Climate Change Roadmap for Pennsylvania
In June 2007 the Pennsylvania Environmental Council released its Climate Change Roadmap for Pennsylvania. The Roadmap, developed with the help of academic, agriculture, capital investment, energy generation, environmental, and government stakeholders, presents a series of policy and action item recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania.
Message from Paul King, Chair, PEC Board of Directors:
Challenges often bring opportunities, and this holds true for Pennsylvania and climate change. According to a May 2006 Cleantech Capital Group Report, venture capitalists invested $1.6 billion in North American clean technology companies in 2005, an increase of 43% from 2004. One overwhelming conclusion of this Report was that governmental policies are a key factor in investment decisions; the authors of the Report concluded: "the seeds are being laid now to determine which state's companies will get the lion's share of investment, and which states will call the leaders of the cleantech industry their own."
In 2005, recognizing the vital role the Commonwealth must play in addressing climate change, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) launched the Pennsylvania Climate Change Roadmap project. Working with a diverse group of stakeholders including representatives from energy generation, agriculture, academia, state government, and environmental interests, the Roadmap project had three clear goals: (1) inventory current, and forecast future, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Pennsylvania; (2) present long-term policy recommendations and reduction goals for GHG emissions reduction; and (3) identify near-term strategies to begin our Commonwealth's progress towards those reduction goals.
If we maintain the status quo, Pennsylvania's GHG emissions are projected to grow roughly 10% per decade, through 2025 and beyond. However, Pennsylvania could lower and ultimately reverse this growth by joining other states in setting goals for reducing GHG emissions and adopting the necessary supporting policies. These policies must address every sector of the economy, including transportation, industry, buildings, agriculture, and forestry. In addition, these policies should also be designed to achieve other important goals: energy independence, cleaner air and water, economic development, and job creation.
The Pennsylvania Climate Change Roadmap is a crucial first step in identifying both the challenges and opportunities inherent in climate change. Many of the recommendations contained in the Roadmap will require years of patient effort, focus, and commitment, but they are essential to helping ensure that we start off on the right foot toward a sustainable and prosperous future for all Pennsylvanians.
PEC recognizes and appreciates the many individuals who participated as stakeholders and consultants in development of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Roadmap report. Although all stakeholders do not necessarily agree with every statement or conclusion in this report, their views, input, and analysis helped us shape the final recommendations. We benefited enormously from their involvement.
PEC would also like thank the donor organizations that provided the financial support to this project: the Energy Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.
For more information about the Climate Change Roadmap for Pennsylvania, or the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, please contact us at (717) 230-8044.