Clean Energy and Climate Change
“My Administration’s climate change policy will be science-based, encourage research breakthroughs that lead to technological innovation, and take advantage of the power of markets. It will encourage global participation and will pursue actions that will help ensure continued economic growth and prosperity for our citizens and for citizens throughout the world.”
President George W. Bush
July 13, 2001
- • An Ambitious National Goal to Reduce Emissions Intensity
- • Implementing Programs, Incentives, and Mandates At Home to Reduce Emissions
- • Leading the Global Effort on Energy Security and Climate Change
- • Congressional Testimony
Fact Sheet: /news/releases/2005/06/20050630-16.html
In February 2002, President Bush committed the United States to a comprehensive strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas emission intensity of the American economy by 18 percent by 2012. Meeting this commitment will prevent more than 500 million metric tons of carbon-equivalent emissions through 2012, the equivalent of taking 70 million cars off the road. This step will set America on a path to slow the growth of our greenhouse gas emissions and, as science justifies, to stop and then reverse the growth of emissions.
The US is on track to meet this goal. A November 2006 report by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed U.S. Greenhouse gas emissions increased only 0.6% between 2004 and 2005 (compared to an average annual 1% increase over the 1990-2005 period). Greenhouse gas intensity (how much we emit per unit of economy activity) decreased 2.5%, much faster than the average decline of 1.9% per year over the 1990-2005 period.
For more information visit /news/releases/2003/02/20030212.html
“America and the world share this common goal: we must foster economic growth in ways that protect our environment. We must encourage growth that will provide a better life for citizens, while protecting the land, the water, and the air that sustain life. In pursuit of this goal, my government has set two priorities: we must clean our air, and we must address the issue of global climate change. We must also act in a serious and responsible way, given the scientific uncertainties. While these uncertainties remain, we can begin now to address the human factors that contribute to climate change. Wise action now is an insurance policy against future risks.”
President George W. Bush
February 14, 2002
The President has a broad portfolio of groundbreaking domestic initiatives to develop new technologies and improve our understanding of climate science through a range of voluntary, incentive-based, and mandatory programs.
Energy Policy Act of 2005
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which the President signed into law last year, authorized $5 billion over five years in tax incentives to encourage investments in energy efficiency and alternative renewable energy sources. The new energy law provides new performance-based tax credits of up to $3,400 for the most highly fuel efficient vehicles such as hybrids and clean diesel. It also establishes 15 new appliance efficiency mandates and a 7.5 billion gallon renewable fuel requirement by 2012. For more information visit /news/releases/2005/08/20050808-4.html.
Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP)
The Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP) is a multi-agency effort that increases the development and use of key technologies aimed at reducing GHG emissions. The intent of this program is to reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions by stimulating the development and use of renewable, clean coal, fusion, nuclear and other energy technologies and by increasing energy efficiency throughout the U.S. economy. For more information visit http://www.climatetechnology.gov.
Climate Change Science Program (CCSP)
The Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is a multi-agency program led by the Department of Commerce which investigates natural and human-induced changes in the Earth's global environmental system and provides a sound scientific basis for national and international decision-making. For more information visit http://www.climatescience.gov.
Improved Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards
Since 2003, the Bush Administration has finalized two sets of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations requiring a combined 15 percent increase in the fuel economy of light trucks. For the first time, large Sport Utility Vehicles, including Hummers, are required to meet the standards. The Administration is implementing program improvements recommended by the National Academy of Sciences to ensure that we not only save fuel, but also lives and American jobs. These actions are projected to save more than 14 billion gallons of gasoline over the lifetime of these trucks, and correspondingly avoid nearly 177 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. We strongly urge Congress to give us authority to establish new rules on passenger car fuel economy based on these concepts.
Surface Transportation Programs
The Department of Transportation's surface transportation programs can be used by state and local transportation agencies to help reduce fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and innovative finance programs can help fund projects like truck stop electrification for reduced truck idling and diesel retrofit. System management projects that relieve congestion, improve traffic flow and increase transit use also help reduce fuel usage. Transit funds are available for purchase of hydrogen-powered and other clean-fueled buses. FAA is pursuing initiatives for more efficient air traffic management, which will reduce aircraft fuel use, and FAA's Partnership for Air Transportation Noise and Emission Reduction is conducting research on climate change impacts of aviation.
SmartWay Transportation Partnership
Announced in February 2004, SmartWay is a voluntary partnership between various freight industry sectors and the Environmental Protection Agency designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases (or gas emissions) and air pollution. By 2012, this initiative aims to reduce between 33 and 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions per year. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/smartway.
In cooperation with more than 8,000 private and public sector organizations, the EnergySTAR programs identifies and promotes energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy STAR label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and more. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. For more information visit http://www.energystar.gov.
