Environment America Research & Policy Center. March 26, 2013.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a central strategy in the Northeastern states’ efforts to protect the region from global warming. The program, which took effect in 2009, has succeeded in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrating the effectiveness of cap-and-trade as a global warming solution while helping to sustain a growing regional economy. Now, nine Northeastern states are considering strengthening RGGI to drive additional reductions in global warming pollution. Strengthening RGGI would be a “win-win” for the Northeast, making an important contribution toward protecting the region from global warming while speeding the transition to a clean energy future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Center for American Progress. March 7, 2013.
In the past several years, small groups of some of the world’s largest carbon polluters have joined forces to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as part of their overall efforts to slow the pace of dangerous global warming. These efforts include the G20 leaders’ 2009 pledge to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies; the launch of a number of efforts on clean energy cooperation through the global Clean Energy Ministerial starting in 2010; and the creation of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants a year ago, which started with six nations and has now grown to 27 countries plus the European Union. The report propose that the 17 parties in the Major Economies Forum, the U.S.-led coalition of the world’s largest carbon emitters, set a target of generating 40 percent of their electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2035, the “40×35″ target. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/40x35ZeroCarbonBrief-2.pdf [PDF format, 19 pages].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. February 14, 2013.
On October 15, 2012, the Obama Administration took a major step toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicles when it promulgated GHG emission standards for model year 2017-2025 light duty vehicles. Under the standards, GHG emissions from new cars and light trucks will be reduced about 50% by 2025 compared to 2010, and average fuel economy standards will rise to nearly 50 miles per gallon. EPA had previously set GHG emission standards for MY2012-2016 vehicles as well as for 2014-2018 model year medium- and heavy-duty trucks. These steps have been taken as the Congress (particularly the House) and the Administration have reached an impasse over climate issues. The Administration has made clear that its preference would be for Congress to address the climate issue through new legislation. Nevertheless, in the wake of a 2007 Supreme Court decision, it has moved forward on several fronts to define how the Clean Air Act (CAA) will be used and to promulgate regulations. The key to using the CAA’s authority to control greenhouse gases was for the EPA Administrator to find that GHG emissions are air pollutants that endanger public health or welfare.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40506.pdf [PDF format, 22 pages].
RAND Corporation. January 30, 2013.
Methane emissions account for approximately one-third of anthropogenic climate forcing, or the heat-trapping effect of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing methane emissions has increasingly become a goal for governments concerned about climate change. Because of the value of methane as a fuel (it is the main component of natural gas), consumers and producers have been interested in both the economic value and the environmental benefits of reducing methane emissions. This report evaluates U.S. Department of State (DoS) support for the Global Methane Initiative (GMI). GMI is an international partnership program that promotes costeffective methane recovery and use by supporting public- and private-sector emissions reduction efforts. DoS—specifically, its Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and Office of Global Change (EGC)—has supplied funding to GMI totaling $27 million between fiscal years 2006 and 2010 and requested an evaluation of the activities and outcomes that it supported in whole or in part during that period. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/TR1200/TR1250/RAND_TR1250.pdf [PDF format, 100 pages].
Congressional Research Service. January 2, 2013.
Climate change policies at both the national and international levels have traditionally focused on measures to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to adapt to the actual or anticipated impacts of changes in the climate. As a participant in several international agreements on climate change, the U.S. has joined with other nations to express concern about climate change. However, in the absence of a national climate change policy, some recent technological advances and hypotheses, generally referred to as “geoengineering” technologies, have created alternatives to these traditional approaches. If deployed, these new technologies could modify the Earth’s climate on a large scale. Moreover, these new technologies may become available to foreign governments and entities in the private sector to use unilaterally–without authorization from the U.S. government or an international treaty–as was done in the summer of 2012 when an American citizen conducted an ocean fertilization experiment off the coast of Canada.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41371.pdf [PDF format, 43 pages].