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Climate Challenge,

Energy Challenge
December 16, 2008

Norman Willard
Energy Team
U.S. EPA New England
Boston, MA
(617) 918-1812
The greenhouse effect, the greenhouse gases

800,000 year association of CO2 and
temperature: yesterday, today & tomorrow
Carbon dioxide and temperature – increasing
CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and
increasing temperatures worldwide
Global effects, local impacts
Climate change impacts around the
planet related to warming
Shrinking glaciers, melting ice cap,
ice shelves collapsing
Sea levels rising
Damaged coral reefs
Earlier springs, longer autumns
New heat records
Altered precipitation patterns – droughts, dumps, ice
More flooding, inundation, erosion and infrastructure damage
Species stressed – our flora, our fauna
Regional temperatures are rising
Source: NECIA Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment - 2007
Future Northeast temperatures under 2 GHG
emission scenerios – high & low
Source: NECIA


higher emissions
temperature change (

lower emissions


1900 1950 2000 2050 2100
Community impacts are real: storms, surges,
erosion, droughts, flooding, ice – property,
infrastructure damage, adaptation & recovery costs



U.S. sources of fossil fuel CO2:
Power plants, factories, highway motor vehicles
source: image Purdue University/Kevin Gurney
Buildings as biggest slice of the GHG pie

US Energy Consumption

US Electricity Consumption
States – “Gold Star” work on energy,
(EPA too)
• GHG inventories, climate action plans
• Mandatory reporting of GHG: MA, CA, others
• State GHG reduction targets: MA, ME, CT, others
• Clean energy, energy efficiency initiatives
• Green buildings, upgrades, codes
• Regional initiatives: low carbon fuels, transportation,
voc. ed./community college “green labor force”, lead by
example, law suits
• Best management practices, technical forums,
expertise, funding, science, tools
Regional climate initiatives
The Climate Registry
To standardize and centralize high quality GHG data into a
North American GHG registry to support voluntary and
mandatory reporting programs
RGGI – Regional Greenhouse Gas
• Cap and trade CO2 emissions
• 10 Northeast states – ME, NH, VT, MA, CT,
RI, NY, NJ, DE, & MD
• Electricity sector (for now)
• Additional states ?
• Auction CO2 “allowances”
• Generate large revenue stream ($38M in October
alone for handful of states w/more on the way)
Mandatory reporting of GHG/energy use

• EPA Rulemaking soon…

– Thresholds
– Frequency of reporting
– Sectors, sources

• MA, CA, other states

• Development projects and carbon implications
Coming federal activity

• National “cap and trade” ? Carbon tax ?

• National environment-energy czar ?
• Infusion of resources for states,
• Targets: green infrastructure, energy
efficiency, renewables, transportation, jobs
• Guidance, tools for communities
800+ U.S. mayors have already
committed to energy - climate action
Communities, groups taking climate-
energy action

Mass Climate Action Network – 59

member municipalities and chapters

Cities for Climate Protection – upwards of

100 communities across New England

Community energy committees

Energy efficiency: Benefits for

• Reduced energy costs in community

• Free up resources for other uses
• Energy security, stability
• A jobs base
• Local, durable investments
• Cheapest source of new energy
Adapting to climate impacts
(aka planning)
– vs. “mitigation” (i.e., reducing GHG emissions)
– assess vulnerabilities in community (storm events, floods, drought,
natural resources, the built environment roads, culverts, sewers,
energy delivery systems, water management systems, property:
businesses, homes, schools)
– assessing risk with major uncertainty factor
– new programs, new tools – Climate Resilient Communities, Climate
Ready Estuaries, etc.
– Keene, NH (also, NYC, Miami-Dade, MD, Boston, Seattle, etc.)
– states just now gearing up to help communities
– zoning, steering development, codes, emergency planning
– “plan ahead” for resiliency to reduce costs of losses, cleanup,
recovery, reconstruction
– federal, regional, state and international interest is surging
– EPA, FEMA, Corps of Engineers, USCG, NOAA, Federal Hwy, etc.
– Insurance industry
Climate Challenge,
Energy Challenge

Norman Willard
Energy Team
U.S. EPA New England
Boston, MA
(617) 918-1812
U.S. GHG emission sources by sector