Climate Change and Cap and Trade have been the focus of the industry in the last few months. At Glass Association of North America’s fall conference last September, officials and members discussed the issues at length. Climate change will have a huge effect on the glazing industry, said Kim Mann, general counsel, GANA, at the conference. “The feds are taking it up, and California, not surprisingly, is in the forefront. What happens in California, won’t stay in California, it will move east,” he said.
The White House expects President Obama’s $646 billion Cap and Trade plan will begin generating revenue for the government in 2012. The plan is expected to bring some $80 billion a year from 2012 to 2019, according to a report in the U.S. News & World Report.
California has implemented the AB 32, or Assembly Bill 32, the state level Cap and Trade greenhouse gas emissions regulation, said Steve Farrar, director, Guardian Industries, Auburn Hills, Mich., at the GANA conference. Numbers wise, what’s been proposed could jeopardize the profits of the flat glass manufacturers, said Bill Yanek, president, GANA. “The Educational Committee will do a study on how much greenhouse gas the glass makers emit, how much can be saved on energy if, for instance, low-E glass is used in a project, and find the ratio. Europe has such a study, but the United States does not,” Yanek said.
The California Air Resources Board’s Glass Manufacturing Sector Survey for owners/operators of three glass sectors--container, flat, and fiber glass--is now online. The ARB requires all glass manufacturers to submit the survey to determine if a regulation is needed to protect public health and carry out its other statutory responsibilities. The ARB staff is evaluating the potential strategies that the glass manufacturing industry can implement to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions.
On the other side of the ocean, the European Parliament in Brussels adopted the Climate Change package in December last year. The package confirms the EU binding target of 20 percent renewable energy share by 2020 as well as 20 percent reduction on greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 percent improvement on energy efficiency.
The European Commission’s emissions trading plan would lead to additional costs of an estimated $336.7 million to the glass industry in Germany alone, said Paul Neeteson, president, Federal Association of the German Glass Industry or Bundesverband Glasindustrie – BV Glas and glasstec 2008, at glasstec 2008 last October.
What is your take on Climate Change and Cap and Trade in the U.S.? What kind of carbon footprint do you believe the glass industry has? Should the industry be credited for its contribution in making a product green? How should such effects be quantified?
By Sahely Mukerji, news editor/managing editor, Glass Magazine