International Climate Change NegotiationsPaula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
Written Testimony Submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
November 13, 2007
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
When President Bush hosted the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change in September 2007, he stressed that climate change is a real problem, and humans are contributing to it. He also underscored that the United States takes climate change very seriously, for we are both a major economy and a major emitter.
Addressing this global challenge requires substantial global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting this long-term challenge requires a long-term commitment by the international community. And we are committed to doing our part.
As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United States shares with the other 190 Parties to the Convention its ultimate objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system in a time-frame that allows ecosystems to adapt, ensures that food production is not threatened, and enables economic development to proceed.
We look forward to the UN Climate Conference in Bali, Indonesia in December, where we will work to advance negotiations. The Bali conference will mark the beginning of an important process toward a new global framework. In developing a new post-2012 framework on climate change, we seek a global approach that is environmentally effective and economically sustainable. This framework should involve a real effort and commitment of major economies in accordance with their national circumstances.
There is broad international consensus that climate change is best addressed as part of an integrated agenda that promotes economic growth, advances energy security, reduces pollution, and eradicates poverty- as well as mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.
The President has put forth a comprehensive climate change policy. Our robust, flexible approach involves the promotion of international cooperation, near-term policies and measures to slow the growth in greenhouse gas emissions, the advancement of climate change science, and vigorous efforts to accelerate low-carbon and no-carbon technology development and deployment. As Secretary Rice has said, we will need a technological revolution.
The President has requested, and Congress has provided, substantial funding for climate change science and observations, technology, international assistance, and incentive programs—approximately $37 billion since 2001. The President's fiscal year 2008 budget requests nearly $7.4 billion for climate-related activities.
President Bush has consistently highlighted the importance of international cooperation in developing a global response to the complex and long-term challenge of climate change. On May 31, he called upon the world's major economies, from both the developed and developing world, to work together toward a global goal on long-term greenhouse gas reductions. This initiative recognizes that the major emerging economies must join together in a common effort, and that economic growth, energy security and climate change must be addressed in an integrated and sustainable way.
The first Major Economies Meeting (MEM) on September 27-28, 2007, in Washington, D.C., was attended by the personal representatives of leaders from seventeen major economies and the United Nations. In his speech during the MEM, President Bush emphasized, among other things, that these countries would work within the UN process to strengthen programs addressing energy efficiency and to advance the global transfer and adoption of clean energy technologies.
Progress towards a global emissions reduction goal will be underpinned by midterm national targets and programs. In addition, participants will work on sectoral approaches to low carbon power generation, transportation, and land use and steps to disseminate technologies by creating an international clean energy fund and removing trade barriers. The President also proposed strengthening climate-related efforts that benefit all countries, including promoting adaptation to climate change, reversing deforestation and promoting clean energy technology.
By the end of 2008, the Major Economies process will generate a detailed contribution to a post-2012 framework. Our aim is for the Major Economies process to advance negotiations toward a global agreement under the UNFCCC by 2009. Leaders from all G8 and APEC countries have embraced the Major Economies process as a constructive input to the global effort.
Under President Bush's leadership, the United States is successfully carrying out a number of international collaborations—including the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP), the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy (IPHE), the Methane to Markets Partnership (M2M)—and our 15 bilateral and regional partnerships which involve 79 nations and the European Union.
Our results at home compare well with those of other industrialized nations. For the years 2001-2005, inclusive, the U.S. population grew by 5 percent and our GDP grew by 12 percent, while greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1.6 percent. Latest estimates show that from 2005-2006, our economy grew 2.9 percent, while energy-related carbon dioxide emissions decreased 1.3 percent.
The Annex to this statement details selected U.S. programs addressing climate change.
As President Bush indicated at the Major Economies Meeting, climate change is one of the great challenges of our time. In taking on this challenge, the United States is engaged, serious, and pragmatic. Leading international efforts to address climate change will continue to be one of our top priorities.
Selected International and Domestic Components of the U.S. Approach to Global Climate Change
A. Promoting international cooperation
B. Near-Term Polices and Measures to Slow the Growth of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
C. Advancing Climate Science
D. Accelerating Climate Change Technology Development and Deployment
1: U.S.-Initiated Multilateral and Bilateral/Regional Partnerships
A. Promoting international cooperation
Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP)1: The Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate (APP), launched in January 2006 in Sydney, Australia by ministers from Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the United States, is one of our most consequential multilateral initiatives. It is a multi-stakeholder partnership working to generate practical and innovative projects promoting clean development and the mitigation of greenhouse gases. Through engaging private industry as well as government officials, the APP is using public-private partnerships to build local capacity, improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create new investment opportunities, and remove barriers to the introduction of clean energy technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. What makes the approach unique is that APP activities are identified and supported using an innovative "bottom up" approach. Together, APP partner countries account for about half of the world's population, economic output, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The APP has created eight task forces to achieve the Partnership's goals: (1) cleaner fossil energy; (2) renewable energy and distributed generation; (3) power generation and transmission; (4) steel; (5) aluminum; (6) cement; (7) coal mining; and (8) buildings and appliances. The Task Forces, with representatives from both the public and private sectors, have each prepared an Action Plan.
At the New Delhi ministerial meeting on October 15, 2007, the original six APP Partners warmly welcomed Canada as the seventh member of the Partnership. Ministers also released a communiqué2 which summarizes the accomplishments of the Partnership since its inaugural Ministerial meeting in Sydney. Ministers also recognized the eight Task Force Action Plans and their accompanying 110 projects. Agreement was reached on a Flagship portfolio of 18 projects and activities that best exemplify the achievements of the Partnership.3 In addition, the Partners endorsed the Asia-Pacific Energy Technology Cooperation Centre. The meeting concluded with an event with industry in which representatives from the private sector discussed opportunities for collaboration with Ministers and high level representatives present.
