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Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide. Definition: A heavy colorless gas that does not support combustion, is formed especially in animal respiration and in the decay or combustion of animal and vegetable matter, is absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis. Projections for CO2.

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Carbon Dioxide

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  1. Carbon Dioxide Definition: A heavy colorless gas that does not support combustion, is formed especially in animal respiration and in the decay or combustion of animal and vegetable matter, is absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis

  2. Projections for CO2 • The Industrial Revolution not only marked our transition into an era of technological advancement and prosperity, but also drastically transformed the environment by increasing CO2 emissions • Population began to grow exponentially • We consumed fossil fuels in increasing amounts to feed our rapidly industrializing economies • Increased deforestation to make room for cities and roads • Less trees Less photosynthesis More CO2 • Is this the price of progress?

  3. Sources of CO2 emissions in the US • Electricity • Is a significant source of energy in the United States that is used to power homes, business, and industry • The combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity is the largest single source of CO2 emissions in the nation, which accounts for approximately 37% of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 31% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 • Transportation • The combustion of fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel, used to transport people and goods is the second largest source of CO2 emissions • This includes transportation sources such as highway vehicles, air travel, marine transportation, and rail • Industry • Many industrial processes emit CO2 through the combustion of fossil fuels • Some of the emissions are produced through other chemical reactions that do not require combustion such as the production of mineral products, metals, and chemicals

  4. How does a Greenhouse Work? • The sun emits different types of electromagnetic radiation • The glass allows most solar wavelengths to enter except for the long (thermal infrared) wavelengths • Upon colliding with plants or the Earth, the short wavelength infrared rays warm the plants and the Earth • The warmed objects give off long wavelength infrared which are mostly trapped inside the glass and continue to heat the inside of the greenhouse

  5. The Greenhouse Effect • There are certain gases that are naturally present in the Earth’s atmosphere called greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and help regulate the Earth’s temperature • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activity • In 2013, CO2 accounted for nearly 82% of all United States greenhouse gas emissions from human activities • The equilibrium level for CO2 in the atmosphere is 280 ppm but currently the level of CO2 in atmosphere is approximately 400ppm • This means that our atmosphere contains 41% more CO2 than equilibrium • the increased amount of CO2 in the air is reflecting more infrared waves back towards the earth thus increasing average temperatures • The increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has a similar effect to a greenhouse where the glass is too thick, too much heat is trapped and temperatures rises

  6. Harmful effects of CO2 • Rising temperatures result in the melting of polar ice caps will raise sea level • it is predicted that if the global temperature rises by 3.60 °C, the polar ice caps and glaciers would melt. This would increase the water level of oceans by about 100 m and lead to the flooding of low-lying coastal areas of the earth • Ocean acidification • The CO2 reacts with the H2O to form H2CO3 (Carbonic acid) which then further breaks up into H+ and HCO3- • The increased concentration of Hydrogen ions increases the acidity of the ocean, putting many calcifying species at risk and may have severe destabilizing effects on the entire oceanic food-chain.

  7. EPA Founding • After President Nixon’s inauguration in 1969, he established the Environmental Quality Council. • In late 1969, Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This statute changed the role of the government from passive conservation to active protection of the environment.   • In 1970, Nixon wanted to establish a regulatory body to guarantee the enforcement of environmental policy.   • It aimed to complete the following: • Establishment of environmental protection standards in line with the nation’s environmental goals. • Establishing research protocols and unifying data collection in order to strengthen current and developing environmental protection programs. • Assisting organizations, through grants, in slowing down pollution in the environment. • Working with the Environmental Quality Council to develop and recommend new policies to the President. • This resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency

  8. Clean Air Act (1970) • Government intervention that was a crucial foundation in addressing the problem of air pollution • This was the first action taken by the Federal Government to mitigate air pollution • A comprehensive federal law that regulates air emission and allows the EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for common pollutants • SO2, O3, NOx, CO, PM, Pb • Its main goals were to: protect public health and regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants • At the time CO2, was not prioritized as a hazardous air pollutant because it occurred naturally

  9. Clean Air Act (1990) • Required technology based standards for areas that produce either more than 10 tons of a single hazardous pollutant, or more than 25 tons of a combination of hazardous pollutants • For these areas the EPA evaluates and requires a maximum possible reduction in emissions these Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) • Standards are then reviewed for each area by the EPA every 8 years for any further reduction potential in emissions by these areas

  10. Classification of Carbon Dioxide by EPA • In 1998, the Clinton administration EPA determined that the Clean Air Act was “potentially applicable” to CO2 and other greenhouse gases • The Clinton administration never moved to regulate the gases, despite continued pressure from environmental groups • The Bush Administration chose not to follow this classification, declaring that carbon dioxide and the like aren’t pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Therefore, the agency had no power to regulate them • This idea was rejected in April of 2007, when the Supreme Court rejected that position, declaring that Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars • This backing allowed the EPA to classify rising carbon-dioxide emission as a hazard to human health, meaning that while CO2 itself was not a pollutant, the rising concentrations were. • This once again gave the EPA the power to regulate and attempt to curb the rising levels of CO2 emissions.

