This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 22, 2003

Fourteen Organizations to Cut Greenhouse Gases 4 Percent by 2006

Fourteen organizations, including several large corporations, have entered into a legally binding agreement to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent within the next four years. The 14 entities announced last week that they are forming the Chicago Climate Exchange, a voluntary cap-and-trade program for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The program will allow entities that exceed their emissions goal to sell carbon credits to organizations that are falling short. Trading will begin in spring, and will include so-called "sinks"—farm and forestry projects that help reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere—as well as "offsets," which are emissions-reducing projects in other countries that are funded by the U.S. entities.

The 14 entities include American Electric Power (AEP); Baxter International Inc.; the City of Chicago; DuPont; Equity Office Properties Trust; Ford Motor Company; International Paper; Manitoba Hydro; MeadWestvaco Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; STMicroelectronics; Stora Enso North America; Temple-Inland Inc.; and Waste Management, Inc.

Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas, and since most energy sources produce carbon dioxide, energy efficiency is one of the key strategies for achieving greenhouse gas reductions. Methane is also a powerful greenhouse gas, so bioenergy projects that capture methane and use it as an energy source also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as do other renewable energy projects. See the Chicago Climate Exchange Web site and press release (PDF 21 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

As noted by AEP, the Chicago Climate Exchange is that company's way of participating in the Bush Administration's voluntary climate change program. The company may use power plant efficiency improvements and renewable generation, such as wind power and biomass co-firing at its coal plants, to meet its goals, although it also expects to buy credits through the exchange. See the AEP press release.