"States cannot wait any longer for leadership on global warming
from the federal government," Blagojevich said. "Illinois and 29
other states are creating a system that gives businesses and
organizations an opportunity to step up to the plate and take
responsibility for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions."
The Climate Registry is a broad-based effort. The states involved
represent the length and breadth of the United States, Republicans
and Democrats, east and west, north and south, coastal and interior.
They all share a common concern about climate change and a desire to
"In Illinois, we have already begun many of the critical steps
toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency Director Doug Scott. "The Climate
Registry is a crucial step towards addressing global warming, since
you cannot manage greenhouse gas emissions without accurately
measuring them first."
The federal government generally does not require companies to
report greenhouse gas emissions, and Illinois and most other states
do not either. Companies and other organizations located throughout
the U.S. can voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions to The
Climate Registry beginning in January 2008. States that do require
reporting on greenhouse gas emissions are expected to use The
Climate Registry as well.
Many companies -- including Midwestern companies operating in
Illinois -- support this effort and see it as an opportunity to
demonstrate environmental leadership and to document emissions
reductions that may count toward future requirements to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Common reporting standards allow
businesses to follow the same rules in all states. This reduces the
cost of reporting and better manages risk.
Moreover, The Climate Registry is building from existing
internationally recognized measurement standards and will allow
global companies to consistently measure greenhouse gas emissions
from facilities located anywhere in the world.
The Climate Registry, which will begin accepting new members in
January 2008, creates national guidelines that businesses,
governments and other organizations can use as they document their
current level of greenhouse gas emissions and track progress as they
shrink their carbon footprint by conserving energy, using renewable
energy or investing in energy-saving technologies.
Currently, greenhouse gas emissions are not required to be
reported. The lack of leadership at the federal level -- combined
with the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring --
has compelled more than half of the states throughout the U.S. to
cooperatively create The Climate Registry.
Illinois joins Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and
the Campo Kumeyaay Nation as charter members of The Climate
Registry. Two Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Manitoba,
have also committed to participate.
The enrollment in this historic multistate effort builds upon
Illinois' fight against global warming.
Blagojevich announced a statewide goal to slash the production
of heat-trapping greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020 and 60
percent below 1990 levels by 2050. These goals are part of a
long-term strategy by Illinois to combat global climate change
and builds on steps the state has already taken to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to protect the environment and public
health against the effects of global warming.
Also in February,
the governor joined California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and
executives from BP to launch the Energy Biosciences Institute,
to be based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
and the University of California, Berkeley.
The $500 million
effort, funded by BP, will invest in researching next-generation
homegrown biofuels made from crops that will cut greenhouse gas emissions,
boost America's energy independence and create new markets for
In January 2007, Blagojevich celebrated final approval of rules
he introduced to dramatically improve air quality and protect public
health by dramatically slashing mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen
oxide emissions from the three largest coal-fired power plant
companies in Illinois: Midwest Generation, Ameren and Dynegy. The
agreements include commitments to shut down three of the oldest,
least efficient boiler units, leading to a reduction of 2.1 million
tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Last fall, Blagojevich announced his global warming initiative to
combat global climate change. As part of the governor's global
warming initiative, Illinois joined New Mexico to become only the
second state in the nation to join the Chicago Climate Exchange. As
a member, the state makes a voluntary, but legally binding,
commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from state buildings
and vehicle fleets.
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In October, the Climate Change Advisory Group was established to
identify the key strategies needed to make meaningful reductions in
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases statewide, while improving
the competitiveness of Illinois' economy. The respected group is
comprised of business leaders, labor unions, the energy and
agricultural industries, scientists, and environmental and consumer
groups from throughout the state, who will help identify measures to
cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gases.
Last summer, Blagojevich announced an ambitious plan to meet the
state's energy needs by investing in wind power and cleaner-burning
renewable fuels that will cut greenhouse gas emissions. Investing in
pollution-free wind power and cleaner-burning renewable fuels made
from crops like corn and soybeans, as well as using energy more
wisely and more efficiently, will benefit our economy through
innovation and investing in next-generation clean technologies. The
plan includes a renewable energy standard to generate 10 percent of
the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2015. The plan
also includes a proposed pipeline to help capture carbon dioxide
emissions from new coal gasification plants.
Last July, the governor announced that the state of Illinois
would begin powering 141 Springfield-based facilities under his
control with clean, renewable wind energy purchased from the
Springfield's municipal utility company, City Water Light and Power.
In early 2006, Illinois launched the Illinois Conservation
Climate Initiative in partnership with the Chicago Climate Exchange
and the Delta Institute. The Illinois Conservation Climate
Initiative offers farmers and other landowners the opportunity to
earn and sell greenhouse gas emission reduction credits through the
Chicago Climate Exchange when they take steps to trap carbon dioxide
and reduce methane emissions by using conservation tillage and
planting grasses and trees. These practices keep carbon in the soil
and plants instead of being released as carbon dioxide. Illinois is
the first state to sponsor such a program. More than 500 landowners
have enrolled 100,000 acres.
The state has taken numerous steps to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions from its vehicle fleet, including reducing the overall
number of state vehicles by 11 percent, from 13,635 in 2003 to
12,100 now; increasing the number of flexible-fuel vehicles in the
state fleet from 1,339 in 2000 (10 percent of fleet) to 1,944 now
(16 percent of fleet); and increasing the use of renewable and
cleaner burning ethanol and biodiesel in the state fleet. More than
1 million gallons of biofuels have been consumed by state vehicles
since April 2004.
On Earth Day 2007, Blagojevich announced that the state will
plant 2 million additional native trees annually, which will absorb
approximately 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere annually by 2020, equivalent to taking 36,000 cars off
the road. The program, administered by the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources' Nursery Reforestation Program, will help restore
and preserve forests and grasslands.
These efforts not only curtail greenhouse gas emissions but save
taxpayers money by limiting the state's use of electricity and
petroleum-based transportation fuels.
Scientists have reached a consensus that increasing emissions of
carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels, methane from
landfills and other sources of greenhouse gas emissions are trapping
heat and warming the earth's atmosphere. These gases remain in the
atmosphere for decades or even centuries. Earlier this spring, the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported
that heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions is raising the
temperature of the air and oceans, causing snow and ice to melt and
seal levels to rise. More than 1,200 experts from 113 countries
wrote and reviewed the report.
According to scientists, global warming could cause a variety of
serious problems in Illinois, including more frequent droughts,
flooding and extreme heat. Such changes could endanger public
health, decrease agricultural production, overwhelm sewage
infrastructure and cause property damage. Increased temperatures
could also lead to dangerous increases in the level of air pollution
and to the introduction of non-native invasive species that could
damage Illinois' ecosystems.
By working together, Climate Registry members are laying the
foundation for climate actions that will benefit generations to
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]