Initiatives

VW Settlement in Action: How Cities, States, and Businesses Can Get Involved

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1 p.m. EDTRegister Here

C2ES Webinar:

VW Settlement in Action:
How Cities, States, and Businesses Can Get Involved

 

October 26, 2017, 1 p.m. EDT

 

Register Here

 

Please join the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) for a webinar on upcoming deadlines and funding opportunities under the Mitigation Trust established under the $14.7 billion Volkswagen Settlement, which became effective Oct. 2. The webinar will also discuss experiences in planning electric vehicle charging strategies and related investments..

 

Speakers

Cassie Powers
Senior Program Director, National Association of State Energy Officials

Kirk Brown
Director for Strategic Partnerships, Plug In America
(Invited)

Tyler Svitak
Energy and Transportation Administrator, City and County of Denver

Moderator
Dan Welch
Solutions Fellow, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

 

From SunShot to a Carbon Capture Moonshot


C2ES President Bob Perciasepe speaks at a discussion higlighting the successes of carbon capture technology with Al Collins, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs, Occidental Petroleum Corporation; David Greeson, Vice President of Development, NRG Energy; and Christopher Romans, Senior Manager for Government Relations, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America.

Last month, the Department of Energy announced the solar industry met an ambitious goal to make the solar electricity market competitive, a feat achieved three years ahead of schedule. The SunShot initiative, as it was called, is a great example of what that can be achieved with the help of federal and state policies that promote private sector investment. Now it’s time to apply that formula and commitment to other clean-energy technologies, including carbon capture, use and storage.

The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory concluded that the country has already reached the SunShot initiative’s 2020 price goals of $1 per watt and less than six cents per kilowatt-hour for utility-scale solar energy. This is an impressive display of policy solutions in action, current International Trade Commission dispute notwithstanding.

This was achieved with the help of federal investments in research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D), as well as a federal investment tax credit and a federal loan guarantee to support project financing. Meanwhile, strong state policies like the California Renewables Portfolio Standard supported deployment by enabling developers to enter into above-market power purchase agreements.

Carbon capture, like solar and other low-carbon technologies, will be essential to meeting our long-term emissions reduction goals. This versatile technology can be applied to coal and gas-fired power plants, as well as steel, cement, and fertilizer production plants and refineries.

2017 has already been a banner year for carbon capture. NRG Energy’s Petra Nova project came online as America’s first commercial-scale coal-fired power plant retrofitted with carbon capture and the largest of its kind in the world, and the ADM Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage project opened as the world’s first commercial-scale ethanol plant retrofitted with carbon capture. Even with these successes, more national investment in RDD&D and support for private sector commercialization is needed. The International Energy Agency warns that carbon capture technology is not on track to meet long-term emissions reduction goals necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change .

To highlight current successes and the potential of next-generation technology, C2ES organized a policy briefing featuring U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). As proof that bipartisan progress on energy policy is possible, the four in July introduced the FUTURE Act, which would extend and expand the Section 45Q tax credit for carbon capture. The Senate bill has 25 sponsors. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) also introduced legislation on 45Q in the House, and it also has substantial bipartisan support from 38 sponsors.

Speakers at the C2ES event highlighted the need for federal policy leadership to expand corporate investment in carbon capture technology and bring next-generation technologies to market. Carbon capture technology also needs overlapping incentives like federal tax credits, loan guarantees, and state portfolio standards that worked to help bring down the cost of solar energy.

Two days before the C2ES event, a hearing before Sen. Barrasso’s Environment and Public Works Committee highlighted opportunities to invest in pipelines for manmade carbon dioxide, to spur regional investment in carbon capture.

Carbon capture would also benefit from the use of Private Activity Bonds, often used for infrastructure projects like airports and water sewer projects. To this end, in April 2017, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced the Carbon Capture Improvement Act, and Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas) introduced a companion bill in the House.

Congress can also support carbon capture through the appropriations process, particularly through continued support for carbon capture RDD&D. For FY 2018, the House of Representatives appropriated $668 million for the Office of Fossil Energy, and it would be beneficial for the final appropriation to be close to this level. Support for large-scale transformational pilot projects (such as in the House’s FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill) and using the loan guarantee program for carbon capture projects would also be helpful.

Looking ahead, DOE should develop a strategy and long-term roadmap—a “Carbon Capture Moonshot.” Building on the success of the SunShot initiative and the Petra Nova and ADM project milestones of 2017, it is the right time to invest in carbon capture to increase lower carbon energy production, reduce emissions, and grow our economy, while keeping and creating jobs in the process.

 

Mayors, Businesses Pick Up the Ball on Climate

C2ES President Bob Perciasepe speaks at a panel discussion with U.S. mayors at Climate Week NYC. Also pictured are Salt Lake City, Utah, Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Des Moines, Iowa, Mayor Frank Cownie and Santa Fe, N.M. .Mayor Javier Gonzales, chairman of the Alliance for a Sustainable Future.