Natural Gas STAR
The Natural Gas STAR Program is a flexible, voluntary partnership between EPA and the oil and natural gas industry. Through the Program, EPA works with companies to identify and promote the use of cost-effective technologies and practices to reduce emissions of methane. As of 2005, the companies participating in Natural Gas STAR represent 56 percent of the natural gas industry in the U.S. Today, the program has over 110 partner companies and is endorsed by nearly 20 major industry trade associations. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/gasstar.
In June 2003, the Secretary of Agriculture announced that, for the first time, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) would provide targeted incentives to encourage wider use of land management practices that remove carbon from the atmosphere or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. USDA’s initiatives encourage the increased use of biomass energy, crop and grazing land conservation actions, practices to reduce emissions from agriculture, and sustainable forest management. USDA is targeting greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration through the conservation programs it administers and set a target to reduce 44 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions by 2012. These incentives come in part from an increase in funding for conservation programs on private lands of $17.1 billion over 10 years as authorized by the Farm Bill of 2002.
Climate Leaders is an EPA partnership that encourages individual companies to develop long-term, comprehensive climate change strategies. Partner companies develop corporation-wide GHG inventory including all emission sources of the six major gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6), set an aggressive corporate-wide GHG emissions reduction goal to be achieved over 5 to 10 years, and report inventory data annually and document progress toward their emissions reduction goal. Since its inception in 2002, Climate Leaders has grown to include nearly 100 corporations whose revenues add up to almost 10 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product and whose emissions represent 8 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/climateleaders.
In February 2003, President Bush announced the formation of Climate VISION, a public-partnership program established to contribute to the president’s emission intensity reduction goal. Fourteen major industrial sectors and the Business Roundtable have committed to work with Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade. For more information visit http://www.climatevision.gov.
Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush launched his Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to work in partnership with the private sector to accelerate the research and development required for a hydrogen economy. The President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative and the FreedomCAR Partnership are providing nearly $1.72 billion to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, hydrogen infrastructure technologies, and advanced automobile technologies. The President’s Initiative will enable the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles in the 2020 timeframe. Through this initiative, the cost of a fuel cell has already been cut in half, and the expected life of an automotive fuel cell has been doubled since 2003. I have driven several prototypes of such vehicles. Private sector interest and investment remains high. For more information visit /news/releases/2005/05/20050525.html.
Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emissions Registry (“1605(b)”)
In response to a February 2002 directive from President Bush, the Department of Energy has revised the Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emissions Registry (“1605(b)”) program guidelines to establish a more accurate and transparent national registry where businesses and institutions will be encouraged to submit comprehensive reports on their greenhouse gas emissions, sequestration and reductions. Under the revised program, utilities, industries and other large emitters of greenhouse gases can now demonstrate net, entity-wide reductions, based on emission intensity or other eligible measures, and be recognized for ”registered reductions”. Provisions encourage participation in the program by small emitters of greenhouse gases, such as farmers, forest owners, and small businesses. Small emitters can either report on their own or partner with a larger group to report greenhouse gas reduction benefits.
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)
Chartered in 1973, the Department of Energy’s FEMP works to reduce the cost and environmental impact of the Federal government by advancing energy efficiency and water conservation, promoting the use of distributed and renewable energy, and improving utility management decisions at Federal sites. With FEMP’s leadership, Federal agencies have achieved nearly a 30% reduction in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per square foot energy consumption at Federal facilities sine 1985. The EPAct of 2005 established even more aggressive requirements for Federal agencies to further decrease BTU per square foot energy consumption at Federal facilities by over 2% per year for 10 years.
“The issue of climate change respects no border. Its effects cannot be reined in by an army nor advanced by any ideology. Climate change, with its potential to impact every corner of the world, is an issue that must be addressed by the world.”
President George W. Bush
July 13, 2001
On May 31, 2007 President Bush announced a new initiative to develop and contribute to a post-Kyoto framework on energy security and climate change by the end of 2008. This effort contributes to existing national, bilateral, regional and international programs to address the long-term challenge of global climate change and reinforces President Bushs firm commitment to taking action on climate change at home and abroad. The first of these meetings was held in Washington, DC, on September 27 and 28, 2007 and included representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, United Kingdom, the European Union, the European Commission, and the United Nations. For more information visit: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/climate/mem/.
Fact Sheet: Toward a New Global Approach to Climate Change and Energy Security: /news/releases/2007/09/20070928-1.html
Fact Sheet: Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change: /news/releases/2007/09/20070927.html
Though a series of international partnerships, the US is advancing the President’s goal of enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity.
Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate
This U.S.-led Partnership (including China, India, South Korea, Australia, and Japan) will develop, promote, and share cleaner energy technologies to achieve results in the areas of energy efficiency, methane capture and use, rural/village energy systems, clean coal, civilian nuclear power, geothermal, liquefied natural gas, building and home construction, bioenergy, agriculture and forestry, hydropower, wind power, and solar power. These six countries account for about half of the world's population and more than half of the world's economy, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. For more information visit /news/releases/2006/01/20060111-8.html.