The President's fiscal year 2008 budget request includes $52 million to support APP.
Major Economies Meeting: On May 31, 2007, the President called upon the world's major economies, both from the developed and developing world, to work together to develop a global goal on long-term greenhouse gas reductions.4 This international initiative recognizes that the major emerging economies must develop and participate in an effective global strategy, and that economic growth, energy security and climate change must be addressed in an integrated way. The United States in September hosted the first of a series of meetings with other countries—including rapidly growing economies like India and China—to establish a new framework for the post-2012 world. Progress towards a global emissions reduction goal will be underpinned by midterm national targets and programs that are tailored towards each participant's current and future energy needs, and that will be subject to a robust review process. In addition, participants will work on sectoral approaches to energy intensive industries and concrete steps to promote the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. The President believes that by encouraging and sharing cutting-edge technologies, the major economies will build the capacity to meet realistic reduction goals.
As part of his international initiative, the President also proposed strengthening climate-related initiatives at the UN that benefit all countries, including adaptation to climate change, deforestation and technology. Finally, the President's initiative addresses practical action necessary to advance the global development and deployment of clean energy technologies. This could include low-cost capital sources to finance investment in clean energy, mechanisms to share government-developed technology at low cost, or in some cases, no cost at all, and elimination of market barriers.
Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)5: CSLF is a U.S.-launched initiative that was established formally at a ministerial meeting held in Washington, DC, in June 2003. The Forum is focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for the separation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) for its transport and long-term safe storage. Its purpose is to make these technologies broadly available internationally, to identify and address wider issues relating to carbon capture and storage. CSLF, which includes 21 countries and the European Commission (EC), has endorsed 19 international research projects, 13 of which involve the United States, and approved a technology roadmap to provide future directions for international cooperation.
Group on Earth Observations (GEO)6: Of particular importance is the need for a broad global observation system to support measurements of climate and other environmental variables. On July 31, 2003, the United States hosted 33 nations including many developing nations at the inaugural Earth Observation Summit, out of which came a commitment to establish GEO and an intergovernmental, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). While the use and benefits of these observations are extensive, the climate applications of the data collected by the system include the use of the data to create better climate models, to improve our knowledge of the behavior of CO2 and aerosols in the atmosphere, and to develop strategies for carbon sequestration. The United States was instrumental in drafting a ten-year implementation plan for a GEOSS, which was approved by nearly 60 nations and the EC at the 3rd Earth Observation Summit in Brussels in February 2005. The United States also released its contribution through the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observing System in April 2005 to help coordinate a wide range of environmental monitoring platforms, resources, and networks.7 The 4th GEO Plenary session and Ministerial Summit will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, November 28-30, 2007.
5See http://www.cslforum.org/ and http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/sequestration/cslf/. CSLF members are the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, European Commission (EC), France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
6GEO has 71 countries and the EC as Members, as well 46 Participating Organizations (see http://earthobservations.org).
Generation IV International Forum (GIF)8: GIF, formally established in July 2001, is a multilateral collaboration comprised of 10 countries and EURATOM (the European Atomic Energy Community) to fulfill the objective of the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative. GIF's goal is to develop the fourth generation of advanced, economical, safe, and proliferation-resistant nuclear systems that can be adopted commercially no later than 2030. Six technologies have been selected as the most promising candidates for future designs, some of which could be commercially ready in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. GIF countries are jointly preparing a collaborative research program to develop and demonstrate the projects.
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)9: GNEP is a groundbreaking new effort that seeks to develop a worldwide consensus on enabling expanded use of economical, carbon-free nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand. It has two major goals: (1) to expand carbon-free nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand worldwide; and (2) to promote nonproliferation objectives through the leasing of nuclear fuel to countries which agree to forgo enrichment and reprocessing. A more fully closed fuel cycle model envisioned by this partnership requires development and deployment of technologies that enable recycling and consumption of long-lived radioactive waste. The GNEP initiative proposes international partnerships and significant cost-sharing to achieve these goals.
On May 21, 2007, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and senior energy officials from China, France, Japan, and Russia issued a joint statement in support of GNEP.10 At the second GNEP Ministerial held September 16, 2007, in Vienna, Austria, U.S. DOE Secretary Bodman and senior international officials from 16 nations agreed to increase international nuclear energy cooperation through the GNEP.11 China, France, Japan, Russia and the United States—the original GNEP partners—as well as Australia, Bulgaria, Ghana, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine signed a "Statement of Principles", which addresses the prospects of expanding the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including enhanced safeguards, international fuel service frameworks, and advanced technologies.12
International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE)13: Recognizing the common interest in hydrogen research that many countries share, the United States called for an international hydrogen partnership in April 2003, and in November 2003, representatives from 16 governments gathered in Washington to launch IPHE. The Partnership's 16 countries and the EC are working together to advance research, development, and deployment of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies, and develop common codes and standards for hydrogen use. The IPHE Steering Committee has officially recognized 23 collaborative projects to advance the Partnership's goals, and through the IPHE, the U.S. has assisted Brazil and China in developing hydrogen roadmaps.
8See http://www.ne.doe.gov/genIV/neGenIV2.html. GIF member countries include the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, with the OECD-Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency as permanent observers. In July 2006, the GIF voted unanimously to extend offers of membership to China and Russia. These two countries officially signed the GIF Charter in November 2006 at the Policy Group meeting in Paris and have one year to sign the Framework to become full members.
13See http://www.iphe.net/. IPHE Partner members are the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EC, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom.
Methane to Markets Partnership14: In November 2004, the United States and representatives from 13 countries launched the Methane to Markets Partnership, which is led on the U.S. side by EPA, with active participation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), and the State Department. This Partnership, now with 20 member countries and the EC and over 640 public and private sector organizations, focuses on advancing cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source to enhance economic growth, promote energy security, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gases. The Partnership is targeting four major methane sources: landfills, underground coal mines, natural gas and oil systems, and agriculture (animal waste management).
The Methane to Markets Partnership Expo was held in Beijing, China from October 30 to November 1, 2007, to celebrate the third anniversary of the Methane to Markets Partnership.15 Over 700 participants from 34 countries—representing government, private sector, and non-governmental organizations—shared expertise and developed strategies to advance cost-effective, near-term projects to reduce methane emissions. The Expo's "International Methane Capture Marketplace" was the first international forum devoted entirely to methane project opportunities and technologies, and showcased 91 potential projects in multiple sectors.
The Partnership has the potential to deliver by 2015 annual reductions in methane emissions of up to 50 MMTCE or recovery of 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas—equivalent to removing 33 million cars from the roadways for one year, planting 55 million acres of trees, or eliminating emissions from fifty 500 megawatt coal-fired power plants; or providing enough energy to heat approximately 7.2 million households for one year. These measurable results, if achieved, could lead to stabilized or even declining levels of global atmospheric concentrations of methane.
Bilateral and Regional Partnerships16: Since 2001, the United States has established 15 climate partnerships with key countries and regional organizations that, together with the United States, account for almost 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. These partnerships encompass over 400 individual activities, and successful joint projects have been initiated in areas such as climate change research and science, climate observation systems, clean and advanced energy technologies, carbon capture, storage and sequestration, and policy approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Clean Energy Initiative17: At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the United States launched a "Clean Energy Initiative," whose mission is to bring together governments, international organizations, industry and civil society in partnerships to alleviate poverty and spur economic growth in the developing world by modernizing energy services. The Initiative consists of four market-oriented, performance-based partnerships:
14See http://www.epa.gov/methanetomarkets/ and http://www.methanetomarkets.org/. Methane to Markets member governments include the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. The EC became the 21st Partner in September 2007.
16Bilateral partners include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama), European Union, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of
ITER22: In January 2003, President Bush announced that the United States was joining the negotiations for the construction and operation of the international fusion experiment known as ITER.23 On November 21, 2006, the representatives of China, EU, the Republic of India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States of America signed the ITER Joint Implementation Agreement, which entered into force on October 27, 2007. If successful, this multi-billion-dollar research project, which is to be sited in Cadarache, France and completed in 2016, would advance progress toward producing clean, renewable, commercially-available fusion energy by the middle of the century.
Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP)24: The 2005 G8 Summit at Gleneagles, Scotland, helped launch the GBEP, an Italian initiative to support wider, cost-effective biomass and biofuels deployment, particularly in developing countries where biomass use is prevalent. The United States is actively supporting GBEP and is leading work on developing common methodologies for measuring the GHG benefits of biofuels. GBEP partners include ten governments and nine international organizations and the United Nations Foundation.
International Biofuels Forum (IBF): The IBF is a joint project of Brazil, China, India, the United States and the EC , was launched on March 2, 2007 to develop strategies to promote the sustained use and production of biofuels around the globe. The forum has created a mechanism to structure the dialogue among some of the biggest producers and consumers of biofuels to address energy security and global warming issues and to use biofuels as an instrument for development. IBF is working closely with GBEP to create common standards and codes for bioenergy products, which would help facilitate world trade.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP)25: REEEP seeks to accelerate and expand the global market for renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies. To date, REEEP has funded over 100 projects in 44 countries that address market barriers to clean energy in the developing world and economies in transition. These projects provide new business models, policy recommendations, risk mitigation instruments, handbooks, and databases for advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency, in addition to delivering measurable greenhouse gas reductions. To further REEEP's agenda, the U.S. has been especially active in developing best practices for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and an open network of affiliated organizations for distributed peer production of models and tools for energy smart community planning and development.
Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21)26: REN21 is a global policy network, which connects governments, international institutions and organizations, partnerships and initiatives, and other stakeholders on the political level with those "on the ground," and is aimed at providing a forum for international leadership on renewable energy. Its goal is to allow the rapid expansion of renewable energies in developing and industrial countries by bolstering policy development and decision- making on sub-national, national and international levels. To date, REN21 has produced several notable renewable energy analyses, the most noteworthy being its comprehensive "REN21 Global Status Report." The United States serves as one of the 13 national government entities on REN21's Steering Committee.
GBEP partners are Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, the International Energy Agency, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Conference on Trade and Development, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, UN Industrial Development Organization, UN Foundation, World Council for Renewable Energy, and the European Biomass Industry Association. The FAO is hosting the GBEP Secretariat in Rome with the support of the Government of Italy.
Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 (WIREC 2008): On May 1, 2007, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the State Department will host the WIREC 2008 in March 2008.27 WIREC 2008, which will held in Washington, DC, March 4-6, 2008 will be the third global ministerial level event on renewable energy and will be a key opportunity for government, industry and civil society leaders to advance the integration of renewable energy and advance shared goals for climate, sustainable development and energy security. The event builds upon outcomes from the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Bonn (2004) and Beijing (2005) Renewable Energy Conferences. The timing for WIREC 2008 is optimal, because many countries have established leadership positions in renewable energy technology development, manufacturing and market adoption through innovative policies.
WIREC 2008 will focus on rural development, finance, commercialization/market adoption, research and development, as well as other cross-cutting issues. It includes a ministerial level meeting for governments (federal and local), the private sector and civil society, and a co-located, but separately managed trade show and exhibition. WIREC 2008 will also provide an opportunity to advance renewable energy globally by bringing world leaders together to raise issues, exchange information, share experiences and best practices, and provide a global platform to highlight and promote strategies for significant development and rapid scale up of renewable energy systems worldwide, including second generation biofuels.
Other examples of our engagement across the globe in advancing climate change science and addressing greenhouse gas emissions include our participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and activities under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)28: The IPCC was established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988 to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It is open to all Members of the United Nations and of WMO.
We are extremely pleased that the IPCC shares this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The United States has played an active role in the IPCC since its establishment and has provided more of its funding than any other nation. Dr. Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, serves as co-chair of the IPCC Working Group I, which assesses the scientific basis of climate change. The United States hosts the Working Group's Technical Support Unit and hundreds of U.S. scientists have participated in the preparation of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, which is due to be completed next week in Valencia, Spain.
Global Environment Facility (GEF)29: U.S. participation in the GEF, the financial mechanism under the UNFCCC, is another example of our engagement across the globe of addressing the threat of poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. Launched in 1991, the GEF provides funding (largely grants) for projects that provide global environmental benefits and support sustainable development. Since its inception, it has approved over $6.8 billion in grants, leveraging over $20 billion in pledged co-financing to support more than 1,600 projects in over 160 countries, with about 33 percent of cumulative allocations supporting the reduction or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions. For fiscal year 2008, the Administration is requesting $80.0 million for the second of four payments toward a total U.S. contribution of $320 million pledged during the fourth replenishment (GEF-4) and $26.8 million to clear a portion of outstanding U.S. arrears.
Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA)30: Many of our international activities also help to promote the biological sequestration of CO2, an important tool for addressing climate change that can have benefits both for conservation and climate change. The TFCA authorizes debt relief for low and middle-income countries with tropical forests to support conservation of endangered forests. Since 2000, the United States has concluded 13 TFCA agreements with 12 countries that will generate more than $163 million to protect tropical forests during the next 10 to 25 years. Under the TFCA debt swap mechanism, a unique public/private partnership has evolved in which environmental NGOs such as The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International have provide additional funds totaling approximately $12.1 million for debt reduction, increasing the size of individual agreements, and contributing additional expertise in the management of resulting programs. Seven of the 12 TFCA agreements so far provide for debt swaps. In fiscal year 2008, the Administration has requested a total of $20 million for TFCA.
29U.S. Department of Treasury, Treasury International Programs, Justification for Appropriations, FY208 Budget Request, pp. 43-44, and 65 (see http://www.treas.gov/offices/international-affairs/intl/fy2008/fy2008-budget.pdf).
30 U.S. Department of Treasury, Treasury International Programs, Justification for Appropriations, FY208 Budget Request, pp. 1, 23, 27, and 68 (see http://www.treas.gov/offices/international-affairs/intl/fy2008/fy2008-budget.pdf). TFCA agreements have been concluded with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines. On July 3, 2007, in response to the Indonesian Government's request, the United States Government announced that Indonesia is also eligible to participate.
B. Near-Term Polices and Measures to Slow the Growth of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In February 2002, President Bush set an ambitious national goal to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity—that is, emissions per unit of economic output—of the U.S. economy by 18 percent by 2012, a goal we are on target to meet. When announced, this commitment was estimated to achieve a reduction of 100 million additional metric tons carbon equivalent (MMTCE) emissions in 2012, with more than 500 MMTCE emissions in cumulative savings over the decade.
To meet the President's goal, the Administration is now implementing numerous programs—including voluntary partnerships, consumer information campaigns, incentives, and mandatory regulation—including the following:
Climate VISION (Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now)31: In February 2003, President Bush announced that 12 major industrial sectors and The Business Roundtable had committed to work with four of his cabinet agencies (the Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency) to contribute to meeting his 18 percent intensity reduction goal by improving the energy efficiency or greenhouse gas emissions intensity of its sector. Today, business and trade associations representing 14 energy-intensive industry sectors that account for approximately 40 to 45 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have issued letters of intent to meet specific targets. Participating sectors include: aluminum, automotive manufacturers, cement, chemical manufacturing, electric power, forest products, iron and steel, lime, magnesium, minerals, mining, oil and gas, railroads, and semiconductors. Climate VISION partners have issued letters of intent to meet specific targets that in 2012 alone could avoid an estimated 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Climate Leaders32: Announced in February 2002, Climate Leaders is an EPA partnership encouraging individual companies to develop long-term, comprehensive climate change strategies. Under this program, partners set corporate-wide greenhouse gas reduction goals and inventory their emissions to measure progress. Climate Leaders has grown to include 147 partners whose revenues add up to almost 10 percent of the United States' gross domestic product and whose emissions represent more than 8 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. EPA estimates that GHG reductions by Climate Leaders Partners will prevent more than 11 MMCTE per year—equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 7 million cars.
SmartWay Transport Partnership33: Launched in February 2004, the SmartWay Transport Partnership is a public-private partnership that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption, and criteria pollutants from ground freight transportation operations. Over 600 companies, including some of the nation's largest shippers and carriers, have joined SmartWay. The efforts of these companies, which include the use of fuel efficient technologies and anti-idling devices, improved aerodynamics, and the next generation single wide tires, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. Additionally, there are over 80 diesel truck and locomotive engine idling reduction projects being implemented around the country. SmartWay is broadening its reach to include other modes of freight transportation throughout the global supply chain, such as ocean shipping and air cargo. EPA estimates that by 2012, the companies that participate in the Partnership will cut CO2 emissions by up to 66 million metric tons (18.0 MMTCE) per year, and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 200,000 tons per year. It will save about $9 billion in fuel costs and as much as 150 million barrels of oil per year—enough oil to heat 17 million houses for one year.
ENERGY STAR34: Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency, EPA established the voluntary ENERGY STAR® program in 1992, and has partnered with DOE since 1996 to accelerate the adoption cost-effective, energy-efficient products and practices in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Since the inception of the program, more than 2 billion ENERGY STAR qualified products across more than 50 categories have been purchased, more than 30,000 commercial buildings have been benchmarked for energy usage, close to 725,000 new homes have been constructed to ENERGY STAR specifications, more than 28,000 existing homes have been retrofitted, and hundreds of industrial partners have lowered their energy use using ENERGY STAR tools.
EPA has recently revised the specifications for many product categories including computers, computer monitors, and imaging equipment; has added new products to the ENERGY STAR family including commercial ice makers, commercial dishwashers, external power supplies and battery chargers; and is in the process of updating the requirements for televisions. In addition, DOE recently updated the qualification requirements for ENERGY STAR residential clothes washers, dishwashers and refrigerators. EPA has also extended its standardized measurement system for energy use in buildings and facilities to include about 75 percent of the commercial square footage in the United States and about 6 industrial sectors. In 2006 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, prevented 37 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 25 million vehicles and saved about $14 billion on their utility bills.
Green Power Partnership35: Introduced in 2001 as part of the President's National Energy Policy, the EPA's Green Power Partnership is designed to increase the adoption of clean energy supply technologies across the United States. The Partnership assists organizations in demonstrating environmental leadership by choosing electricity products generated from renewable energy sources. It now has more than 750 partners committed to purchasing more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours of green power by the end of 2007, which would be enough electricity to power more than 600,000 average American homes annually. Achieving this goal will avoid the equivalent CO2 emissions associated with more than 1.1 million passenger cars each year.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership36: Launched in 2001, EPA's Combined Heat and Power Partnership provides technical assistance to promote CHP projects along each step of the project development cycle in order to make investments in CHP more attractive. EPA also educates industry about the benefits of CHP, provides networking opportunities, and works with state governments to design air emissions standards and interconnection requirements that recognize the benefits of clean CHP. The Partnership now includes over 200 partners and through 2006 had assisted more than 250 projects representing 3,568 megawatts of new CHP capacity in a variety of sectors, including university campuses, heavy industry, and the hospitality industry, among others. On an annual basis, these projects will prevent the emissions of approximately 2.67 million metric tons CO2 equivalent. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 1.7 million cars, or the sequestration from more than 2.6 million acres of forest.
EPA State Clean Energy-Environment Partnership37: In 2005, EPA launched the State Clean Energy-Environment Partnership Program, designed to help states adopt a variety of clean energy policies and deploy clean energy programs, including both energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. Through the State Clean Energy-Environment Partnership program, states use comprehensive guidance on successful, cost-effective policies and initiatives; measurement and evaluation tools for co-benefits of the policies; and peer exchange opportunities to explore and advance new policies. The partnership is working with 15 states which represent about 50 percent of the U.S. population and energy consumption and more than half of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA Domestic Methane Programs38: The EPA works in collaboration with the private sector and state and local governments to implement several voluntary programs that promote profitable opportunities for reducing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and clean energy source, from landfills, coal mines, oil and gas systems, and agricultural operations. EPA's methane programs, including the Landfill Methane Outreach Program, Coalbed Methane Outreach Program, Natural Gas STAR, and AgSTAR, are designed to overcome a wide range of informational, technical, and institutional barriers to reducing emissions, while creating profitable methane recovery and use opportunities. The collective results of EPA's methane programs have been substantial. U.S methane emissions in 2005 were 11.5 percent below 1990 levels, in spite of economic growth of more than 55 percent over that time period. EPA expects that these programs will maintain emissions below 1990 levels in the future due to expanded industry participation and the continuing commitment of the participating companies to identify and implement cost-effective technologies and practices.
EPA High Global Warming Potential Gas Partnership39: A set of voluntary partnerships between EPA and industry is substantially reducing U.S. emissions of high global warming potential (high GWP) gases — including perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). The high GWP partnership programs involve several industries, including HCFC-22 producers, primary aluminum smelters, semiconductor manufacturers, electric power companies, magnesium smelters and die-casters, and mobile air conditioning. These industries are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by developing and implementing cost-effective improvements to their industrial processes. EPA High-GWP Partnership Goals include:
To date, these voluntary programs have achieved significant emission reductions and industry partners are expected to maintain emissions below 1990 levels beyond the year 2010 despite sizable expansion in many of these industries that would ordinarily be accompanied by higher emission levels.
Targeted Incentives for Greenhouse Gas Sequestration: The USDA provides targeted incentives through its conservation programs to encourage wider use of land management and production practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. USDA also provides financial and technical assistance to help farmers install renewable energy systems and make improvements in energy efficiency that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, USDA's Farm Bill reauthorization proposals would provide approximately $4.4 billion in conservation activities on agricultural lands, and this level of funding represents an increase of about $1.6 billion from 2002.40
Through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP),41 USDA encourages farmers to remove environmentally sensitive lands from production, and also encourages installing vegetative covers that sequester carbon. In addition, CRP gives landowners the right to sell carbon credits generated from lands enrolled in the program; current enrollment is 36.8 million acres. In 2006, carbon sequestration on CRP lands was estimated at 50.6 million metric tons CO2. Additionally, reductions in CO2 and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions associated with reduced field operations and less use of nitrogen fertilizers were estimated at 9.0 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent.
The Conservation Security Program (CSP)42 promotes the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life on Tribal and private working agricultural lands. CSP has emerged as a significant contributor within the area of carbon management through enhancement activities that promote carbon sequestration. Since its inception in 2004, over 22.4 million collective acres have been engaged in soil management activities to improve carbon levels in soils.
Finally, USDA provides Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)43 to fund the application and demonstration of innovative technologies and approaches to conservation issues. Many of the awards made through the program have greenhouse gas benefits. For example, farm-level wind and solar power projects reduce CO2 emissions, and new technologies for livestock manure management and fertilizer application reduce methane and N2O emissions.
40See Office of Management and Budget, Fiscal Year 2008 Report to Congress on Federal Climate Change Expenditures, May 2007, p. 25 at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/fy08_climate_change.pdf
Improved Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards: On April 1, 2003, the Bush Administration finalized regulations requiring an increase in the fuel economy of light trucks for Model Years 2005 to 2007, the first such increase since 1996. The increase from 20.7 miles per gallon to 22.2 miles per gallon by 2007 more than doubles the increase in the standard that occurred between Model Years 1986 and 1996. The new increased fuel economy standards are expected to save approximately 3.5 billion gallons of gasoline over the lifetime of these trucks, with the corresponding avoidance of more than 30 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (8.2 MMTCE). The Administration also promulgated a new round of standards in March, 2006. The new standards cover model years 2008-2011 for light trucks and raise fuel economy to 24 miles per gallon for model year 2011. The rule is expected to save 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline over the lifetime of these vehicles, thereby reducing GHG emissions by 73 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (19.9 MMTCE).
Energy Policy Act of 2005 Tax Incentives to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes over $14.5 billion in tax incentives from 2005 to 2015. Many of these tax incentives and credits will have significant greenhouse gas reduction benefits and are designed to spur investments in clean energy infrastructure, enhance domestic energy security, and promote deployment of conservation and energy efficiency technologies, renewable energy and alternative motor vehicles. The Act also provides authority to DOE to issue loan guarantees for a wide range of advanced technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. Further, it provides standby support coverage to indemnify against certain regulatory and litigation delays for the first six new nuclear plants. In addition, the Act establishes 16 new appliance efficiency mandates and a 7.5 billion gallon renewable fuel requirement by 2012.
Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Registry (1605(b))44: The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, authorized under Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, provides a means for utilities, industries, and other entities to establish a public record of their greenhouse gas emissions and the results of voluntary measures to reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. For the 2005 reporting year, 221 U.S. companies and other organizations reported that they had undertaken 2,379 projects and reduced or sequestered 294 million metric tons CO2 equivalent (80.2 MMTCE) of direct reductions, 67 million metric tons CO2 equivalent (18.3 MMTCE) of indirect reductions, 8 million metric tons CO2 equivalent (2.2 MMTCE) of reductions from carbon sequestration, and 13 million metric tons CO2 equivalent (3.5 MMTCE) of unspecified reductions. In April 2006, new guidelines were issued for the program. The new guidelines, which went into effect in 2007 for the 2006 reporting year, will strengthen the program by encouraging comprehensive, entity-wide reporting of emissions and emission reductions, including sequestration, and by increasing the measurement accuracy, reliability, and verifiability of reports.
American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI)45: President Bush announced the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) in his 2006 State of the Union Address.46 Its goals are to increase federal investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship. A centerpiece of the ACI is the commitment to doubling the investment in key Federal agencies that support basic research programs in the physical sciences and engineering over the next 10 years. As part of the ACI, the fiscal year 2008 Budget does include $4.4 billion, a seven-percent increase over last year's Budget, for the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science. The Initiative overall commits $50 billion to increase funding for research and $86 billion for research and development tax incentives, some of which will be directed toward investments in clean energy technology research including solar, bioenergy, wind, hydropower, and hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The ACI will enhance cutting-edge basic research, helping to advance U.S. competitiveness by inspiring a new generation of American innovation through world-leading initiatives in high end computation; bio-energy research centers; fourth generation light sources; and nanotechnology.
Twenty in Ten Initiative47: President Bush announced his Twenty in Ten Initiative in his 2007 State of the Union Address. The goal is to reduce the Nation's gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years by: (1) increasing the supply of renewable and other alternative fuels by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require the equivalent of 35 billion gallons of renewable and other alternative fuels in 2017, nearly five times the 2012 Renewable Fuels Standard mandate established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to displace 15 percent of projected annual gasoline use in 2017; and (2) reforming and modernizing CAFE standards for cars, and extending the light truck rule to reduce projected annual gasoline use by up to 8.5 billion gallons in 2017, a further 5 percent reduction in gasoline use. As a result of the recent Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, on May 14, 2007, the President directed EPA and the Departments of Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture to take the first steps toward regulations using the 20-in-10 plan as a starting point and to complete this regulatory process by the end of 2008.48
President's Budget49: As noted earlier, from fiscal year 2001 to the end of fiscal year 2007, the U.S. Government will have devoted nearly $37 billion to climate science and observations, technology, international assistance, and incentive programs. President Bush's fiscal year 2008 budget calls for nearly $7.4 billion for climate-related activities, includes $3.9 billion for the Climate Change Technology Program, over $1.8 billion for the Climate Change Science Program, $212 million for climate change-related international assistance programs, and nearly $1.4 billion for energy tax provisions that may reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We expect these efforts will contribute to meeting the President's 10-year goal to reduce the Nation's greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent, which represents an average annual rate of improvement of about 1.96 percent. According to EPA data reported to the UNFCCC Secretariat, U.S. greenhouse gas intensity declined by 1.9 percent in 2003, by 2.4 percent in 2004, and by 2.4 percent in 2005. Put another way, from 2004 to 2005, the U.S. economy increased by 3.2 percent while greenhouse gas emissions increased by only 0.8 percent. Further, a May 21, 2007 preliminary "flash estimate" by the Energy Information Administration of energy-related CO2 emissions—which account for more than four fifths of total greenhouse gas emissions—shows an absolute drop in these emissions of 1.3 percent and an improvement in CO2 emissions intensity of 4.5 percent in 2006.50 Although we are only a few years into the effort, we are on track to meet the President's goal.
Progress in the U.S. compares favorably with progress being made by other countries. Greenhouse Gas Emission [GHG] Trends for Developed Country Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for the Years 2001-2005, Inclusive (Attachment 2) and Carbon Dioxide [CO2] Emission Trends for Developed Country Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for the Years 2001-2005, Inclusive (Attachment 3) show how GHG and CO2 emission trends in the U.S. compare to other industrialized countries based on national data reported to the UNFCCC Secretariat. These data, which include countries that have obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, indicate that for the years 2001-2005, inclusive, the major developed economies of the world are at about the same place in terms of actual greenhouse gas emissions. In some countries, emissions are increasing slightly, in others they are decreasing slightly. No country is yet able to decrease its emissions massively. Note that the U.S. has seen its actual greenhouse gas emissions increase by 1.6 percent—slightly more than that for the EU. In contrast, U.S. CO2 emissions over the same period increased by 2.5 percent—less than the increase for the EU.
C. Advancing Climate Change Science
The President established the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP)51 in 2002 as part of a new ministerial-level management structure to oversee public investments in climate change science and technology. The CCSP incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program, established by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Climate Change Research Initiative, established by the President in 2001. The Program coordinates and integrates scientific research on global change and climate change sponsored by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government. It is responsible for facilitating the development of a strategic approach to federally supported climate research, integrated across the participating agencies. The President's budget requests $1.836 billion for CCSP in fiscal year 2008.
Since CCSP was created in 2002, the program has successfully integrated a wide range of the research and climate science priorities of the 13 CCSP agencies. CCSP has taken on some of the most challenging questions in climate science and is developing products to convey the most advanced state of knowledge to be used by federal, state and local decision makers, resource managers, the science community, the media, and the general public.
Twenty-one Synthesis and Assessment Products are identified in the Strategic Plan to be produced through 2008. The first of these, Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences, was released in April of 2006 and answers a set of key questions related to ongoing observations of the Earth's temperature. This report was an important addition to the IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report. This year, two more reports have been released. In July, the program released Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations and Review of Integrated Scenario Development and Application, which in part used computer-based models to assess the economic and technological impacts of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In October, a report was released that summarized our current understanding regarding the effects of climate change on energy production and use in the United States. The report, Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States, focused on three questions:
1. How might climate change affect energy consumption;
The reports, overall, are designed to address a full range of science questions and evaluate options for responses that are of the greatest relevance to decision and policy makers and planners. The products are intended to provide the best possible state of science information, developed by a diverse group of climate experts, for the decision community.
D. Accelerating Climate Change Technology Development and Deployment
While acting to slow the pace of greenhouse gas emissions intensity in the near term, the Administration is laying a strong technological foundation to develop realistic mitigation options to meet energy security, economic development, and climate change objectives.
The Bush Administration is moving ahead on advanced technology options that have the potential to substantially reduce, avoid, or sequester future greenhouse gas emissions. Over 80 percent of current global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are energy related, and although projections vary considerably, a tripling of global energy demand by 2100 is not unimaginable.52 Therefore, to provide the energy necessary for continued economic growth while we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will have to develop and deploy cost-effective technologies that alter the way we produce and use energy.
The United States is leading the development of many advanced technology options that have the potential to reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP)53 was created in 2002, and subsequently authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to coordinate and prioritize the Federal Government's annual investment in climate-related technology —a proposed $3.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2008—and to further the President's National Climate Change Technology Initiative (NCCTI). Ten Federal agencies support a broad portfolio of activities within this framework.
52See U.S. Climate Change Technology Program Strategic Plan, September 2006, p. 2 at http://www.climatetechnology.gov/stratplan/final/CCTP-StratPlan-Sep-2006.pdf.
Basic guidance for the program is provided through CCTP's Strategic Plan, released in September 2006. CCTP's strategic vision has six complementary goals: (1) reducing emissions from energy use and infrastructure; (2) reducing emissions from energy supply; (3) capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide; (4) reducing emissions of other greenhouse gases; (5) measuring and monitoring emissions; and (6) bolstering the contributions of basic science.
CCTP's principal aim is to accelerate the development and reduce the cost of new and advanced technologies. It provides strategic direction for the climate-related elements of the overall Federal technology portfolio. CCTP also is assessing different technology options and their potential contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the short, mid, and long term. CCTP's boasts a diverse R&D portfolio that covers a wide range of technology options in energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, and clean coal, and non-CO2 gases.
Many CCTP activities build on existing work, but the Bush Administration also has expanded and realigned some activities and launched new initiatives in key technology areas to support the CCTP's goals. The President's NCCTI, for example, includes 12 discrete R&D activities that, if successful, could advance technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale.
Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI)54: In his 2006 State of the Union Address,55 President Bush announced plans for the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), which will help reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and dependence on foreign sources of energy by accelerating advanced energy technologies. Examples of AEI investment include: the Solar America Initiative, which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015; the Biofuels Initiative, which aims to make cellulosic ethanol cost competitive with gasoline by 2012; the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, which aims to develop the technology needed for commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells; the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) research, which aims to develop advanced battery technologies that allow PHEVs to have a 40-mile range operating solely on battery charge; the FutureGen near-zero-emissions coal-fired power plant; and the Nuclear Power 2010 program. By investing in these and other advanced energy technologies, AEI will allow us to alter the way we power our buildings and automobiles within 20 years. The President's budget for fiscal year 2008 includes $2.7 billion in the Department of Energy for the AEI, an increase of 22 percent above the 2007 enacted level.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy56: Energy efficiency is the single largest investment area under CCTP and it provides tremendous short-term potential to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Raising the efficiency level of home appliances and commercial equipment is a high priority. Efficiency standards for products that are subject to regulation are being developed at a pace substantially greater than at any time in the history of regulating these products. In addition, Zero Energy Homes and Buildings have been proven technically achievable, but at significant added cost. The Department of Energy believes that the required technical advances to enable most of the Nation's new homes to be constructed as net zero homes can be achieve in less that a decade via an aggressive private/public partnership. For commercial buildings, adequate technical capability can be available by 2020.
Renewable energy includes a range of different technologies that can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The United States invests significant resources in wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, industrial and buildings efficiency and alternative transportation technologies. Many of these technologies have made considerable progress in price competitiveness, but there remain opportunities to reduce manufacturing, operating, and maintenance costs of many of these technologies as well as to reduce barriers to market penetration.
Hydrogen57: President Bush announced his Hydrogen Fuel Initiative in his 2003 State of the Union Address.58 The goal is to work closely with the private sector to accelerate our transition to a hydrogen economy, on both the technology of hydrogen fuel cells and a fueling infrastructure. The President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative and the FreedomCAR Partnership59 which was launched in 2002 will provide $1.7 billion through 2008 to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, hydrogen production and infrastructure technologies, and advanced automotive technologies, with the goal of commercializing fuel-cell vehicles by 2020.
Carbon Sequestration: Carbon capture and sequestration is a central element of CCTP's strategy because for the foreseeable future, fossil fuels will continue to be the world's most reliable and lowest-cost form of energy. A realistic approach is to find ways to capture and store the CO2 produced when these fuels are used at centralized power generation and industrial applications. DOE's core Carbon Sequestration Program60 emphasizes technologies that capture CO2 from large point sources and store it in geologic formations. In 2003, DOE launched a nationwide network of seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships,61 involving State agencies, universities, and the private sector, to determine the best approaches for sequestration in each geographic region represented and to examine regulatory and infrastructure needs. Today the partnerships include more than 400 organizations in 41 U.S. states, three Indian nations, and four Canadian provinces. The Regional Partnerships have progressed to a validation phase in which they are conducting 25 field tests involving the injection of carbon dioxide into underground formations where it will be stored and monitored. The Regional Partnerships are also planning several large scale field tests throughout the United States to validate the efficacy of long-term storage of CO2 in a variety of geologic storage sites.
Additionally, EPA leads U.S. government efforts to evaluate any risks to human health and the environment associated with underground injection and storage. EPA is responsible for developing regulatory guidance and a risk-management framework under Safe Drinking Water Act. The Agency also designs inventory and accounting methodologies for carbon capture and sequestration.
Coal-Fired, Near-Zero-Emissions Power Generation: The United States has vast reserves of coal, and about half of its electricity is generated from this fuel. Advanced coal-based power and fuels, therefore, is an area of special interest from both an energy security and climate change perspective. The Coal Research Initiative (CRI) consists of research, development, and demonstration of coal-related technologies that will improve coal's competitiveness in future energy supply markets. The Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI),62 within the CRI, is a cost-shared program between the government and industry to demonstrate emerging technologies in coal-based power generation and to accelerate their commercialization. A major priority under the CRI is the FutureGen project,63 a 10-year, $1 billion international government-industry cost-shared effort to design, build, and operate the world's first near-zero atmospheric emissions coal-fired power plant. This project, which now includes India and the Republic of Korea as partners (with other countries expected to join shortly), will incorporate advanced coal gasification technology integrated with combined cycle electricity generation and the capture and long-term storage of carbon dioxide. Through the CRI, clean coal can remain part of a diverse, secure energy portfolio well into the future.
Nuclear Fission: Concerns over resource availability, energy security, and air quality as well as climate change suggest a larger role for nuclear power as an energy supply choice. While current generations of nuclear energy systems are adequate in many markets today, new construction of advanced light-water reactors in the near term and of even more advanced systems in the longer term can broaden opportunities for nuclear energy, both in industrialized and developing countries. The Nuclear Power 2010 program64 is working with industry to demonstrate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's new licensing process, and earlier this year the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the Early Site Permits for two new nuclear power plants.
The Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative65 is investigating the more advanced reactor and fuel cycle systems that represent a significant leap in economic performance, safety, and proliferation-resistance. One promising system being developed under the Nuclear Hydrogen66 Initiative would pair very-high-temperature reactor technology with advanced hydrogen production capabilities that could produce both electricity and hydrogen on a scale to meet transportation needs. Complementing these programs is the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative,67 which is developing advanced, proliferation resistant nuclear fuel technologies that can improve the fuel cycle, reduce costs, and increase the safety of handling nuclear wastes.
Fusion68: Fusion energy is a potential major new source of energy that, if successfully developed, could be used to produce electricity and possibly hydrogen. Fusion has features that make it is an attractive option from both an environmental and safety perspective. However, the technical hurdles of fusion energy are very high, and with a commercialization objective of 2050, its impact would not be felt until the second half of the century, if at all. Nevertheless, the promise of fusion energy is simply too great to ignore.
Advances in these and other technology areas in the CCTP portfolio could put us on a path to ensuring access to clean, affordable energy supplies while dramatically reducing the greenhouse gas profile of our economy over the long term. Moreover, the deployment of cleaner energy technologies in developing economies like China and India can make a huge difference in altering the future global energy picture.
Attachment 1: U.S.-Initiated Multilateral and Bilateral/Regional Partnerships—1 of 2
Attachment 1: U.S.-Initiated Multilateral and Bilateral/Regional Partnerships—2 of 2
APP: Asia-Pacific Partnership Clean Development and Climate-
Greenhouse Gas Emission [GHG] Trends for Developed Country Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for the Years 2001-2005, Inclusive
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emission Trends for Developed Country Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for the Years 2001-2005, Inclusive
Released on November 13, 2007