2005 Year In Review E-Newsletter

In This Issue

Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council Grows

During 2005, the Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council gained three new members—Exelon, GE, and Alcan. The BELC is now the largest U.S. based association of corporations focused on addressing the challenges of climate change, with forty-one members representing $2 trillion in market capitalization and over 3 million employees.

Learn more about the BELC and the climate-related activities of its member companies.


Congressional Activity

In 2005, the Senate negotiated the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which included several provisions for climate-friendly technologies.

Read the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Two proposals for mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions were also introduced this year. Read the Pew Center's analyses of these proposals:

Climate Stewardship Act of 2005, McCain (R-AZ), Lieberman (D-CT)

Climate and Economy Insurance Act of 2005, Bingaman (D-NM)

Comparison of McCain-Lieberman and Bingaman Proposals

Consult the Pew Center website for a complete list of bills, resolutions, and amendments related to climate change introduced in the 109th Congress.

In November, Eileen Claussen testified before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on U.S. and international approaches to climate change.


State/Regional Activity

In the absence of U.S. federal leadership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many U.S. states and regions have begun taking actions to address the issue of climate change. States often function as "policy laboratories," developing initiatives that serve as models for federal action. This has been especially true with environmental regulation—most federal environmental laws have been based on state models.

Notable headlines from 2005 include:

Seven Northeastern States Establish a Cap and Trade Program to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Power Plants

North Carolina Establishes Climate Change Commission

New Mexico and California Set GHG Emission Targets

Read more about state and regional activities.


Advancing the International Climate Effort

At the historic UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal earlier this month, governments concluded the decade-long round of negotiations that launched the Kyoto Protocol and opened a new round of talks to begin considering the future of the international climate effort.

Read the Pew Center's summary of COP 11 and COP-MOP 1.

Two weeks before the Montreal conference, the Pew Center released the Report of the Climate Dialogue at Pocantico, which brought together 25 senior policymakers and stakeholders from 15 countries to develop options and recommendations for advancing the international climate change effort beyond 2012.

At the report's release, Senators Richard G. Lugar (R-Indiana) and Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Delaware) announced the introduction of a joint Sense of the Senate Resolution, S. Res. 312, calling for the United States to participate in negotiations under the Framework Convention on Climate Change to establish mitigation commitments by all major GHG-emitting countries.

Download the Pocantico report.

Read about the report and the Lugar-Biden resolution.

For additional information on international climate efforts, consult these reports, available for download from the Pew Center Website:

Climate Data: Insights and Observations

Climate Data: A Sectoral Perspective

Implications for U.S. Companies of Kyoto's Entry Into Force without the United States (PDF)


Climate Change and Environmental Impacts

In terms of overall hurricane activity (number and intensity of storms), the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active season on record. The destruction wrought by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma focused the world's attention on our vulnerability to extreme weather events.

Read FAQs on hurricanes.

In Depth Analysis: Was Hurricane Katrina a result of global warming?

Read about catastrophic risk management (PDF).

Pew Center Report: Observed Impacts of Global Climate Change in the U.S.


Popular Pew Center Web Content of 2005

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS): Insights and Observations (pdf)

Towards a Climate Friendly Built Environment

U.S. Electric Power Sector and Climate Change Mitigation

Pew Center on Crichton's "State of Fear"


Looking Ahead to 2006

Agenda for Climate Action

The scientific consensus on global climate change has only strengthened, but there is, as yet, no consensus on the appropriate portfolio of policies that are required to successfully tackle the problem. The "Agenda for Climate Action" is the Pew Center's attempt to fill that gap. It takes a comprehensive look at a suite of climate, energy, and technology policies that could provide meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions throughout the economy. Release is slated for February, 2006.


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