Lost in the political and financial bailout news the past few weeks has been some notable milestones for RGGI, TCR, and the EPA Climate Leaders program
RGGI, the first legally mandated, cap-and-trade program in the U.S. had their first auction last week. While the program only covers a handful of states and the allocations too large (thus not creating a shortage of carbon credits and a low price), RGGI nonetheless is an extremely important program that will drive lessons for a federal cap-and-trade and for future changes in California's ARB 32, mandated carbon reduction program
The Climate Registry, TCR, continues to make progress. This voluntary registry will, in my opinion, become at a minimum a model if not the actual program for a federal voluntary and/or mandated GHG reporting. TCR now has over 240 organizations committed to reporting and had a new online system for calculating and reporting GHG emissions. This program is throughly thought out and offers an outstanding opportunties for firms to learn (example are they supportive or not supportive of entity or building/factory level public reporting). Unlike the EPA Climate Leaders program, TCR does not require a public commitment to reduction levels.
EPA Climate Leaders program now as 225 corporate members as they march toward their October meeting. This program is a more demanding voluntary reporting program because of the requirement of publicly stated and achieved reduction goals, but it offers the benefits of more press visibility and reach chance for credit for early action (i.e. credit for action taken when reporting was voluntary and not legally mandatory).