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Climate and Environmental Policy. Terrence Mullens November 15 2011 Met 112. Outline. Global/International Policies Federal/National Policies State/City/Local Policies Personal Policies (i.e. What YOU are doing). Recall…. IPCC Assessments suggest human influence on climate

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climate and environmental policy

Climate and Environmental Policy

Terrence Mullens

November 15 2011

Met 112

  • Global/International Policies
  • Federal/National Policies
  • State/City/Local Policies
  • Personal Policies (i.e. What YOU are doing)
  • IPCC
    • Assessments suggest human influence on climate
    • Use climate models to predict future temp changes
  • Kyoto Protocol
    • In effect in Feb 2005
    • Sets emission targets for 37 industrialized nations
    • Reduce GHG emissions 5% below 1990
    • No target for developing countries
    • US did not sign
    • Expires next year!
    • Several possible successors have been considered (Copenhagen, 2009, Washington, 2007)
  • One of the biggest challenges is how to allow developing countries to continue their growth without increasing Greenhouse Gasses.
  • Kyoto practically allowed for them to use whatever means necessary to develop, while asking developed countries to reduce their emissions.
    • Seems very fair, but it’s the reason why the United States did not sign it.
un climate change conference
UN Climate Change Conference
  • “Copenhagen Summit” or COP15
  • 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Follow-up to Kyoto protocol
    • Intent to establish policy beyond 2012
  • A follow-up to many UN CCC’s
    • Bali Roadmap created at COP13 in Bali, Indonesia in 2007
    • Says binding agreements to be made at Copenhagen
  • High expectations for legally binding agreements at Copenhagen!

