Tag Archives: Greenhouse gas

United States Carbon: Boulder City Council Wants 80 Percent Greenhouse Gas Reduction By 2050

Boulder should pursue an aggressive goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, and it can do that without extreme austerity if it can add a lot of renewable energy in the next decade through a municipal utility, City Council members said Tuesday night.

At a study session, the City Council took up the question of what the city’s new climate goal should be, now that the Kyoto Protocol is widely viewed as inadequate to slow climate change: carbon neutrality or 80 percent reductions by 2050.

Many climate scientists believe at least 80 percent reductions are necessary to mitigate the worst effects of global warming.

Councilwoman Lisa Morzel supported the more ambitious goal of achieving complete carbon neutrality and pointed to the example of some European countries that have made significant strides in adding renewables and changing energy use.

City Council members did not take a vote Tuesday because they were in a study session, but a majority said they supported the 80 percent goal as more feasible and better defined.

Councilman Ken Wilson said to achieve complete carbon neutrality, the city would need to account for the goods residents buy, the food they eat, their airplane travel and every other product and service they use.

Without changing the energy supply, achieving an 80 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 would require Boulder residents to cut their electricity use a quarter by 2020 and in half by 2030. They would have to reduce their travel by car from an average of 20 miles a day in 2013 to less than four miles in 2050.

But Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn said the future could be one of energy abundance and economic prosperity if Boulder adds significant renewable energy and positions itself as a leader in emerging technologies related to energy conservation and clean energy.

“This isn’t just the right thing to do morally and ethically,” he said. “It’s actually the most powerful economic engine we could engage our community in to position ourselves for the future. The path to austerity is if we stay tied to carbon energy. The future is very bright with renewable energy.”

For example, with cleaner electricity, people could drive electric cars without adding to the city’s emissions.

Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum said more important than the city’s stated goal is the rate at which it makes progress. With a municipal utility, the city could get half of its electricity from renewable sources within a few years.

But Councilman George Karakehian said the city may end up buying power from Xcel Energy for several years even if it forms its own utility.

Councilwoman Suzy Ageton said the city should be careful not to make commitments about things that are out of the city’s control.

Environmental planners are working on five- and 10-year targets to keep the city on track to meet the new climate goal, which is expected to be formally adopted in early 2014, as well as new tools to help them measure their progress.

The city may eventually adopt new commercial energy-efficiency mandates, but planners say they first need better ways to track energy use in more complicated commercial buildings that may have multiple tenants or a wide variety of business types.

Boulder is also working with other cities, along the Front Range and in the Pacific Northwest, to share ideas and experiences working to reduce emissions.

One idea the city is considering — borrowed from Portland — is the idea of “eco districts,” neighborhood organizations that would work on efforts to reduce emissions that matched local priorities, whether that was improving pedestrian safety so people can walk more or contracting collectively for solar panels.

The effort will be tied into other city initiatives, from the transportation master plan to neighborhood design to building codes.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

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United States Carbon: Buildings Account for 39% of CO 2 emissions in the United States

The commercial and residential building sector accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions in the United States per year, more than any other sector. U.S. buildings alone are responsible for more CO 2 emissions annually than those of any other country except China. Most of these emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling and lighting, and to power appliances and electrical equipment. By transforming the built environment to be more energy-efficient and climate-friendly, the building sector can play a major role in reducing the threat of climate change.

A growing source of CO2 emissions:
  • In 2004, total emissions from residential and commercial buildings were 2236 million metric tons of CO 2 , or 39% of total U.S. CO 2 emissions—more than either the transportation or industrial sector
  • Over the next 25 years, CO 2 emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than any other sector, with emissions from commercial buildings projected to grow the fastest—1.8% a year through 2030
  • When other CO 2 emissions attributable to buildings are considered—such as the emissions from the manufacture and transport of building construction and demolition materials and transportation associated wi th urban sprawl—the result is an even greater impact on the climate

Buildings consume 70% of the electricity load in the U.S. The most significant factor contributing to CO 2 emissions from buildings is their use of electricity:

  • Commercial and residential buildings are tremendous users of electricity, accounting for more than 70% of electricity use in the U.S.
  • The building sector consumed 40 quadrillion Bt us of energy in 2005 at a cost of over $300 billion. Energy use in the sector is projected to increase to 50 quadrillion Btus at a cost of $430 billion by the year 2025.
  • The energy impact of buildings is likely to be even greater when taking into account other energy use attributable to buildin gs. For example, the energy embodied in a single building’s envelope equals 8-10 times t he annual energy used to heat and cool the building.
  • Buildings have a lifespan of 50-100 years during which they continually consume energy and produce CO 2 emissions. If half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50% less energy, it would save over 6 million metric tons of CO 2 annually for the life of the buildings—the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road every year.