  11. CAP AND TRADE The Other Option Cap and Trade THE FREE MARKET SOLUTION

  12. Carbon Tax • There is currently no tax at the national level, only in some more local areas. • Carbon tax is one of two major market-based options to lower emissions, the other being cap-and-trade • Many economists and consumers prefer the carbon tax because of its simplicity and impartiality • Carbon tax is based on the concept of negative externalities • Externalities are costs or benefits generated by the production of goods and services. Negative externalities are costs that are not paid for.  • When utilities, businesses or homeowners consume fossil fuels, they create pollution that has a societal costbecause everyone suffers from the effects of pollution. • Proponents of a carbon tax believe that the price of fossil fuels should account for these societal costs.

  13. How does it work? • The federal government taxes Company X for the CO2 it emits • Company X adds the cost of the tax to the sale price of the product, essentially passing on the burden of the tax to the consumer • Products manufactured in companies that operate with low levels of emissions are able to sell their product for a lower price • Consumers purchase cheaper, low-pollution products • Competing companies have a financial incentive to reduce emissions • A portion of the tax is returned to low income households or green development and research

  14. British Columbia • British Columbia inaugurated its carbon tax on July 1, 2008 at a rate of $10 (Canadian) per metric ton of carbon dioxide. The tax incremented by $5/tons annually, reaching its current level of $30 per ton of CO2 in July 2012. • Results • DROP IN FUEL CONSUMPTION:”The carbon tax has contributed substantial environmental benefits to British Columbia (BC). Since the tax took effect in 2008, British Columbians’ use of petroleum fuels (subject to the tax) has dropped by 15.1% — and by 16.4% compared to the rest of Canada. “ • GROWTH UNAFFECTED: “BC’s GDP growth has outpaced the rest of Canada’s (albeit by a small amount) since the carbon tax came into effect – suggesting that it has not adversely affected the province’s economy, as some had predicted. This finding fits with evidence from seven other countries that have had similar carbon tax shifts in place for over a decade, resulting in neutral or slightly positive effects on GDP.” • REVENUE NEUTRAL: “The BC government has kept its promise to make the tax shift ‘revenue neutral’, meaning no net increase in taxes. In fact, to date it has returned far more in tax cuts (by over $300 million) than it has received in carbon tax revenue – resulting in a net benefit for taxpayers. BC’s personal and corporate income tax rates are now the lowest in Canada, due to the carbon tax shift.” • GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS DECLINING: “From 2008 to 2010, BC’s per capita GHG emissions declined by 9.9% — a substantial reduction. During this period, BC’s reductions outpaced those in the rest of Canada by more than 5%.”

  15. So…Should We Do It? State Carbon Tax Federal Carbon Tax If the US itself imposes the tax, it could affect other nations that trade resources that consume fossil fuels, and push other nations to adopt their own taxes. It would be easier to regulate at the national level the tax, rather than each state having their own tax and making interstate trade more difficult. Energy policies are normally maintained by the federal government. • Could serve as a model, which could provide a base for a federal tax. • Risks people driving out of state to get gas that isn’t taxed. • Could be easier to pass due to less pressure against environmentalism in every state.

  16. How does Cap and Trade work? Cap and Trade also known as Emission Trading is a market based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants 1) A specific number of credits (the cap) is created 2) Businesses can buy and sell credits as they see fit 3) Cap decreases every year until the pollutant is ultimately banned

  17. Does it Work? DOES IT WORK?

  18. YES!

  19. Acid Rain Program (ARP) - Title IV of the 1990 clean air act established program - Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) causing Acid Rain was becoming a problem - Primarily concerning coal fired power plants - Pricing of SO2 made installing scrubbers economically advantageous

  20. 1995 – Phase 1 Electric power generating plants (261 Units in 21 states) to cut sulfur dioxide emission rates to 2.5 lbs/million Btu Those who installed scrubbers got a 2 year extension 2000 – Phase 2 Emission rates had to be cut to 1.2 lbs/million Btu Polluters had to pay $2,000 per metric ton of SO2 emitted past

  21. Results • - SO2 emissions were reduced by 50% from 1980 levels • by 2007 • - Reduced cost of controlling acid rain by as much as 80% • - SO2 emissions have fallen from 17.3 million tons in 1980 • to about 7.6 million tons in 2008, a decrease in emissions • of 56% • 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) • 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) 28 States

  22. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) program • Nitrogen Oxides produce Smog, cause asthma • 1999-2002 Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) • NOx Budget Trading Program (NTP) under the NOx State Implementation Plan, has gone further

  23. Results Ozone Season NOx emissions decreased by 43% between 2003 and 2008. Emissions continue to drop Will result in $85 billions - $100 billion in health benefits. Avoids 20,000 and 50,000 incidents of premature mortality annually due to reductions of ambient PM2.5 concentrations

  24. SO2 and NOx Reductions

  25. So what about Carbon? SO WHAT ABOUT CARBON?

  26. California - In 2006 California passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act, under Gov. Schwarzenegger - 2012 program began CAPS • 2014: 160 million metric tons • 2015: 395 million metric tons * • 2020: 334 million metric tons State has sold $2.27 Billion of CO2 allowances

