of the National Investment Plan (page 22).

Though the cities and corridors have been chosen, the sites and vendors have not. The process of selecting sites and vendors for the bulk of charging stations is scheduled for the second and third quarters of 2017. Cities identified for investments in community charging or nearby corridor charging can work with VW’s subsidiary, Electrify America, to identify optimal locations that may promote retail growth or adoption by low-income communities in multi-unit dwellings by hosting charging stations. Businesses may also benefit from increased traffic to use public charging stations (as C2ES has covered in a report on EV charging station business models) or from the opportunity to work with Electrify America to install charging stations.

CARB has not yet approved the California Investment Plan out of concerns for social equity and EV charging market competitiveness, sending a letter to Electrify America requesting that a supplemental plan reflect greater investments in low-income communities. Once CARB approves a plan, California cities and businesses should also consider opportunities to work with Electrify America to optimally site charging stations during the first 30-month round of investments. During the next round of investments, slated to begin in late 2019, proposals to Electrify America may be more successful if they incorporate CARB’s concerns and demonstrate air-quality benefits to low-income communities or a need to fill regional EV charging gaps.

With action on both VW settlements’ funding programs taking shape, cities and businesses should be prepared to identify opportunities to reduce NOx emissions and promote EV adoption .

 

Framework for Engaging Small and Medium-sized Businesses in Maryland on Climate Resilience

Framework for Engaging Small- and Medium-sized Businesses in Maryland on Climate Resilience

May 2017

By Katy Maher and Janet Peace

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Many small businesses are not aware of the risks they face from changing climate conditions, and may not have plans in place to respond and recover from weather events. This issue is especially important in Maryland, where small businesses—defined as those with fewer than 500 employees—contribute heavily to the state’s economy. This report offers recommendations for both state and local officials on how to engage with small businesses, resources and information needs, and generally, how to best support businesses in enhancing resilience to extreme weather and climate change.

Key Takeaways

  • Use trusted messengers: Identify who businesses regularly engage with. Work with business networking organizations.
  • Leverage existing channels: Incorporate resilience into business activities. Expand resilience efforts to include businesses.
  • Identify opportunities: Form public-private partnerships. Develop business resilience networks.
  • Distribute targeted information: Tailor the message. Identify steps businesses can take.
Janet Peace
Katy Maher
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