Peak Carbon, Revisited

A little over two years ago I wrote an article for Environmental Leader declaring that 2007 would be the year of “Peak Carbon” in the US, such that GHG emissions would generally decline from that point on (with accommodation for random short blips upwards). In the short term I figured that the economy would get the curve to peak, and that then a series of other policy and economic factors would continue to drive the emissions downward in a steady matter.

Electric Cars: Headway, But Improvements Needed

With the 500 car Cooper Mini E field trial, we’re finally started to get some real-world data on the performance of electric vehicles. The WSJ recently ran an article which surveyed participants in the field test and found they were generally getting in the 100-110 miles per charge range, less than the advertised 150. The battery in the Mini E is 35 kWH (not 35 kW as stated in the article).

International Carbon Offsets: The Next Trillion

In my role of Chief Sustainability Officer at Sun, I take part in an annual discussion of whether the company should purchase carbon offsets as part of our GHG reduction plan. Since we can buy carbon offsets at a price which is lower than what it costs us to reduce our GHG directly, we have four different approaches available to us: use offsets to report a greater emissions reduction at the same price as if we only did internal projects use offsets to report the same emissions as internal projects, but at a lower price ignore offsets and just do internal projects some mix of offsets and internal projects So far, each year we have elected to only invest in internal projects.