Methane to Markets
Launched in November 2004, the Methane to Markets Partnership focuses on advancing cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source from coal beds, natural gas facilities, landfills, and agricultural waste management systems. The Partnership includes 18 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada , China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States. The European Commission has announced it is joining. The Partnership will reduce global methane emissions to enhance economic growth, promote energy security, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other benefits include improving mine safety, reducing waste, and improving local air quality. For more information visit /news/releases/2004/07/20040728-2.html.
In February 2003, President Bush announced that the United States would sponsor, with international and private-sector partners, the Future Gen Initiative, a $1 billion, 10-year project to build the world’s first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant. The Future Gen is designed to dramatically reduce air pollution and capture and store greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration. For more information visit http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/futuregen/
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)
The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), announced in February 2006 as part of the Advanced Energy Initiative, seeks to develop worldwide consensus on enabling expanded use of economical, zero-emission nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand. America will work with nations that have advanced civilian nuclear energy programs, such as France, Japan, and Russia. GNEP will use new technologies that effectively and safely recycle spent nuclear fuel. For more information visit http://www.gnep.energy.gov/
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership
The United States is also one of several countries that participates in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). REEEP was initiated by the United Kingdom as a WSSD partnership to assist market development of renewable and energy efficiency systems. The United States also actively participated in the Renewables 2004 conference sponsored by the German Government in June 2004 and submitted five action items to provide specific technology plans and cost targets for renewable energy technologies using solar, biomass, wind, and geothermal resources.
Building on the earlier targeted efforts in the context of the G-8, the United States worked with the United Kingdom and other G-8 partners to launch the 2005 Gleneagles Plan of Action, a landmark document containing over fifty practical, results-oriented actions to address the linked issues of development, energy security, energy access, climate change, and air pollution. For more information visit /g8/2005/.
International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE)
Recognizing the common interest in hydrogen research that many countries share, the United States called for an international hydrogen partnership in April 2003. In November 2003, representatives from 16 governments gathered in Washington, D.C. to launch the partnership which provides a vehicle to organize, co-ordinate, and leverage multinational hydrogen research programs that advance the transition to a global hydrogen economy. IPHE also will develop common recommendations for internationally-recognized standards and safety protocols to speed market penetration of hydrogen technologies.
Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)
CSLF is a U.S. initiative that was established formally at a ministerial meeting held in Washington, DC in June 2003. CSLF is a multilateral initiative that provides a framework for international collaboration on sequestration technologies. The Forum’s main focus is assisting the development and deployment of technologies to separate, capture, transport, and store carbon dioxide safely over the long term, making carbon sequestration technologies broadly available internationally, and addressing wider issues, such as regulation and policy, relating to carbon capture and storage.
Generation IV International Forum (GIF)
In 2002, nine countries and Euratom joined together with the United States to charter the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), a multilateral collaboration to fulfill the objective of the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative.16 GIF’s goal is to develop a fourth generation of advanced, economical, safe, and proliferation-resistant nuclear systems that can be adopted commercially no later than 2030.
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
In January 2003, President Bush announced that the U.S. was joining the negotiations for the construction and operation of the international fusion experiment, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The Bush Administration considers fusion a key element in U.S. long-term energy plans because fusion offers the potential for abundant, safe and environmentally benign energy. ITER will allow scientists to explore the physics of burning plasma at energy densities close to that of a commercial power plant, the critical next step in producing and delivering commercially available electricity from fusion to the grid.
Clean Energy Initiative (CEI)
At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002, the United States launched a Clean Energy Initiative (CEI). CEI consists of four market-oriented, performance-based partnerships: Global Village Energy Partnership, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development; Partnership for Clean Indoor Air and Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, led by EPA; and Efficient Energy for Sustainable Development, led by DOE. The mission of CEI 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 expanding access to and modernizing energy services.
Group on Earth Observations
On July 31, 2003, the United States hosted 33 nations, including many developing nations, at the inaugural Earth Observation Summit (EOS), out of which came a commitment to establish an intergovernmental, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Earth observation system. 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 carbon dioxide and aerosols in the atmosphere, and to develop strategies for carbon sequestration. For more information visit http://usgeo.gov/.
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 numerous individual activities. 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. Most recently, President Bush and Prime Minister Harper of Canada agreed to establish a high-level dialogue to discuss the environment, climate change, air quality and energy issues.
- CEQ Chairman James L. Connaughton’s Testimony Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, September 20, 2006 (link to PDF)
- CEQ Chairman James L. Connaughton’s Testimony Before the House Government Reform Committee, July 20, 2006 (link to PDF)