EPA to Drop Climate Leaders Program for Corporations
WASHINGTON, DC, September 17, 2010 (ENS) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to phase down services the agency offers to companies under its eight-year-old Climate Leaders program, including technical assistance and setting greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Climate Leaders was started in 2002 under the Bush administration as a voluntary program for organizations to complete a corporate-wide greenhouse gas inventory, set a reduction goal and meet that goal.
The EPA said there are many new developments in regulatory and voluntary programs that address greenhouse gas emissions, including the first-ever mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rules that took effect on January 1, 2010.
In a letter to Climate Leaders companies dated September 15, Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said the mandatory reporting rules will take the place of the voluntary Climate Leaders program.
“EPA has also finalized and is implementing Mandatory Reporting Rules that the Climate Leaders program helped to inform,” wrote McCarthy.
“These rules provide the foundation for a new comprehensive greenhouse gas Reporting Program that EPA is confident will spark significant interest in and support for greenhouse gas emissions reductions,” she wrote.
General Motors is a Climate Leaders Partner company. Here, North America President Mark Reuss, left, UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, and GM Spring Hill Engine Plant Site Manager Terri Burden tour plant that will build Ecotec four-cylinder engines in Tennessee. September 17, 2010. (Photo by Josh Anderson courtesy GM)
McCarthy wrote that the transition will “allow us to realign EPA resources” to help companies learn from the emissions data collected under the new Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.
McCarthy said states and nongovernmental organizations can now perform the services the EPA has been providing through the Climate Leaders program.
“EPA has determined that climate programs operated by the states and NGOs are now robust enough to service our Partners and other entities that wish to continue to advance their climate leadership through comprehensive reporting (that exceed mandatory reporting requirements) and/or the establishment of facility or corporate level greenhouse gas reduction goals,” she wrote.
McCarthy says the EPA will assist the transition of the Climate Leaders partners into these non-federal programs “that will allow them to go above and beyond mandatory reporting requirements to meet their goals.”
But she stopped short of recommending any of these non-federal programs, saying, “With the exception of programs offered by our state coregulators, EPA cannot endorse any particular program. It is up to each Partner to decide which program would be the best fit.”
“EPA very much values the effort that our Partners have made to meet Climate Leaders requirements and achieve program milestones and is proud of your many accomplishments,” McCarthy wrote. “I want to be clear that this transition does not signal the end of EPA’s commitment to recognize climate leaders.”
While some of the Climate Leaders participating companies only made pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, others have achieved their stated goals.
- 3M achieved its initial goal by reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent from 2002 to 2007.
- American Electric Power achieved its initial goal by reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by four percent from 2001 to 2006. AEP pledged to reduce total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by six percent from 2001 to 2010.
- Anheuser-Busch brewing company achieved its initial goal by reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent from 2005 to 2010.
- Bank of America achieved its initial goal by reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent from 2004 to 2009.
- Caterpillar, the machinery manufacturer, achieved its initial goal by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent per dollar revenue from 2002 to 2006. The company has pledged to reduce total global greenhouse gas emissions by three percent from 2006 to 2015.
- Exelon Corporation, which operates electricity generating utilities, achieved its initial goal by reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent from 2001 to 2008.
- FPL Group, Inc., which operates electricity generating utilities, achieved its initial goal by reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent per kWh from 2001 to 2007.
- GAP, the clothing retailer, achieved its initial goal by reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent per square foot from 2003 to 2008.
- General Motors achieved its initial goal by reducing total North American greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent from 2000 to 2005.
- IBM achieved its initial goal by reducing total global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by an average of six percent per year and emissions of the potent climate-warming gases perfluorocompounds by 58 percent from 2000 to 2005.
- Kodak, the photo film company, achieved its initial goal by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent from 2002 to 2008.
- Mack Trucks achieved its initial goal by reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent per unit produced from 2003 to 2007.
- Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, achieved its initial goal by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent per million dollars of revenue from 2000 to 2007.
- Shaklee, the personal care products company, achieved its initial goal by maintaining net zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 to 2009 using a 2004 base year.
- St. Lawrence Cement achieved its initial goal by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent per ton of cementitious product from 2000 to 2006.