United States (Federal)

US-9:Climate VISION

Policy Description

Climate VISION is a public-private partnership initiative launched by the Department of Energy in 2003. It is a voluntary initiative that pursues cost-effective strategies to improve energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity in energy-intensive industrial sectors.

Description

Climate VISION (Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now) is a public-private partnership initiative launched by the Department of Energy on February 12, 2003 [1]. It is a voluntary partnership initiative with energy-intensive industries to pursue cost-effective strategies to improve energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity (*2) and accelerate the adoption of technologies, processes, and practices that reduce, capture, or sequester GHG emissions. DOE’s Office of Climate Change Policy and Technology provides management, analysis, communications, and other staff support to this innovative partnership. Climate VISION has not officially ended, although it has not been funded since 2009.

Participants

Business and trade associations who have participated in Climate VISION represent 13 energy-intensive industrial sectors (see Target Group). In total, these sectors account for approximately 40 to 45 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions [2].

Other U.S. government agencies that have been involved in Climate VISION include the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Agriculture. Participation is through associations; individual companies wanting to address GHG or energy intensity improvements can go through individual programs such as the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership.

Activities

The industry trade groups have undertaken a range of activities in support of these goals, with the support of the agencies participating in the Climate VISION program. The program helps these groups and their members:

  • Identify and implement solutions for reducing GHG emissions that are cost-effective today;
  • Develop and utilize the tools to calculate, inventory, and report GHG emissions reduction, avoidance, and sequestration;
  • Develop strategies to speed the development and commercial adoption of advanced technologies;
  • Develop strategies across the commercial and residential sectors to help energy consumers reduce GHG emissions; and
  • Recognize voluntary mitigation actions.

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Administrative, Voluntary Agreement

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Voluntary

Policy Linkages

Complements Energy Star for Industry Program Effort Defining
Complements Save Energy Now LEADER (replaced by US-4b Better Buildings, Better Plants Program) Effort Defining
Complements Climate Leaders (ended in 2011) Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Department of Energy

Primary Objective: GHG Emissions

Objective

To identify and pursue cost-effective options to improve the energy or GHG intensity of industry operations by accelerating the transition to technologies, practices, and processes that are cleaner, more efficient, and capable of reducing, capturing or sequestering GHGs [3].

Target Group

Business and trade associations from 13 energy-intensive industrial sectors including electric power producers; petroleum refiners; automobile, iron and steel, aluminum, chemical, and magnesium manufacturers; forest products producers; and the cement, mining, industrial minerals, lime, and semiconductor industries [4].

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Energy efficiency and greenhouse gas intensity.

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.

Coverage

Approximately 40 to 45 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Quantitative Target? yes

Target: Specific to private sector initiatives [5] [6] (*1)

Time Period: Specific to private sector initiatives [7] [8]

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? no

Enforced? no

Requirements on the Target Group

 

Applicants need to comply with the Industry Associations' requirements [9] and resources. Requirements for members vary depending on the Industry Association. Examples include [10] [11] [12]:

  • The Aluminum industry, represented by the members of Voluntary Aluminum Industry Partnership (VAIP), committed to a direct carbon intensity reduction of emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and of emissions of CO2 from the consumption of the carbon anode from the primary aluminum reduction process. The Climate VISION target was a 53% total carbon equivalent reduction from these sources by 2010 from 1990 levels [13].
  • The Iron and Steel industry, represented by the members of the American Iron and Steel Institute, committed to improve energy efficiency by 10% by 2012, with 2002 as a basis. The goal was achieved in four years.
  • The Automobile Manufacturers industry, represented by the members of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, committed to achieve at least a 10% reduction in GHG emissions from their U.S. automotive manufacturing facilities, based on U.S. vehicle production, by 2012 from a base year of 2002.
  • The American Chemistry Council committed to pursuing reductions in GHG intensity toward an overall target of 18 percent by 2012, using 1990 emissions intensity as the baseline. It also required members to provide valid and reliable data ensuring that greenhouse gas intensity reduction numbers are complete, transparent, and cover actual conditions. Regular progress reports to the public and the government were also required.

Support by Government

 

DOE and the other participating agencies provide a broad range of technical assistance, including: * plant-wide assessments, * industrial assessment centers, * standardization of software tools that identify opportunities for greater energy efficiency and consistency in calculating emissions, * training and information [14]. Government support is linked to the support provided under DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (see below). For a detailed description see Policy US-2.

Implementation Toolbox

 

Climate Vision is supported by various implementation tools that are also used in the Advanced Manufacturing Office (Policy US-2). The implementation toolbox among others includes: Training Centers, Software Tools and Plant Assessments. 

Complexity of Implementation

Government

Program is moderately complex. Direct costs are relatively low.

Target Group

Industries can voluntarily participate and receive both technical and financial support to implement the program requirements. Difficulties are related to meeting the energy intensity reduction target.

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions The Progress report 2007 assessing the actions taken by energy-intensive industries to improve greenhouse gas emissions intensity of their operations from 2002 to 2006 [15], indicates that the power and energy-intensive industrial sectors improved their combined emissions intensity by 9.4 percent over this four year period, and in 2006 actual greenhouse gas emissions for these sectors fell a combined 1.4 percent. Official reports from the program are quite positive on the program's results. Among others, it reports that since the program launch in 2003, many Climate VISION partners have reported that they are ahead of schedule in achieving their 2012 goals. To add a critical note: no information is provided as to the stringency of these targets.
Estimated costs/benefits for industry Not Available Not Available
Estimated cost for government Not Available Not Available
Other Benefits
General Benefits Improve energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions intensity
Specific Benefits Better insight into emissions,better awareness of environmental and societal costs and ability to address risks associated with this.

References & Footnotes

References

[1] Climate Vision, Program Mission: http://www.climatevision.gov/mission.html

[2] Climate Vision, Climate Vision Progress 2007 (Feb 2008): http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/progress_report/index.html

[3] Climate Vision, Program Mission: http://www.climatevision.gov/mission.html

[4] Climate Vision, private sector initiatives: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/index.html

[5] Climate Vision, private sector initiatives: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/index.html

[6] Climate Vision, Climate Vision Progress 2007 (Feb 2008): http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/progress_report/index.html

[7] Climate Vision, private sector initiatives: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/index.html

[8] Climate Vision, Climate Vision Progress 2007 (Feb 2008): http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/progress_report/index.html

[9] Climate Vision, private sector initiatives: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/index.html

[10] Climate Vision, private sector initiatives: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/index.html

[11] Climate Vision, Chemical Sector Agreement: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/chemical/pdfs/chem_agreement.pdf

[12] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership (VAIP), Accomplishments: http://www.epa.gov/highgwp/aluminum-pfc/accomplishments.html

[13] Climate Vision, Aluminum - Letters of Intent/Agreements: http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/aluminum/index.html

[14] Climate Vision, Resources and Links: http://www.climatevision.gov/resources.html

[15] Climate Vision, Climate Vision Progress 2007 (Feb 2008): http://www.climatevision.gov/sectors/progress_report/index.html

Footnotes

(*1) The Portland Cement Association has committed to a 10% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per ton of cementitious product produced or sold from a 1990 baseline by 2020.

(*2) For Climate Vision, it is defined as emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP).