The US EPA requires 31 industries to track and report their emissions beginning in 2010 through the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule finalized on October 30, 2009. EPA recently announced that they are expanding the scope of their GHG mandatory reporting rule to include more of the oil and natural gas sector, large fluorinated gas emitting sources and carbon sequestration. These sources would be required to track their emissions beginning in 2011. Public comment is currently open on this proposed rule expansion. The mandatory reporting is separate from EPA regulations announced yesterday on reducing carbon emissions. The regulations announced yesterday could be enforced in the event Congress does not pass a climate bill.
Following months of negotiation, Senators Kerry and Lieberman on Wednesday announced their compromise climate and energy bill, the American Power Act. It's significantly different from the Waxman-Markey House bill passed last year and faces the challenge of securing 60 votes needed for passing in the Senate. Key differences from the House bill include: -carbon reductions from separate sectors of the economy, particularly utilities and energy-intensive industries, rather than a national cap -increased incentives for conventional energy sources as well as renewable sources The Kerry-Lieberman bill does, however, use the 2020 and 2050 reduction goals of the House bill: 17% emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2020. This is followed by 83% emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2050, plus accelerated mitigation of some, more potent greenhouse gases than CO2. Following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the bill's language on offshore oil drilling has been toned down to an extent. States will have the authority to opt out of drilling within 75 miles of their shores and veto drilling off shores of a neighboring state. Moreover, the Department of the Interior will need to assess which states would be affected by a spill should one occur, and those states would be able to block drilling through their state legislatures. While not dubbed a cap-and-trade bill, it does have numerous characteristics of a cap-and-trade, including recognition and use of emissions permits and carbon offsets to help achieve reductions more cost-effectively. "This is a bill for energy independence after a devastating oil spill, a bill to hold polluters accountable, a bill for billions of dollars to create the next generation of jobs and a bill to end America's addiction to foreign oil," Kerry said at a press conference. He described stakes for the legislation as "sky high." The Associated Press noted that Lieberman predicts the bill would pass, citing what he called a growing and unprecedented coalition of business, national security, faith and environmental leaders who are "energized" to work for it. To see a section-by-section summary of the bill, click here. You can also view the bill text here.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:27 Written by Michelle Lam
Yes, you read that correctly. Entire masses of land are disappearing. More specifically, climate change experts have recently revealed that Nigerian islands in the Niger Delta region have been lost, and that global warming is to blame. Climate change is real, and the effects are being felt as we speak. The warning signs were first noticed twenty years ago, when two professors at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research cautioned that the nation was losing coastal lands at an alarming rate. Chidi Ibe and Benjamin Akpati asserted that the combination of weathering from the ocean and rising sea levels would completely erode the islands. Now, Ibe’s and Akpati’s fears have been realized, and there remains concern that even more islands could be lost. Much of the discussion and literature of climate change have tended to zoom in on one specific effect or solution. Additionally, research and science often cite the impact that climate change will have five, ten, or even twenty years down the road. For most people, it is hard to put that into perspective. The effects of global warming are not a “one and done” deal; humans are directly contributing to global warming, which in turn is causing a rise in overall temperatures across the world and rising sea levels. Now, experts including Victor Fodeke, head of the Federal Ministry of Environment’s Special Climate Change Unit in Nigeria confirm that rising seas and erosion are to blame for the loss of islands. Nigerians who were once living or working on the islands have since relocated. Such a move has taken a negative toll on the displaced. Global warming is setting off a chain reaction that adversely affects our ecosystem and beyond.
Modern Eco Homes collects what you need for your home and puts it at your fingertips. They can help you make your home more eco-friendly and furnish it in an economical, chic way. They also reduce their carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org and have been a CarbonFree® Partner for two years running. Here’s my list of five favorite things about Modern Eco Homes: 1. Modern Eco Homes Blog to tell you about the newest green options for your home; 2. Modern Eco Homes Blog (part II) – Helped me come up with a great green idea for Mother’s Day (planting in her garden); 3. Their great collection of chic green furniture for my home in downtown DC – check out the Blow Up Bamboo Table or their Breeze Coffee Table. Stylish! 4. Eco gift ideas! Ideas for last-minute gifts that don’t cost a ton and have a smaller environmental footprint. 5. Eco-friendly apparel for those who mean the most in your life: your dogs! Check out the great fashion ideas for your pet. You can also stay connected with and follow Modern Eco Homes on their facebook and twitter pages.