The Paris Agreement sent a strong signal that the nations of the world are ready to address climate change. But, they are not alone. States, cities, and companies have been showing climate leadership, and they can make strong progress in the near term. 

In the absence of federal leadership on climate policy, local governments and businesses are pushing ahead efforts to reduce carbon emissions and spur the transition to a low-carbon future. In a meeting of The US Conference of Mayors (USCM) in June, the 1,400-member Conference pledged to support cities establishing targets of powering their communities with 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035. Importantly, the question of how cities across the U.S. will reach such ambitious goals must be answered through a variety of practical solutions.

The full potential of local climate measures has yet to be realized. By working together with businesses and other cities, effective programs can be implemented more economically across the country. In a new nationwide survey by The USCM and C2ES, a third of participating cities revealed they are already working with businesses and other local governments to reduce emissions. And in a set of newly released case studies, we’ve captured how some of these partnerships are advancing climate action in communities around the country:

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

City governments can lead their communities in energy efficiency efforts, and most start with action in their own buildings. Two-thirds of surveyed cities have established efficiency standards for new and existing municipal buildings, and half have policies to promote efficient commercial and residential buildings. Cities are taking a variety of steps to reach all types of building sectors in their communities:

  • Kansas City promotes energy efficiency investments in residential buildings through an innovative PACE loan program. In conjunction with the Missouri Clean Energy District and Renovate America, the HERO program offers Kansas City residents loans to finance home energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. Since its launch in September 2016, the HERO program has approved 650 residential assessment applications and completed 538 projects with homeowners in the city, an estimated value of $5.2 million.
  • The Renew Boston Trust is ensuring that City of Boston buildings are as efficient as possible through an expansive, long-term energy service performance contract with Honeywell. As a first step all city facilities will undergo an energy audit (a step that 2/3 of surveyed cities report routinely pursuing to some degree), which will be followed by a focus on improvements to 38 pilot facilities.
  • While cities are leading efficiency efforts through policy measures, utilities are important partners in successfully cutting energy use. Duke Energy is working in North Carolina with the cities of Charlotte and Asheville to pioneer approaches to cut energy use in commercial buildings and establish a community-wide strategic energy planning process to meet community preferences to avoid additional natural gas generation.  

RENEWABLE ENERGY

The sustainability survey also revealed that cities large and small are supporting renewable energy in their communities, with 65% of responding cities purchasing renewable energy for municipal operations.

The potential impact of cities fully supplying their operations with clean power is tremendous: the aggregate electricity bill of just 74 surveyed cities sums to over $1.4 billion, representing a significant potential investment in the renewable energy industry. While some of these dollars are already going toward renewable electricity purchases, the ambitious renewable energy goals of a broad group of cities points to greater procurement expectations. For example, eighteen of the cities considering entering the renewable electricity market in the next few years spend a combined $123.5 million annually.

The following cities are pioneering programs to advance renewables in their community, providing examples that could be replicated across the nation:

  • Las Vegas powers 100% of its municipal operations with clean energy while greatly reducing electricity costs. The City has pursued energy efficiency projects and installed clean energy systems on municipal buildings. The remaining electrical demand is met by clean energy produced at the Boulder One solar facility, contracted through a simple but innovative Renewable Energy Agreement with utility NV Energy. Through these efforts, the city has reduced its emissions by 90% and cut annual electricity costs from $15 million in 2008 to just $9 million in 2017.
  • A new Santa Fe program aims to jointly address economic disparity and sustainability efforts. The city’s newly established Verde Fund ensures that the benefits of solar energy and energy efficiency reach disadvantaged communities through a unique fund for local non-profits. The inaugural Verde Fund recipients bring solar and energy efficiency technologies to moderate and low-income households, and integrate workforce development into their delivery models.
  • In August 2016 Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain Power signed a Clean Energy Cooperation Statement pledging to work together to meet the city’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. The unique 5-year agreement requires the city and utility to report progress annually. This establishes more frequent check-ins than a typical 25-year franchise agreement, which is commonly held by cities and utilities.

The innovative local programs and policies described represent incremental steps towards an economy that provides Americans affordable and abundant clean energy, energy efficiency, and low-carbon transportation. These collaborative investments and strategies create environmental and financial benefits, and can also address economic and resilience issues that challenge communities.

Cities and businesses are experiencing the impacts of climate change now and want to reduce the risks of even greater harm in the future. That’s why they’re already demonstrating that elements of a low-carbon future are beginning to improve our communities, and there is plenty of room for greater action. Without the certainty and leadership of the federal government, partnerships will become increasingly essential to a successful and swift transition to a low-carbon future. Luckily, more than half of U.S. cities are interested in establishing new collaborations, and appear ready to lead the country toward a sustainable future for us all. 

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

Download (PDF)

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 are 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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Watch video

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 10012-9604Watch video

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

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

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.

  

Video of our Sept. 19 discussion at Climate Week NYC

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 was invitation-only.

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 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 902Watch video

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

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

 

Watch video of the event

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.)

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