WASHINGTON, DC - On December 5th, industry leaders and representatives from government agencies attended Shaping Your Carbon Choices, a conference on understanding the solutions to and determining the business opportunities in carbon emissions management.
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WASHINGTON, DC - On December 5th, industry leaders and representatives from government agencies attended Shaping Your Carbon Choices, a conference on understanding the solutions to and determining the business opportunities in carbon emissions management. On the day following the conference, a select group of attendees formed the Carbon Management Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping companies understand and discover solutions to the challenges of reducing carbon emissions while identifying market opportunities.
The presentations at the conference largely focused on finding the silver lining in the growing problem of climate change. In his keynote speech, Congressman Jay Inslee, a senior member of House Committee on Energy and Commerce, declared the clean technological revolution the "greatest investment opportunity since the Internet." Venture capitalist Robert Shaw presented a future where "up to 40 million 'green' jobs and $500 billion in venture investment" would result from the response to climate change.
Presenters also highlighted the corporate advantages to developing solutions to carbon management. Increased shareholder value, financial savings, mitigated risk, and improved public perception were all cited as benefits to companies who reduce their carbon footprints. "The bottom line is that corporations must maintain a comprehensive energy strategy to remain competitive in a carbon-constrained world," said Jerry Schmits, director of product marketing at the Cadence Network.
Improving energy efficiency, adopting clean sources of energy, and developing ways to sequester the emissions resulting from energy use were among the strategic tools for carbon management discussed at the conference. Kathleen Hogan, director of the Climate Protection Partnerships Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, outlined an "Energy Strategy for the Road Ahead." Ms. Hogan recommended that business leaders master the fundamentals of energy management; shift the view from energy use to energy productivity; and think in terms of the energy value chain.
The question of how carbon regulation will affect business loomed over the day's proceedings. In the absence of federal action, some states and regions of the country have already implemented measures to reduce their carbon footprints. "Twenty-three states have committed to a carbon regime and three regional emissions reduction programs have emerged as responses to climate change" said Peter Rohde, senior editor of Carbon Control News and Energy Washington. Congressman Jay Inslee, who recently authored Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy, assured the audience that federal regulation of carbon emissions will be enacted by December 2009.
The organizational meeting of the Carbon Management Council included representatives from Fortune 1000 companies, public utilities, venture capital firms, and other sectors of industry and science. The Council expects to officially launch operations in January 2008.
To learn more about the Council, or to discover how your organization can become a member, please contact Jeff Serfass, Council President, at 202-457-0868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.