Monday, 10 May 2010 17:53 Written by Greg Taylor
To encourage green business development in diverse communities, Abundant Communities Together launches its annual event on Friday, May 21, 2010 to be held in Melville, NY. "GREEN UP! The Emerging Green Economy: Access & Opportunity for Diverse Communities" is free and will feature speakers including the head of the New York Power Authority and Majora Carter – a leading community activist in the Bronx. This event offers a great opportunity for those in the New York City Metro area to help usher in an environmentally sustainable future. If you’re wondering how your home, organization, congregation or business can take advantage of green technologies to reduce costs and/or increase revenue, learn more about this event. Advance registration is required, so visit: www.actogether.net.
Friday, 07 May 2010 14:41 Written by Emily Pugliese
As I passed my local drugstore on my way to work this morning I realized, with absolute panic, that I had forgotten to get or mail Mother’s Day cards! Along with getting a gift for Mom, you can easily send a free e-card at www.carbonfund.org/mothersday. When you give a gift through Carbonfund.org you support our innovative carbon reduction projects on behalf of your Mom and will receive a framable certificate in your Mom's name delivered to you by email quickly. To send your Mom one of the super cute e-cards, just click here. Looking for other last-minute gift ideas? Send Mom a beautiful bouquet from Flowerpetal.com or Organic Bouquet. Both are Carbonfund.org CarbonFree® Shipping Partners who offset your shipping for orders, and FlowerPetal.com is giving our supporters a 10% discount and will donate 10% of proceeds to Carbonfund.org! Thanks, and here's wishing you, your Mom or a mother you know a happy Mother's Day.
Thursday, 06 May 2010 12:01 Written by Ivan Chan
The Chairwoman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee Barbara Boxer has suggested the Kerry-Lieberman climate and energy bill may be released as soon as next week. "He said it's looking good, and he hopes to have a press conference next week," said Boxer (D-CA) speaking to reporters about Sen. Kerry. Neither Senator would confirm the timing, however, and there are still doubts that a bill would be able to muster the votes needed to pass this session. According to Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Voorhees of Greenwire: "The Kerry-Lieberman climate bill is expected to call by 2020 for a 17 percent cut in emissions below 2005 levels, with the emission limits applying to different sectors of the economy at different times. Trade-sensitive manufacturers, for example, would start in the climate program six years after power plants... The legislation is also expected to promote increased domestic production of nuclear power and offshore oil and gas, despite the outcry from environmentalists in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill." Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has threatened to filibuster the legislation: "If offshore drilling off the coast of the continental United States is part of it, this legislation is not going anywhere." A lack of bipartisan support is reducing the chance of passing a bill, observed a top advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The National Journal also reported that Sen. Reid has indicated involvement by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in obtaining support for the bill may not be absolutely essential. Kerry, Lieberman and Graham originally planned to release the bill April 26 but postponed after Graham complained that Democratic leaders had pushed the issue of immigration reform onto the Senate agenda despite his opposition to moving a bill this year.
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 20:12 Written by Ivan Chan
Congratulations to our partner Better World Books, awarded the US Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 WasteWise Gold Award for Paper Reduction! Better World Books is a socially conscious online retailer of new and used books. BWB doesn't throw away books; any used books it can’t sell are either sent directly to one of its nonprofit literacy partners or are recycled. According to their blog, this practice has saved more than 32 million books from landfills while now raising over $7.8 million in funding for literacy and education initiatives around the world through the sale of those books. “Every year, almost a million tons of books are thrown away. We’re proud of our company’s accomplishments reducing that tremendous and unnecessary waste,” says CEO David Murphy. “By moving discarded books out of landfills and back into the reading cycle, we’re not only helping the environment, but also raising money for good causes and promoting literacy. We are honored to be recognized by the EPA and to receive this WasteWise Gold award.” Better World Books also ships books CarbonFree® through its shipping partnership with Carbonfund.org. Our partnership has reduced over 5,300 metric tons of carbon emissions, supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. To put this in perspective, that is equivalent to the carbon sequestered annually by over 1,100 acres of pine forest, or the carbon emissions from roughly 600,000 gallons of gasoline consumed! Congrats Better World Books!! Click here to visit Better World Books.