States and Provinces Form North America 2050 Initiative to Coordinate on Climate Change and Clean Energy

November 30, 2011

A broad group of U.S. states and Canadian provinces have formed the North America 2050 Initiative (NA 2050) to facilitate efforts to design, promote and implement cost-effective policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create economic opportunities.

According to an article in BNA Daily Environment Report:

The forum grew out of an effort that began in 2009 when representatives of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the East, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), and the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord (Midwest Accord) teamed up to share information, Doug Scott, former director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and representative to the Midwest Accord, told BNA Nov. 23. …  “There are a lot of reasons for states to work together on climate and energy policies,’’ Scott said. “The ability to promote energy efficiency and create jobs’’ is something all states can get behind. (North America 2050 Initiative Created For State Collaboration on Climate, Energy, BNA Daily Environment Report, Nov. 28, 2011) (subscription required).

All of the states that previously participated in regional organizations (the Western Climate Initiative, the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) that addressed climate change and energy issues are expected to continue working together through NA 2050. The initiative is open to all U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and Mexican states committed to policies that move their jurisdictions toward a low-carbon economy while creating jobs, enhancing energy independence and security, protecting public health and the environment, and demonstrating climate leadership. The Georgetown Climate Center is one of multiple organizations staffing this effort.

The goals of the initiative are to:

  • Coordinate efforts to design, promote and implement effective and cost-effective policies;
  • Advocate for the most appropriate roles for federal, state, and provincial governments;
  • Achieve meaningful emission reductions; and
  • Demonstrate the economic and job creation benefits of policies.

 

The initiative envisions the creation of seven work groups:

  • Benefits Working Group: Evaluating the benefits of policies and programs for moving to a low-carbon economy
  • Power Sector 2050 Working Group:  Understanding, influencing and preparing for section 111 Clean Air Act requirements for electricity generation
  • Industry 2050 Working Group: Developing benchmarking approaches to encourage industrial energy efficiency, beginning by understanding, influencing and preparing for section 111 Clean Air Act requirements for refineries
  • Sequestration Working Group:  Exploring regulatory, technical and policy issues surrounding carbon capture and sequestration
  • Sustainable Biomass Working Group:  Understanding and supporting the use of sustainably harvested biomass fuels which have the potential to displace high carbon fuels used by stationary and industrial sources
  • Offsets Working Group:  Participate in the development and implementation of high quality offsets that may be used in emissions trading programs or for other purposes
  • Linking Working Group: Work on issues related to administrative and policy linking of emissions trading programs  as needed in the future