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon





copenhagen accord
Copenhagen Accord
  • Drafted by US, China, India, Brazil, South Africa
  • Primary stipulations:
    • Keep global temp increase below 2°C
    • Cut GHG emissions (each country to establish their reduction goals)
    • Raise funds to help developing countries grow sustainably
    • Reduce deforestation and promote sustainable land use
  • US proposed to cut GHG levels by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020
problems of copenhagen accord
Problems of Copenhagen Accord
  • Not legally binding, no firm commitments made
  • Many countries (especially developing) oppose, as well as NGO’s
  • Countries stated their proposed actions, but no agreement reached
  • Many perceive COP15 and Copenhagen Accord as a failure.
copenhagen accord1
Copenhagen Accord
  • Fierce negotiations took place during conference, near end of conference it seemed no agreements could be reached
  • Large protests, 40,000-100,000 people
  • People wanted “strong and binding agreement” between countries on climate change mitigation
  • By end of Jan 2010, 140 countries “agreed” to Copenhagen accord
copenhagen accord2
Copenhagen accord
  • Further negotiations have occurred and are planned.
    • COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico in 2010
    • COP 17 in South Africa in 2011
    • Either Qatar or South Korea in 2012
    • It’s quite likely that the 2012 meeting will be soon enough to prevent a gap in the commitment periods between Kyoto and Copenhagen
other attempts
Other attempts
  • Washington Declaration, 2007 (aka the G8 + 5)
    • A NON-BINDING agreement between most developed countries, as well as several developing countries. (The U.S., U.K., Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan (G8), and Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa)
      • Global cap-and-trade system that would apply to both developed and developing countries.
      • Hoped to have this in place by 2009… obviously we all know that didn’t happen.
      • This agreement obviously leaves out many other foreign countries
assembly bill 32
Assembly Bill 32
  • California Global Warming Solutions Act
  • Signed by Gov. Schwarzenneger 2006
  • Sets 2020 emissions reduction goal as a law
  • 1990 emission levels target for 2020
stipulations of ab 32
Stipulations of AB 32
  • Firm limit on emissions for all consumers/producers
  • Per capita reduction from 14 tons CO2/year to 10 tons/year
  • Reduction in 30% of vehicle GHG emissions by 2016
  • Improved appliance efficiency standards
  • Add 1 million solar roofs, alternative energy sources
  • Adopt green building practices, green existing buildings for efficiency
  • More efficient agricultural equipment, distribution
  • Emissions audit for largest 800 emitters in CA
  • Reduce methane from landfills with high recycling, zero waste programs
opposition to ab 32
Opposition to AB 32
  • Concern it will cost small businesses money, place restrictions on small business
  • Concern it will drive business and industry out of state
    • Green jobs fastest growing job market in CA!
  • Concern it will add thousands to household bills/homeowner costs
    • Efficient appliances, buildings reduce bills
  • AB 32 rules and market mechanisms to take effect Jan 1, 2012, and become legally enforceable!
proposition 23
Proposition 23
  • Called the “California Jobs Initiative” by it’s supporters and the “Dirty Energy Initiative” by opponents.
  • If passed, it would have suspended the implementation of AB 32 until the state’s unemployment rate dropped below 5.5% for four consecutive quarters (a fiscal year)
    • This has only occurred four times in the past 30 years… so essentially, Prop 23 would have killed AB 32 for quite a while.
    • Proponents argued that it would spur job creation by making the state more business friendly.
is reducing environmental regulations the only thing that creates jobs
Is reducing environmental regulations the only thing that creates jobs?
  • Does the money saved by companies due to deregulation even go into job creation?
  • What are alternative ways of creating jobs?
    • Outsourcing?
    • Green Jobs?
    • “Stimulus Projects”?
    • Infrastructure improvements?
san jose green vision
San Jose Green Vision
  • Within 15 years, the City of San José in tandem with its residents and businesses will:
  • 1. Create 25,000 Clean Tech jobs as the World Center of Clean Tech Innovation
  • 2. Reduce per capita energy use by 50 percent
  • 3. Receive 100 percent of our electrical power from clean renewable sources
  • 4. Build or retrofit 50 million square feet of green buildings
  • 5. Divert 100 percent of the waste from our landfill and convert waste to energy
  • 6. Recycle or beneficially reuse 100 percent of our wastewater (100 million gallons per day)
  • 7. Adopt a General Plan with measurable standards for sustainable development
  • 8. Ensure that 100 percent of public fleet vehicles run on alternative fuels
  • 9. Plant 100,000 new trees and replace 100 percent of our streetlights with smart, zero-emission lighting
  • 10. Create 100 miles of interconnected trails
san jose green vision1
San Jose Green Vision
  • Try to keep San Jose at forefront of innovation
  • Measurable goals! Helps with public motivation
  • Launched in 2007
  • Give incentives for clean tech companies
  • Incentives for solar panels
  • Improve transit system
  • Adopt and encourage efficiency products (ex: lighting)
  • Green building ordinances
  • Increase recycled H2O
other policies carbon offsets
Other Policies:Carbon Offsets
  • People can purchase carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Ex- flight to Europe adds 3-4 tons to your carbon footprint!
