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Climate Change and Energy

Climate Change and Energy

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Climate Change and Energy

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  1. Climate Change and Energy National and Regional Perspective Ken Mitchell, Ph.D. Energy and Climate Change Coordinator U.S. EPA; Atlanta, Georgia

  2. Global Climate Change • Some Key Messages: • Human activities have led to large increases in heat-trapping gases over the past century • Global average temperature and sea level have increased, and precipitation patterns have changed • The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases • Human “fingerprints” also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice • Global temperatures are projected to continue to rise over this century; by how much and for how long depends on a number of factors, including the amount of heat-trapping gas emissions and how sensitive the climate is to those emissions US GCRP, 2009

  3. Climate Change and Energy • An EPA Priority • Reducing greenhouse gases is a top priority for Administrator Jackson • Some key actions taken: • Endangerment Finding • Mandatory Reporting • Renewable Fuels Standard

  4. Proposed Endangerment Finding • Current and projected concentrations of the mix of key greenhouse in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations • carbon dioxide (CO2) • methane (CH4) • nitrous oxide (N2O) • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) • perfluorocarbons (PFCs) • sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)

  5. Proposed Endangerment Finding • “Cause or contribute finding” • The combined emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate change • Federal Register notice 4/24/09 • Comment period closed 6/23/09

  6. Mandatory Reporting of GHGs • Required by FY08 omnibus appropriations legislation • Federal Register Notice 4/10/09 • Comment Period Closed 6/09/09 http://epa.gov/climatechange/ Inventory of U.S. GHG Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007

  7. Anthropogenic GHG emissions covered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other fluorinated gases carbon dioxide (CO2) methane (CH4) nitrous oxide (N2O) hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) perfluorocarbons (PFC) sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) hydrofluorinated ethers (HFE) Expressed in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e) Covered Chemicals

  8. Who Reports? • Primarily facility, with limited exceptions (e.g., fuel importers, vehicle and engine manufacturers) *Some upstream suppliers will also be reporting their direct emissions (e.g., refineries)

  9. Thresholds, Methods, and Frequency • Threshold • Capacity-based threshold, where appropriate and feasible; Emissions-based threshold of 25,000 metric tons of CO2e/yr for other sources • Methods • Direct measurement, where available, and facility-specific calculation for other sources • EPA direct reporting system for fuel quantity and quality information • Frequency • Annually for New Reporters (facilities reporting quarterly for existing mandatory programs continue quarterly reports) • First reports submitted to EPA March 31, 2011 for CY2010 • Engine manufacturers report for model year 2011

  10. Proposed Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) • Proposed revision to current RFS (RFS1) as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) • Significant increase in renewables to displace petroleum consumption • Lifecycle analysis for GHGs www.epa.gov/OMS/RENEWABLEFUELS

  11. Volume Changes Over Time

  12. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Thresholds • Required GHG reduction thresholds for the various categories of fuels • Evaluated over the full lifecycle • Compared to the lifecycle emissions of 2005 petroleum baseline fuels a The 20% criterion generally applies to renewable fuel from new facilities that commenced construction after December 19, 2007. * EPA is proposing to exercise the 10% adjustment allowance provided for in EISA for the advanced biofuels threshold to as low as 40%

  13. Preliminary Emissions Impacts 1 Includes all upstream and downstream emissions

  14. What about Region 4?

  15. Some key facts about Region 4…. • Home to 20% of the population (with a large EJ component) • We generated about 24% of electricity in U.S. (burning coal is a primary fuel source) in 2007 • Responsible for about 24% of U.S. CO2emissions (from power production) in 2007 • We use more fuel and drive more miles than any other Region Energy Information Administration Federal Highways Administration U.S. Census Bureau

  16. 2007 CO2 Emission from Power Generation in R4 States 20% Source: Energy Information Administration

  17. 2007 Electricity Generation (Electric Power Industry) in R4 States 23% Source: Energy Information Administration

  18. Energy Efficiency • Reduce energy use in buildings • Energy Star • Green Buildings • Connection to water • WaterSense • Energy efficient infrastructure • Connection to materials management • WasteWise • Green remediation opportunities • Promote more fuel efficient vehicles/fuels, better transit options, and smart planning and growth

  19. BioEnergy • Southeast could dominate this industry • Some activities to promote bioenergy production and use in the SE • Southeastern Diesel Collaborative • Biodiesel production in communities and technical training for schools • Agriculture and other Waste-to-Energy projects

  20. Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts • Many concerns for the Southeast…. • Most coastline in the lower 48 states • Large at-risk population • Prone to frequent natural disasters • Significant forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, and ecosystem resources • Adaptation planning underway and transportation will be an important consideration Ocean surface temperature during the peak hurricane season, August through October, in the main development region for Atlantic hurricanes. Higher sea surface temperatures in this region of the ocean have been associated with more intense hurricanes. As ocean temperatures continue to increase in the future, it is likely that hurricane rainfall and wind speeds will increase in response to human-caused warming. US GCRP, 2009

  21. What about air quality? • Potential impact of climate change on: • Ozone • Particulate matter • Toxics • Pollen Courtesy of Sustaining the Environment and Resources for Canadians

  22. Questions? Ken Mitchell, Ph.D. Energy and Climate Change Coordinator U.S. EPA; Atlanta, Georgia 404-562-9065 mitchell.ken@epa.gov www.epa.gov/CLIMATECHANGE www.epa.gov/CLEANENERGY www.epa.gov/OMS/RENEWABLEFUELS