NEW ORLEANS - Nearly five dozen Gulf Coast industry representatives from the automotive, power, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, chemical, refining and transportation sectors came together this week to share and scale decarbonization strategies at the inaugural meeting of the Gulf Coast Carbon Collaborative.
The Collaborative is the first-of-its-kind industry initiative focused on cross-sector solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Companies are looking for ways to further reduce their own carbon footprints and those of other industry sectors as the region focuses on resiliency in the face of growing climate change effects such as rising sea levels and extreme weather, endangering coastal communities and industrial infrastructure.
'There is tremendous industrial activity in the Gulf Coast Region supporting a strong economy. At the same time, companies want to avoid putting more carbon into the atmosphere. They are interested in learning different strategies, techniques and ways they can work together to leverage greater carbon reduction.' - Andrew Mangan, Founder of US BCSD
A broad range of stakeholders want to see companies take the lead in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and forward-thinking companies have been responding by modernizing equipment, switching to electricity/other low- and zero-carbon fuels, and using both nature and technology to capture and store carbon. The Gulf Coast Carbon Collaborative was organized by the US Business Council for Sustainable Development and Entergy Corporation to accelerate cross-industry carbon reduction.
The US BCSD is a nonprofit business association that gives leading businesses a shared platform to identify and jointly solve critical sustainability challenges. The collaborative is designed to establish new projects that help companies reach carbon reduction goals. It is an action-based model that can be replicated in other parts of the country.
'If we can bring the collective power of this group and examples of the projects that come out of it to bear on developing good policies, they are much more likely to become reality.' - Chuck Barlow, vice president, sustainability and environmental policy for Entergy. 'The result will be greater net benefits to our communities and our planet.'
Entergy is an integrated energy company that delivers electricity to customers in multiple states covered by the collaborative including Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy made a commitment to action on climate change more than 20 years ago, recognizing the threat it posed to the health and vitality of the Gulf region the company serves. Entergy adopted a new emission rate reduction goal and issued a climate scenario analysis earlier this year.
A new report by the nonprofit Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) recommends that companies seek out opportunities to work across sectors to reduce emissions, which is the basis of the Gulf Coast Carbon Collaborative. Interested companies are encouraged to join the effort.
'Decarbonization will move faster and more efficiently if more oars are rowing in the same direction,' the report, Getting to Zero: a U.S. Climate Agenda, notes.