Green buildings are a vital tool in the fight against climate change

Scientists predict that left unchecked, emissions of CO 2 and other greenhouse gases from human activities will raise global temperatures by 2.5ºF to 10ºF this century. The effects will be profound, and may include rising sea levels, more frequent floods and droughts, and increased spread of infectious diseases. To address the threat of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be sl owed, stopped, and reversed. Meeting the challenge will require dramatic advances in technologies and a shift in how the world economy generates and uses energy.

Building green is one of the best strategies for meeting the challenge of climate change because the technology to make substantial reductions in energy and CO 2 emissions already exists. The average LEED certified building uses 32% less electricity and saves 350 metric tons of CO 2 emissions annually. Modest investments in energy-saving and other climate-friendly technologies can yield buildings and communities that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthier places to live and work, and that contribute to reducing CO 2 emissions.

Green buildings provide abundant opportunities for saving energy and mitigating CO 2 emissions

Building green can reduce CO2 emissions while improving the bottom line through energy and other savings. Examples of measures that can be taken to improve building performance include:

  • Incorporating the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with operations and maintenance of such systems to assure optimum performance
  • Using state of the art lighting and optimizing daylighting
  • Using recycled content building and interior materials
  • Reducing potable water usage
  • Using renewable energy
  • Implementing proper construction waste management
  • Siting the building near public transportation
  • Using locally produced building materials

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Can Obama’s Climate Change Policy Reduce Carbon Emissions?

carbon emissions

President Obama recently presented the latest version of his Climate Policy.  In addition to expanding on the scope of previous plans that would increase clean energy supplies, energy efficiency, and reduce high global warming potential gases, the President now recommends better preparing the country for future climate impacts, and has directed the EPA to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants.  While the current plan covers a very broad range of climate related strategies, the question is: how successful can this new proposed policy be in actually reducing U.S. carbon emissions in the future?

History of the Current Administration’s Climate Policy

The Democratically controlled House developed and passed the American Climate and Energy Security Act (ACESA) in 2009.  Besides creating a U.S. carbon cap-and-trade program, ACESA 2009 would have established an initial carbon emission target of reducing 2005 levels by 17% in 2020.  Despite the apparent strong support by the Democratic Party and the President, the Democratically controlled Senate failed to consider any form of ACESA 2009.

Prior to the recent Copenhagen Summit negotiations the President announced his Climate Policy plans to possibly commit the U.S. to carbon reductions identical to ACESA 2009.  Once again the Democratically controlled Senate did not support the Copenhagen Summit due to issues concerning the economy (and political?).

The Administration’s next round of developing a Climate Policy was to incorporate different elements into a combined Energy-Climate Policy proposal.  Besides including many yet to be realized ‘all of the above’ energy strategies, the policy covered diversifying energy sources including renewable power, clean coal and nuclear.  Clean coal development was somewhat sidelined by the EPA’s new ‘mercury and toxic standards’ (MATS) that effectively prevented the construction of new coal power plants.  Due to a combination of the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster and historic anti-nuclear opposition, U.S. nuclear power capacity has stagnated and possibly peaked in recent years.

On June 27, 2013 President Obama presented a speech on his most recent version of a Climate Policy.  Besides proposing the U.S. become more involved internationally, the issue of controlling carbon emissions from power plants has clearly become a new priority.

Recent U.S. Carbon Emissions Performance

U.S. carbon emissions (from consumption of fossil fuels) peaked in 2007 at 6023 million metric tons per year (MMT/yr.) and total emissions have since declined by about 12% in 2012.  This reduction in carbon emissions has been due primarily to reduced coal and petroleum consumption.  Natural gas consumption actually increased by almost 10% 2007-12.

The reduction in overall U.S. carbon emissions has been due to a number of factors.  The largest contributing factor is due to recent increases in domestic production and decline in natural gas prices.  This development led to substantial ‘fuels switching’ from more expensive coal to cheaper natural gas.  The second largest contributing factor is due to increased light vehicle fuel efficiency standards (CAFE) put in place by past Administrations and recently updated by the current Administration.  The third largest carbon emission reduction factor is due to a combination of general energy efficiency upgrades and the 2007-09 economic recession.  The combination of these top-3 factors accounted for about 83% of reduced U.S. carbon emissions 2007-12.

