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 Wildfires 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


12 10

temperature change (

8 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 1900

observations higher emissions lower emissions






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



U.S. sources of fossil fuel CO2:

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, climate (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 Initiative
• 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, communities • 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 climateenergy 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 communities
• • • • • • 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

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