  • Purchase carbon credits at $5-$20 per ton to “offset” carbon emitted by your actions
  • Carbon trade companies invest in projects that reduce GHG’s
  • Install windmills, geothermal, solar energy projects
carbon trade companies
Carbon Trade Companies
  • Make sure you use a reputable company. Research their standards and practices.
  • Gold Standard companies adhere to strictest regulations
  • Some notable, respected companies:
    • Airshed (New Zealand)
    • Climate Care (UK)
    • GEQ (Chile)
    • ZeroCO2 (Canada)
    • Native Energy (US)
compliance vs voluntary market
Compliance vs. Voluntary Market
  • Some businesses, governments are required to purchase carbon offsets under Kyoto Protocol if not meeting their goals
  • Compliance market
  • Large share of carbon trade
  • Countries/governments can trade with countries with carbon surplus or purchase credits
  • Most businesses, local governments, NGO’s and individuals part of voluntary market
  • Trading volumes much smaller
  • No established rules, regulations. Purchasing credits to help reduce GHG’s
rebates and incentives
rebates and incentives
  • Local and Federal government programs offer rebates and incentives to individuals and small businesses
  • Not manditory
  • Designed to increase efficiency and lower amount of energy used by individual/business
  • Main categories:
    • Building materials
    • Appliances
    • Energy
    • Water
examples of rebates incentives
Examples of Rebates/Incentives
  • Photovoltaics (solar) installed on home or business
    • Tax credit of 30% of cost from US Dept of Energy
  • From excess solar energy created by your system
    • $1.10-1.90 per watt given to public utility system from CA Public Utilities Commission
  • Energy efficient building materials (roofing, doors, insulation, windows, lighting
    • Rebates both local and federal
  • Rebates for energy efficient appliances (Energy Star)
  • In Monterey County, $25 rebate per 100 gallons up to 25,000 gallons for installing water catchment system
challenges to a carbon friendly lifestyle
Challenges to a “Carbon-Friendly” Lifestyle
  • Much of the carbon-friendly infrastructure is still considered extremely costly to individuals.
    • Toyota Prius: $23,250
    • Solar Panel instillation: at least $8,000 (Before 30% credit)
    • Even more energy-friendly appliances are most costly… though those costs can quickly be offset by energy savings… so there is a benefit.
more practical ways to reduce carbon footprint
More practical ways to reduce carbon footprint…
  • Eat more energy efficient foods
    • Chicken, Fish, and especially vegetables are much more carbon-friendly
more practical ways
More practical ways…
  • Traveling a short distance (say, less than 5 miles)? Ride a bike, or walk!
  • Longer distance? Public Transportation and Carpools are great!
    • Here in the Bay area, we have an excellent public transportation system, making it easy to get around, even long distances.
traveling even further
Traveling even further?
  • Consider taking the train!
    • While it takes longer, it is about 20% more energy efficient than flying, and about 30% more than driving. (Source: US Department of Energy)
    • In addition to being more efficient, taking the train offers some great views!
the green ninja
The Green Ninja
  • An inter-departmental effort between the SJSU College of Science and the College of Humanities and Arts.
  • A “Climate Action Superhero” who battles Global Warming by showing people how to live more energy-efficient lifes.
the green ninja pilot episode
The Green Ninja: Pilot Episode
  • The Global Policy Issue in dealing with climate change deals with allowing developing countries to develop.
  • The Federal/State Policy Issue in dealing with climate change deals with creating an eco-friendly yet economical/job-creating state.
  • The more local and individual policy issues deal with both affording eco-friendly infrastructure and lifestyles as well as encouraging more practical steps to reducing carbon footprints.
final thoughts
Final thoughts
  • While Climate Change and Environmental issues are often sensationalized into major issues such as GLOBAL warming and GLOBAL/FEDERAL steps to counteract it, this perspective makes it hard for us to feel like we can/do make a difference.
  • An alternative approach is to incorporate a more individualistic view on what can be done. In other words, don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture.
    • Seek many smaller steps in your own life to make the world a better place, such as using your car less, or recycling, or even by not littering. If everyone did this, the larger problems wouldn’t be so large.
  • Air Resources Board
  • COP15
  • Green Vision San Jose
  • US Department of Energy
  • Tufts Climate Initiative
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Gold Standard
  • Wikipedia
  • The Green Ninja
  • You have discussed challenges we face with climate change and ways to mitigate climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Write down:
    • 3 things the US/California/San Jose could do to limit global warming
    • 3 things YOU can do as people/consumers/students to reduce GHG and limit global warming
    • Was this lecture clearer/more understandable/better overall from my last one or not? More suggestions.
if we have time
If we have time…
  • Let’s discuss this!
    • What can we do to heal our planet?
    • What are some challenges to doing so? What are some excuses to doing so?
    • Do you really think pollution creates jobs? Or just profit?
    • Why should we even care? Political, Moral, Religious reasons? Stewardship reasons (Being smart with what we have)?