Wind and solar power generation capacities have increased by 600% and 300% respectively over the past five years.  Expansion of these renewables have accounted for about 13% of total reduced U.S. carbon emissions 2007-12.

Current Projected U.S. Carbon Emissions

The DOE/EIA routinely develops projections for U.S. energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.  These projections include the impacts of all significant regulations and market factors that can affect energy production and consumption.  The latest projection, ‘Annual Energy Outlook 2013’ (AEO 2013), includes the impacts of the latest new CAFE standards, increased oil & gas production, further recovery from the most recent economic recession, and growth in population and GDP.

The AEO 2013 (reference case) report projects that total U.S. carbon emissions are expected to increase 2013-20.  This increase is due to projected growth in natural gas and coal consumption over the next 7 years.  These results are somewhat surprising considering the recent progress made since 2007 in reducing U.S. carbon emissions, particularly in the growth of renewables and improved energy efficiency.  While the EIA projects that renewables and energy efficiency will continue to grow significantly through 2020, the full recovery of the economy and growth in population are anticipated to more than off-set these gains in clean energy and efficiency.

Feasible Actions to Achieve Obama’s Climate Policy Carbon Emission Target

President Obama’s current Climate Policy addresses a number of factors not included in the AEO 2013 report.  The most significant missing factors appear to be the carbon target of reducing 2005 levels by 17% in 2020 and limiting power plant carbon emissions.  Achieving such a carbon reduction target would reduce U.S. total emissions to 4,979 MMT/yr. in 2020.  Since 2005 actual U.S. carbon emissions have been reduced from 5,999 MMT/yr. to 5,290 MMT/yr. in 2012.  This 709 MMT/yr. reduction in U.S. carbon emissions was due to the combination of fuels-switching, efficiency upgrades and the economic recession.  As the U.S. more fully recovers from the recent economic recession how can the current level of U.S. carbon emissions be feasibly reduced to 4,979 MMT/yr. in 2020?

The AEO 2013 currently predicts that U.S. total carbon emissions will increase to 5,455 MMT/yr. in 2020.  Achieving Obama’s published Climate Policy target by 2020 means reducing current U.S. total carbon emissions by 476 MMT/yr.  While this reduction over the next 7 years only represents 2/3rds of the reduction achieved over the past 5 years, the challenge will likely be quite significant as the overall economy fully recovers from the 2007-09 economic recession and GDP annual growth returns to normal historic average levels.

Many of the newly proposed Climate Policy solutions to reduced U.S. carbon emission, such as increased CAFE, Residential energy efficiency, renewable power, etc., are already included in the current AEO 2013 projections.  Added improvements such as new heavy duty vehicle efficiency standards and further biofuels developments are highly uncertain due to lack of currently proven technologies.  Future technology innovations and breakthroughs in these areas are possible, but yet to be commercially developed.  To most feasibly achieve the 2020 carbon reduction target will likely require building on recent successes in reducing carbon emissions (2007-12) and the EPA’s new mission to substantially reduce power plant carbon emissions.

The largest contributing factor towards reduced carbon emissions over the past 5 years has been fuels-switching from coal-to-natural gas.  Since natural gas power generation carbon emissions are only about 40% that of equivalent coal power generation, this strategy will likely be further required in the near future in order to achieve substantial carbon emission reductions by 2020.  Such a fuels-switching carbon reduction strategy would also be very consistent with the EPA’s mandate to reduce power plant carbon emissions.

Based on coal-to-natural gas fuels-switching a carbon balance was developed from the AEO 2013 reference case total annual carbon emission data.  Refer to the following table.

EIA Reported and Projected Data – 2005/2012 and 2020

Million Metric Tons Carbon Emissions per Year

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Data sources – EIA ‘Monthly Energy Reports’ (MER) and AEO 2013 data performance for 2020.  The (17%) 2020 data are based on displacing coal power generation with cleaner natural gas power.

The above data shows that by displacing coal power with natural gas power generation capacity total U.S. carbon emission in 2020 could be readily reduced by 17% of 2005 levels.  This would effectively reduce current coal power generation capacity by almost half, and, natural gas power capacity would increase by about 2/3rds in 2020.