  27. Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) - Founded in 2000 - Aimed to reduce CO2 emissions by 6% by 2010 - Failed - 5-10 cents per metric ton ad eventually trading stopped altogether and market closed in 2010 - Finding the right balance

  28. Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Started in 2007 by the governors of five Western States (AZ, CA, NM, OR, and WA) Green House Gas emissions 15% below 2005 emission levels by 2020 By 2008 initiative expanded to include two more states (MT, and UT) and 4 Canadian Provinces (BC, MB, ON, and QC) Only California adopted initiative into State Government, other states dropped out and now are “observers”

  29. New York State 2003 - Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Nine States are part of RGGI Launched in 2009 with the aim to reduce the carbon budget of each state’s electricity generation sector to 10% below their 2009 allowanced by 2018 2013 Initiative was revised and 2014 cap was 91 million tons. 2.5% reduction every year until 2020.

  30. Results Economic - Since 2009 NY State Government has raised over $700,000 from proceeding's and created 9063 job years. - Over $1 Billion in energy bill savings to over 130,000 homes and 2,500 businesses. Public Health • CO2 emissions caps also reduce amount of other air pollutants • Since 2005, rates of asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks, hospital visits, and death linked to air pollutants reduced by 87%, saving up to $4.8 billion

  31. American clean energy and Security Act 2009 • Was going to be a national Cap and Trade Program similar to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme • House of Representatives approved the bill 219-212 • Would require electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable resources by 2020 • Reduce CO2 emissions by 17% • Never brought to the floor of the Senate for discussion or a vote

  32. Other EPA Initiatives 2015 President Obama and EPA announce Clean Power Plan - 32% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 • States are going to decide how they are going to achieve this • These plans are due in 2016 • Could be reversed Raising fuel efficiency standards Improving building insulation standards Subsidizing Clean Energy

  33. The Take Away Cap and Trade is method using free market economics to curb CO2 pollution Popular with those who would firmly appose a Carbon Tax Cap and Trade has worked in the past and it can work for Carbon as well in the future

  34. International Measures

  35. The start of international collaboration (1979) • The First World Climate Conference (1979) is held after a series of disastrous environmental and climate-related events worldwide. • Hosts: WMO, UNEP, FAO, UNESCO, WHO • The FWCC led to the creation of several global intl’ bodies representing different aspects of environmental concern: the most relevant being the World Climate Programme • Several environmental treaties would be made following this historical event.

  36. FWCC’s Hosts

  37. World Climate Programme (1979) • Established under the joint responsibility of WMO, UNEP and ICSU (International Council of Scientific Unions) in 1979 Goals: • Research to what extent climate can be predicted & the extent of human influence on climate • Ensure accessible observations of the global climate and manage data • Promote capacity development in developing countries • Effectively apply climate knowledge for planning, policy and practice

  38. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1988) • Created in 1988 by WMO and UNEP, and endorsed by the UN General Assembly • This is a scientific body under the UN which reviews the most recent scientific, technical, and socio-economic information that is relevant to the study of climate change. • No research or scientific observations are conducted under this body. • Scientists worldwide contribute their research to IPCC. • The IPCC intends its reviews to be policy-relevant and policy-neutral, government endorsement of an IPCC review would then “acknowledge the authority of the[ir] scientific content.”

  39. Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit (1992) • Held in Rio de Janeiro on June 1992 from the 3rd to the 14th. • Main theme: Environment and sustainable development. • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): A treaty first adopted during the Summit then formally enacted in 1994. • Other accomplishments: Agenda 21, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Statement of Forest Principles, UN Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

  40. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) • The UNFCCC is an international treaty that has organized the Conference of the Parties, an annual event in which the heads of states can discuss environmental measures, protocols and treaties. • Aim: “Preventing ‘dangerous’ human interference with the climate system.” • But, how? • By stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions!

  41. Kyoto Protocol • Proposed in December 11, 1997 during COP3 (Kyoto). • Not formally put into effect until 2005 due to the complex ratification process. • Mandates wealthy countries (Annex I) that have ratified it to have binding emission targets, mainly for the six main GHGs. • Emerging developing countries such as China, India, and Brazil which have large GHG emissions must limit their emission growth.

  42. Mechanisms • Clean development mechanism (CDM): Any Annex I country can invest in a non-Annex I country for emission reduction. • Joint Implementation (JI): Any Annex I country can invest in a GHG-reducing project with another Annex I country. • International Emissions Trading (cap-and-trade): Each ratifying country has “assigned amount units” (AAU) which they can trade with other countries. • The last trading unit is a “removal unit” (RMU) which is related to land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).

  43. Picturing it

  44. The Limits & Targets

  45. Doha Amendment, the Second Commitment • This is considered the second round of the Kyoto Protocol. • Created new targets for the second commitment period, from January 1, 2013 – 31, December 2020. • Enacted on December 8, 2012 at COP18 (Doha, Qatar). • Ratified by only 52 countries as of November 10, 2015.

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