Archive for December 30, 2013

PA DEP Releases Climate Plan Update

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released its draft update to the 2009 plan to reduce greenhouse gas reductions just before Christmas. This document, delivered one year past the deadline of December 2012, was created by a 15-person committee representing industry, government and nonprofits.

While the 2009 plan established a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, the update does not include an emissions reduction target. Instead, it provides a compilation of work plans for reducing emissions in the state.

While the plan does recommend improvements in building energy efficiency to reduce emissions, it does not place an emphasis on increasing renewable energy production. Instead, it proposes expanding natural gas pipelines to provide access to more areas of the state. It also focuses on capturing methane produced during mining operations.

Read the draft plan here and see the 2009 state climate action plan here.

Department of Defense Integrates Climate Change Adaptation into Operations

Climate change resiliency has infiltrated into the inner-workings of the U.S. Department of Defense. A document released earlier this year outlines how the DOD will directly integrate climate change concerns into everyday activities and infrastructure plans. This action follows President Obama’s executive order to prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change.

As the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, John Conger is responsible for managing the DOD energy portfolio and military base security.

“That includes over 500 bases and 300,000 buildings and 2.2 billion square feet of space,” he said. “The infrastructure has a plant replacement value on the order of $850 billion. There’s a lot of stuff out there that is all going to be impacted by changes in the climate. As I look at managing the infrastructure, I have to think about risk as well in that context. What is climate change likely to do? What are the major changes that will occur that will affect that $850 billion real property portfolio?”

Conger said the defense department must consider threats from climate change as seriously as any other global threat. This process not only involves adapting for climate change resiliency, but also includes reducing energy consumption and mitigating emissions from their operations. Read the full story here.

Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon

Enviro-articleLargeClimate change has come to the attention of many U.S. corporations, including major oil companies, who are prepared to include a price on carbon into their long-term budgets. This financial decision will provide incentives for companies to switch to low-polluting sources of energy. Read more about how companies will respond to climate-related carbon taxes in this NY Times article.