Non-utility organizations sign up to greenhouse gases reporting programme

Some 42 manufacturers, landfill methane operators, and other non-utility organizations have voluntarily filed reports on their actions to reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions with the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Programme in 1997, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the independent statistical and analytical agency within the US Department of Energy.

The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Programme, required by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, is part of the US Government’s efforts to develop low-cost, and non-regulatory approaches to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.

The programme affords an opportunity for any organization or individual to establish a public record of its achievements in reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions in a national, publicly available database.

Participants may report aggregate emissions and emission reductions as well as any activity that reduces or offsets greenhouse gas emissions. Offsetting emissions typically involves sequestering carbon by growing trees, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The number of non-utilities reporting has quadrupled since the first year of the programme, in 1994. Non-utilities now comprise more than a quarter (27 percent) of the reporters to the programme and include firms in the automotive industry (General Motors and Volvo); petroleum refining and production (BP America); the chemical industry (Johnson & Johnson and Dow Chemical Company); the metals industry (Noranda, Alcan, and Columbia Falls Aluminium); coal mining (Peabody and Consol); and electronic equipment (IBM, Lucent, and Motorola Austin).

EIA’s summary of results of the fourth year of reporting, Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases 1997, released on June 1, discusses emission reduction activities undertaken during 1997. More than 150 participants reported 1,229 individual projects that reduced or offset emissions by a reported 166 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is an increase of 7 percent over the total reductions reported for 1996.

Electric utilities continued to be major participants in the program, with 111 electric utilities, including nearly all of the largest generating utilities in the US, filing reports. These utilities reported projects such as improved plant efficiencies, co-generation, use of non-fossil fuels such as nuclear and renewable fuels, and demand-side management programs that reduce power use by their customers. Other reported projects cover many different approaches to reducing or offsetting emissions, and include such activities as methane recovery projects at landfills, urban forestry, and world-wide tree planting projects.

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