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Projecting and Accelerating U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:48:17 +0000

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Projecting and Accelerating U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reductions

September 2017

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More than 190 nations representing more than 95 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions offered “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement reached in December 2015. The NDC submitted by the Obama administration on behalf of the United States is an economy-wide target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The Trump administration is now weighing whether to “suspend, revise, or rescind” policies to help meet this goal, and has announced its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. President Trump has also suggested the possibility of “re-entry” under revised terms; one option may be a recalibrated U.S. NDC. Analyses suggest that even with some key climate policies rolled back, U.S. emissions in 2025 could range from 14 percent to 18 percent below 2005 levels. In the absence of additional federal policy, stronger action by states, cities and companies can help reduce emissions further. The brief looks at progress in reducing U.S. emissions, how existing and proposed policies may affect emissions through 2025, and additional steps that can achieve stronger reductions.




Beyond the Horizon: Corporate Reporting on Climate Change

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:37:27 +0000

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section:  0 Register Here Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:00 - 13:30 Free Webinar:Beyond the Horizon:Corporate Reporting on Climate ChangeMonday, Oct. 2, 2017Noon - 1:30 pm Register Here 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."SpeakersDr. Neil HawkinsChief Sustainability Officer and Corporate Vice President for Environment, Health & SafetyThe 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 ArnoldManaging Director and Global Head of Sustainable FinanceJPMorgan 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 AhmadSolutions FellowC2ESFatima 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.    [...]



American Mayors and Businesses: Building Partnerships for a Low-Carbon Future

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:41:01 +0000

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American Mayors and Businesses:
Building Partnerships for a Low-Carbon Future

September 2017

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The summary case studies contained in this document are meant to illustrate how cities can partner to achieve their clean energy goals. Whether it is Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonazales’ Verde Fund, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s Climate Positive 2040, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Renew Boston Trust, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s “100 Percent Renewable Energy”, Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ HERO Residential PACE program, or Duke Energy’s Utility Collaborations with the cities of Charlotte and Asheville, North Carolina - all these model programs show that informed cooperation is the key to our mounting a sustained clean energy strategy from the local level up.

Read the full survey.




Survey finds cities are pushing ahead with climate change efforts

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:07:39 +0000

For Immediate ReleaseMonday, September 18, 2017Contacts:Alec Gerlach, 703-516-0621, press@c2es.orgSara Durr, 202-215-1811, sara@durrcommunications.com    Cities Push Ahead with Climate Change EffortsNationwide Survey Finds Many U.S. Cities Leveraging Purchasing Power, Business Relationships to Drive Climate and Energy SolutionsNEW 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 [...]



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

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 18:01:35 +0000

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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 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.




Companies set their own carbon price to guide decisions

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

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 metr[...]



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

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:29:58 +0000

Press ReleaseSept. 12, 2017Contact: Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org, 703-774-5480C2ES outlines how and why companies use carbon pricing to prepare for climate changeWASHINGTON – 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/c2esCarPrEvent: The Business of Pricing Carbon: How Companies are Preparing for Risks and OpportunitiesDate: Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 10-11 a.m. ETLocation: Free online webinar. More info at: h[...]



The Business of Pricing Carbon: How Companies are Pricing Carbon to Mitigate Risks and Prepare for a Low-Carbon Future

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 17:44:47 +0000

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The Business of Pricing Carbon:
How Companies are Pricing Carbon to Mitigate Risks and Prepare for a Low-Carbon Future

September 2017

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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. Establishing a carbon price across a company can help internalize the cost of greenhouse gas emissions by assigning a monetary value to each ton emitted. The brief describes the business case for internal carbon pricing, the different internal carbon pricing approaches used by companies, and key lessons learned, including: the multiple business benefits of an internal carbon price, the importance of embedding the price in a company’s business strategy, and the benefits and challenges of different types of pricing strategies.

Read the blog.

Read the press release.

Watch the webinar with Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Mahindra Group; Bob Stout, Vice President & Head of Regulatory Affairs, BP America; and  Liz Willmott, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation.




What Hurricane Harvey tells us about climate change

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:40:57 +0000

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 climat[...]



August 2017 Newsletter

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:18:07 +0000

Lessons from Hurricane Harvey, why clean energy makes sense, and more

docUploads/august-2017-newsletter.html