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The °Climate Group issues new report on low-carbon activities in Texas

25 February 2008

The °Climate Group today released a new report, Low Carbon Leader: Texas, which profiles the progress being made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the State of Texas, leading cities and major global companies based in the state.

Low Carbon Leader: Texas shows that incentives put in place under the 1999 Senate Bill 7 helped increase installed wind power capacity 280% in only seven years. As a result, Texas overtook California as the nation's largest producer of wind power, avoided three million tons of {CO2} emissions and reduced the carbon footprint of every Texan by 250 pounds every year.

Having met its renewable energy targets three years ahead of schedule, in 2005 the state legislature passed Senate Bill 20, setting a new target of 10,000MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025. This will be enough to supply 8% of total electricity use, power 2.6 million Texan homes, avoid roughly five million tons of {CO2} emissions per year - and save residential, commercial and industrial customers a whopping $5.5 billion in cumulative energy charges.

These initiatives could create as many of 20,000 new jobs in the state (3.7 times the number that would come from the fossil-fuel business) and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investment, land leases and property tax revenue.

Low Carbon Leader: Texas also profiles cities in Texas that are taking action to cut emissions. Houston plans to meet 50% of its power needs from wind, and its energy conservation activities are already delivering tangible results. Retrofitting vending machines in city facilities saved the city more than $34,000 per year, while switching light bulbs to more efficient T-8 bulbs saved almost $500,000.

Many major companies based in Texas are also making dramatic progress, seeking to freeze or reduce total carbon emissions, creating internal cap-and-trade programs and making carbon cuts part of managers' objectives. Some firms are expanding programs, such as looking at supply chain management to find opportunities for greater efficiency that will further reduce carbon emissions and making the products they sell more energy efficient.

These topics and other important issues related to business and climate change will be discussed during a one-day meeting to be held in Houston on Wednesday, February 27. Sponsored by The °Climate Group, The British Consulate General Houston and the Shell Oil Company, the conference Business and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities in a Carbon-Constrained World, will feature roundtables on topics such as shareholder value and carbon footprints, insurance risk of climate change and practical steps companies can take to reduce carbon emissions.

Full details of the one-day program can be found here.

Working media wishing to attend the event may contact Mitch Jeffrey, Vice Consul Political, Press & Public Affairs, British Consulate-General in Houston on 1 (713) 659-6275, extension 2117 or by email at Registration is required to gain entry to the Federal Reserve Bank, site of the meeting.

The °Climate Group would like to thank the Science & Innovation team at the British Consulate General Houston for its help in researching Low Carbon Leader: Texas, and the Shell Oil Company for its underwriting support to produce the report.

For further information about The °Climate Group or Low Carbon Leader: Texas please contact:

Neal McGrath
Communications Director, North America
The Climate Group
444 Park Avenue South, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
Telephone: 1 (646) 233-0554

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