Obama’s latest Climate Policy includes many strategies that could further reduce carbon emissions or reduce the need for coal-to-natural gas fuels-switching.  Further increased wind and solar power generation is a reasonably feasible action.  The AEO 2013 projects that wind + solar power will only increase by about 25% during 2012-20.  This level of renewable power supply could be possibly quadrupled through increased Government support during the same period.  By effectively doubling current wind + solar power generation 2012-20 this would reduce natural gas power plant fuel consumption by an equivalent of almost 40 MMT/yr. of carbon emissions in 2020.  Similarly, increasing the energy efficiency of the Residential and Commercial Sectors has the potential to reduce the need for future coal power plant generation and associated carbon emissions by up to another 100 MMT/yr.; depending on efficiency upgrade costs, future energy-power costs and the level of new Government subsidies.

Natural Gas Production Will be Critical to Future Reduced U.S. Carbon Emissions.

In an ideal world high carbon intensity coal could be totally replaced by zero-carbon renewable wind and solar power generation.  However, these renewable technologies are still constrained due to their normal variable power generation performance.  While wind and solar can displace natural gas peaking and intermediate power plants fuels consumption, these renewable power sources cannot currently displace significant ‘base load’ coal power generation capacity or the level of required natural gas generation capacity required to backup all variable renewable power supplies.  Only when industrial scale power storage becomes an economically feasible and available reality, will variable wind and solar be able to displace substantial fossil fuels base load power capacity.

During the interim until industrial scale power storage becomes available, lower carbon natural gas will be required to maintain power grid supply-demand balances, stabilities and overall general reliabilities.  Other low-zero carbon power generation alternatives are currently available to displace natural gas including hydropower, geothermal, solar thermal and possibly nuclear.  However, a broad range of economic, permitting, environmental impact and political barriers continue to hold back more significant development of these lower-zero carbon alternatives to natural gas.

Domestic Natural Gas Production will be Another Critical Factor

The AEO 2013 projects U.S. domestic natural gas production will only increase by about 1.5% per year 2012-20.  This is a relatively conservative forecast based on recent history.  Since 2005 U.S. natural gas production (dry) has increased an average of 4% per yr. due to innovative hydraulic fracturing technology.  Increasing natural gas power generation as shown in the above data table would increase the Power Sector’s natural gas consumption by about 3.3 Trillion cubic feet per year above the maximum production levels in the AEO 2013 report.  If this EIA estimate was accurate, fuels-switching to reduce half of coal power generation could result in a very significant shortage of available domestic natural gas supply and create a new need for imports before 2020.  However, if more recent actual increases of domestic natural gas production continue for at least the next several years, supplying the future need for fuels-switching and reduced carbon emissions should not be an issue.  This domestic natural gas production-supply concern will also be reduced if proposed Climate Policy strategies to further increase wind + solar power capacity and increased energy efficiency are significantly successful.

Another natural gas supply and disposition issue that will be impacted are the recently approved LNG export projects.  The Administration recently approved projects in Pennsylvania and Texas to allow LNG exports in the near future.  With the apparent need to reduce coal consumption most likely via fuels-switching, any future approval of LNG export projects could be inconsistent with the proposed Climate Policy carbon reduction target.  Substantially increasing the level of coal-to-natural gas fuels-switching may also make it necessary to shutdown approved U.S. LNG exports-facilities in the near future.

Reduced U.S. Carbon Emissions Cost Impacts

Shutting down almost 50% of all existing coal power generation and expanding natural gas power generation capacity by up to 67%, plus some level of further expanded wind + solar power, will require substantial capital and operating cost increases 2014-20.  As natural gas consumption rapidly increases, the current excess domestic production-supply market condition could rapidly disappear, leading to substantial increases in future natural gas prices.  These added costs to reduce U.S. total 2005 carbon emissions by 17% in 2020 will substantially increase power costs.  Consumers could experience on the order of 50%+ increases in future power costs compared to AEO 2013 projections.  How much of this increase in power costs will be possibly off-set by the proposed Climate Policy energy efficiency upgrades or further increases of other renewables will likely be strongly debated in the near future as the Obama Administration begins implementing the new policy actions through different Executive Orders.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: UPS Reports Reduction of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today released its annual Sustainability Report announcing that while the total number of packages shipped in 2012 increased, the company reduced its total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Environmental achievements included ground and air fuel savings, increased investments in alternative fuel vehicles, and retooled routes that shaved 12.1 million miles from ground deliveries.

