Projected Future GHG Emissions Growth % Percent change from 2000 Source: WRI, Baumert et al, 2005
Heat index combines temperature and humidity to measure discomfort. Washington DC July heat index was 87°F in 1970, reaches about 98°F in a 2xCO 2 world and 110°F in a 4xCO 2 world. Under BAU, were headed for 4x.
Drought Expectations The Palmer Index is most effective in determining long term droughta matter of several months and is not as good with short-term forecasts (a matter of weeks). It uses a 0 as normal, and drought is shown in terms of minus numbers; for example, minus 2 is moderate drought, minus 3 is severe drought, and minus 4 is extreme drought.
Bush Administration Climate/Energy Policy Initiatives Goal: to reduce US GHG intensity by 18% by 2012 –Equivalent to ~4% reduction relative to BaU –Total emissions increase by 31% over 1990 levels –Further measures in 2012 if target not met Voluntary initiatives –Improve voluntary registry (provide baseline to give credits for real reduction; likely to require legislation) –Climate VISION Partnership (12 sectors and BRT work with EPA, DOE, DOT and USDA to reduce GHG emissions) –Climate Leaders (EPA corporate partnership with individual companies; 50 companies now participating) Fuel economy standards for light trucks (20.7mpg 22.2mpg by 2007) Tax incentives for GHG reductions (RE, EE and sequestration)
USG Roadmap for Climate Change Technology Development and Deployment for the 21st Century Source: U.S. Climate Change Technology Program Strategic Plan, Draft for Public Comment – September 2005
Numerous Proposals have been made in the US Congress… …although few have passed GHG reduction GHG Reporting Supporting International Negotiations Energy Policy Appropriations Power Plants Transport Hydrogen Clean Coal Carbon Sequestration Buildings Waste recycling Science/Research
McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act Summary: –A bill establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradable allowances –Cap: at 2000 levels by 2010 Voting History: –October 2003: 43-55 –June 2005: 38 - 60
Sense of the Senate (Vote 54-43) Congress finds that (1) greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere are causing average temperatures to rise… and are posing a substantial risk…; (2) there is a growing scientific consensus that human activity is a substantial cause…; and (3) mandatory steps will be required to slow or stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions …. Sense of the Senate Congress should enact a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such emissions…. -- US Senate: June 2005
The Safe Climate Act of 2006 (H.R. 5642, Rep Waxman) Freeze U.S. GHG emissions in 2010 at the 2009 levels. Beginning 2011, cuts emissions by roughly 2% per year (reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020). After 2020, cuts emissions by roughly 5% per year (by 2050, emissions will be 80% lower than in 1990). Implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through: –Cap-and-trade program (with auctioned permit revenues supporting Climate Reinvestment Fund) –Standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles that are at least as stringent as the current California standards. EPA must tighten these standards in 2014 and periodically thereafter. –Standards requiring an increasing proportion of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources, reaching 20% in 2020. –Standards requiring utilities to obtain, each year, 1% of their energy supplies through end use energy efficiency improvements
Lugar-Biden Resolution (Introduced November, 2005; passed from committee May, 2005) It is the sense of the senate that the US should act to reduce the...risks posed by climate change…by: (1) participating in negotiations under the UNFCCC …and leading efforts in other international fora with the objective of securing United States participation in agreements that (a) advance and protect economic and national security interests (b) establish mitigation commitments by all countries that are major emitters (c) establish flexible international market mechanisms to minimize the costs (d) achieve significant longer term reductions
Climate Action Plans Source: Pew Climate Center
Renewable Energy Mandates Source: Pew Climate Center
States with Biofuel Mandates Source: WRI, CAIT Ethanol Mandates Biodiesel Mandates
US Renewable Resources Geothermal Source: U.S. Climate Change Technology Program Strategic Plan, Draft for Public Comment – September 2005
Goal: A regional cap-and-trade program initially covering CO 2 emissions from power plants –Stabilize emissions at base levels through 2014 –Reduce by 10% by 2018 Region statistics: –7 states represent 7% US total GHG emissions – 1.5% of world GHG emissions ( Australia, rank 15 th ) Other states: MD (just signed), MA (expected to rejoin with new governor) US market developing too 31
California Policies Transport –Starting in 2003,10% light duty vehicles to be zero emitting –15% of buses with zero emissions by 2008 Registry of GHGs (CCAR) RPS: 20% by 2017 $62 million public research program
Fox News Climate Change Poll (October 25-26, 2005) Who do you think should be mostly responsible for protecting the nations environment? Do you think the Global warming situation is best described as a crisis, a major problem, or is it not problem at all?
US Shareholder Resolutions on Climate Change 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005 Source: WRI based on Investor Network on Climate Risk
Concluding Comments Climate change impacts are already being seen in the US, and are projected to become more severe Federal action is limited: The Bush Administration has paid only lip service to the problem, and Congress, while authoring many proposals, has passed very few Most climate efforts are at the State and local level; these are beginning to shape both pubic opinion and corporate behavior. For the foreseeable future, the US is likely to operate in a highly fragmented policy regime, including combinations of government regulations, markets and technology, augmented by private sector initiatives; these will vary from State to State and sector to sector. Ultimately, the race is between effective policy and emissions reductions, and climate change and increased impacts. So far, impacts are winning. – This may change in the next presidential election – but perhaps less than many would wish as a result of the entrenched nature of the US energy sector in the economy