US identifies additional measures to achieve 17% reduction in GHGs by 2020

In a draft report prepared for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the US government has identified a series of “additional measures” that it expects will enable it to achieve something close to its target of a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The report is currently up for public consultation with comments due by October 24, 2013.

The additional measures, yet to be presented with program details, include:

  • tax credits that currently have sunset dates, such as the production and investment tax credits, to be extended indefinitely;
  • federal energy appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards and building codes to be updated periodically;
  • power sector clean energy deployment to achieve 58% clean energy generation by 2020 – assuming clean energy generation includes electricity from renewables and nuclear with half credit for electricity from efficient natural gas generation.

An alternative scenario to the above will include additional energy savings primarily in areas not targeted by regulations and incentives in Scenario 1, including:

  • reductions in vehicle miles travelled;
  • improvements to existing residential and commercial building shells;
  • accelerated deployment of new industrial combined heat and power (CHP) capacity;
  • reductions in industrial energy demand in several subsectors;
  • 62% clean generation by 2020.

Further initiatives under either scenario will include:

  • abatement of methane emissions relative to business as usual (BAU) in the range of 25 to 90 MtCO2e;
  • HFC emission reductions by the year 2020 relative to BAU in the range of 100 to 135 MtCO2eq.

The report is available at http://www.state.gov/e/oes/climate/ccreport2014/ by clicking on U.S. Biennial Report  near the bottom of the page. The full report presented through chapter by chapter links on the same web page, describes measures that the US is already taking to reduce GHG emissions and their expected results. All of the above additional measures are likely, in GallonDaily’s opinion, to provide significant new business opportunities for environmental service companies for at least the next six years.

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