“UPS also set a new alternative fuel goal,” said David Abney, UPS Chief Operating Officer. “By 2017, the company will reach one billion miles driven by alternative fuel/advanced technology vehicles – more than double the previous 400 million mile goal.”

For the second year in a row, UPS earned superior credentials for reporting transparency: A Sustainability Report that fulfills the Global Reporting Initiative’s requirements for an A+ level as well as third-party assurance of its report and greenhouse gas data from Deloitte & Touche LLP. Less than 20% of all GRI Sustainability Reports are A+.

“Our industry-leading accomplishments showcase innovative technology and global operational efficiency gains as well as world-class credentials for rock-solid data,” said Scott Wicker, UPS Chief Sustainability Officer. “The report’s theme, More of What Matters, sharpens UPS’s focus on how to make the most measurable positive impact through sustainability business practices and logistics expertise.”

Highlights of the 2012 report include:

  • Reduction in the absolute amount of global greenhouse gas emissions from operations and purchased energy of 2.1 percent compared to 2011
  • Rapid expansion of UPS’s dedicated global healthcare infrastructure to more than 6 million square feet (0.557 million m2)
  • A Global Forestry Initiative to plant more than 1 million trees by the end of 2013
  • Humanitarian relief efforts in 35 countries, with related in-kind donations valued at US$2.6 million
  • Total Charitable Contributions and United Way donations of US$97.5 million, up from 2011 by US$4 million
  • 1.8 million volunteer hours donated by UPS employees, friends and families, a new record

Noteworthy in 2012 is that UPS Airlines, which represents 57 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint, reduced its fuel use and carbon production. Air shipping volume rose 4.8 percent year over year, while fuel use dropped 1.3 percent.

One of the cornerstones of UPS’s environmental strategy is to support the development and use of lower-emission alternative fuels. Vehicles represent approximately 35 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint. UPS is accelerating its testing, purchase and deployment of new-generation vehicles. Between 2000 and the end of 2012, the alternative fuel/advanced technology fleet has logged 295 million miles with an ambitious new goal of 1 billion miles set for 2017. In 2012, this growing fleet drove 49 million miles, a 43 percent increase compared to 2011.

Earlier this year, UPS announced plans to add nearly 1,000 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tractors in the next two years, expanding its current fleet of 2,700 alternative fuel and technologically advanced vehicles. The fleet today includes all-electric, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, natural gas (LNG, compressed natural gas), propane, biomethane, and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

The new Sustainability Report also cites the greenhouse gas reductions, fuel savings and miles avoided through the innovative use of technology. For example, telematics data fed through vehicle sensors helped UPS cut more than 206 million minutes of engine idling time last year, saving more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel. Routing technology increased pickup and delivery stops per mile, saving 12.1 million miles of driving which equates to approximately 1.3 million gallons of fuel.

Details of UPS’s GHG initiatives and all of our sustainability programs can be found in the report available at www.ups.com/sustainability.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. The company also has a world-class sustainability program committed to positive social, community and environmental impact. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS’s Corporate Sustainability Report and related information can be found at www.ups.com/sustainability and www.pressroom.ups.com.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United Statees Carbon: What is sustainability?

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

What is United States Carbon doing?

United States Carbon combines the best in class technology utilizing, SMART WEB, SAETEC and SHOMEL to achieve the most comprehensive approach to reduction of energy in exchange for Carbon Assets. Our software solutions measure energy consumption and create the baseline for the Carbon Assets. Our solution can be offered as software service (SaaS) to large greenhouse gas emitters for corporate social responsibility, reporting and compliance management.

A United States Carbon Sustainability Plan is self-funding.  Benefiting People, Planet, And Profits…at the same time. Contact us today and let us show you how.

United States Carbon aims to make sustainability the next level of environmental protection by drawing on advances in science and technology to protect human health and the environment, and promoting innovative green business practices.

How can I help?

United States Carbon has tools to help you learn and understand the issues and help you reduce your environmental footprintVisit our website.

Government Regulations and Practices

Executive Order 13423: “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management” of 2007 set policy and specific goals for federal agencies to ”conduct their environmental, transportation, and energy-related activities under the law in support of their respective missions in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound, integrated, continuously improving, efficient, and sustainable manner.”

Executive Order 13514: “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” of 2009 enhances EO 13423 “to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) a priority for Federal agencies.”

The Federal Government Sustainability website includes the latest information from federal agencies relevant to developing and maintaining sustainable facilities and to developing and promoting sustainable practices within their environmental programs.

Greening EPA. EPA implements a wide range of programs to reduce the environmental impact of its facilities and operations, from building new, environmentally sustainable structures to improving the energy efficiency of older buildings.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Maryland Shores Up Support For Ambitious GHG Reduction Goal

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is advocating more than 150 programs and initiatives that support his state’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2020, a plan that goes farther than any other state except Massachusetts.

With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline, Maryland is one of many US states at highest risk for sea level rise.

Aside from supporting a 55 million metric ton reduction in GHG emissions, the plan will generate $1.6 billion in economic benefits, create more than 37,000 jobs and positively impact public health, Governor O’Malley told business leaders, scientists, and environmental and renewable energy advocates who attended his state’s summit on climate change last week in Linthicum, Md.

Climate change is not an ideological issue any more than gravity is: it’s not about whether we move left or right, but whether we make the right choices for Marylanders. As severe weather events continue to grow in size and impact, and elongated trends of poor air quality continue, the costs of inaction would grow exponentially,” says Governor O’Malley. “In Maryland, we are moving forward and taking action by creating green jobs and protecting our land, water, air and public health.”

 

For more than six years, Governor O’Malley has been one of the most vocal national leaders for taking action on fighting climate change. Many of the programs announced in late July are expansions of existing efforts, meant to accelerate progress toward the bigger goals. He signed the state’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009, requiring Maryland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% from a 2006 baseline by 2020. The act will be up for another vote in 2015, which means state lawmakers will have to decide whether to stick with it or develop a new framework.

Governor O’Malley’s administration isn’t waiting around for that. Here are some of the main strategies that support the state’s reduction goal:

Accelerated renewable portfolio standards – The state currently requires for Maryland power providers to source 18% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, increasing to 20% by 2022. The new plan seeks an increase beyond the 20% to drive additional GHG emissions reductions. Earlier this year, Maryland became the first state to subsidize offshore wind development, which is being held back by huge upfront costs for developers. It is also one of the “Dazzling Dozen” states leading the way in solar installations.

Strengthened energy-efficiency measures – The EmPOWER Maryland program aims to reduce both Maryland’s per capita total electricity consumption and peak load demand by 15% by 2015, but the governor is calling for a higher goal.

A zero waste target – The state is adopting a strategy to ensure all products in Maryland can be reused, recycled or composted. Currently, the state requires that 60% of “government managed” waste be better utilized or recycled by 2020. The average county recycling rate is 45%.

Tougher emissions standards – The Maryland Clean Cars Program directly regulates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, effective with model year 2011 vehicles.

Improved regional cooperation – Maryland is part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the cooperative cap-and-trade initiative that includes nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The RGGI voted to lower the regional emissions cap, and Maryland will work on changing its own standards this summer.

Many of these programs are in place; they will be strengthened through new policies and policies, says Governor O’Malley.

They have strong support within the state: a recent George Mason University report shows that 86% of Marylanders believe climate change is happening, while three-quarters of them believe that state and local governments should take action to protect communities from the impacts.

“Science is clear that climate change is occurring, is caused primarily by human activities and poses significant risks to Maryland as it does to the rest of the world” says Don Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “Significant reductions in emissions must be made over just a few decades to avoid the worst of the consequences and Maryland has an opportunity and a responsibility to lead.”

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

Why the name United States Carbon?

Why the name United States Carbon? The world has a carbon emissions problem that is threatening (within 40 – 100 years) all biological life on the planet. United States Carbon’s mission is to help businesses of all kinds mitigate their carbon impact on the biosphere by becoming far more energy efficient.

Large rise in CO2 emissions sounds climate change alarm

Hopes for ‘safe’ temperature increase within 2°C fade as Hawaii station documents second-greatest emissions increase.

 

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory, where record CO2 increases are being documented.

The chances of the world holding temperature rises to 2°C – the level of global warming considered “safe” by scientists – appear to be fading fast with US scientists reporting the second-greatest annual rise in CO2 emissions in 2012.

Carbon dioxide levels measured at Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii jumped by 2.67 parts per million (ppm) in 2012 to 395ppm, said Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The record was an increase of 2.93ppm in 1998.

The jump comes as a study published in Science on Thursday looking at global surface temperatures for the past 1,500 years warned that “recent warming is unprecedented“, prompting UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, to say that “staggering global temps show urgent need to act. Rapid climate change must be countered with accelerated action.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com