Energy and Climate Change Resources
This page includes resources that address and inform climate change and related issues, including greenhouse gas emissions inventories, energy efficiency, alternative energy and fuels, transportation, local action plans, and statewide adaptation plans. The websites contain information from the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Transportation, US Department of Energy, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, as well as resources from other related organizations, groups, and bodies of government.
This page is organized into the following areas. Click on each to expand.
National Resources and Programs
US Environmental Protection Agency
- EPA State and Local Climate Change and Energy Program: EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program "provides technical assistance, analytical tools, and outreach support to state, local, and tribal governments."
- Region II: New Jersey is included in EPA Region II.
- Region III: Pennsylvania is part of EPA Region III.
- eGRID: The Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) provided data on electric power generated in the United States with information on air emissions, emissions rates, net generation, resource mix, and more.
- DOT Transportation and Climate Change: The US DOT's climate change section of their website provides transportation- related greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, GHG reduction strategies, information on impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure, and more.
- FHWA: Highways & Climate Change: The DOT Federal Highway Administration's climate change website provides information on how climate change will affect transportation, strategies to reduce emissions and adaptation strategies to protect transportation- related infrastructure.
- The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. The Web site contains information on energy efficiency, renewable energy, research and deployment, and funding.
- The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC, formerly known as the Alternative Fuels Data Center) provides a wide range of information and resources to enable the use of alternative fuels (as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992), in addition to other petroleum reduction options such as advanced vehicles, fuel blends, idling reduction, and fuel economy.
- Fuelconomy.gov: This Web site is maintained jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection. fueleconomy.gov provides fuel economy estimates, energy and environmental impact ratings, fuel-saving tips, and other useful information.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes, and distributes national data on energy sources and uses, and includes data on the environment, markets and finance, and analysis and projections of current energy data.
- National Laboratories: The DOE's laboratories and technology centers are world-class facilities where the cutting-edge research is performed by more than 30,000 scientists and engineers.
- ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOE that includes products and practices designed to help homeowners and businesses save energy and money. Energy Star rated products meet EPA specifications for energy consumption reduction, and include items such as appliances, windows and doors, and lighting that have been tested and are shown to be more energy efficient that other industry alternatives. New homes can also be ENERGY STAR rated, which means that they meet standards that make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.
- Portfolio Manager is a tool designed by ENERGY STAR that allows individuals to track and assess energy and water consumption across one or an entire group of buildings.
- ENERGY STAR's Building Upgrade Manual is a guide to help organizations plan and implement profitable energy saving building upgrades. You can maximize energy savings by sequentially following the five building upgrade stages: retro-commissioning, lighting, supplemental load reduction, air distribution systems, and heating and cooling upgrades.
State Resources and Programs
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Office of Energy and Technology Deployment (OETD): PA DEP OETD addresses issues relating to energy policy, and encourages the use of appropriate technologies to address environmental problems.
- The New Jersey's Clean Energy Program (of the NJ Board of Public Utilities) offers financial incentives, programs and services to help New Jersey residents, business owners and municipalities save energy, and money.
- New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) Office of Climate and Energy coordinates programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and works to suggest means of adaptation to climate change.
Regional Resources and Programs
- DVRPC's Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives leads, supports, and coordinates efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the Greater Philadelphia region.
- Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey to help them go green, and save money and protect the environment.
County-Level Resources and Programs
- This section of the Delaware County planning website provides an overview of and application for the Municipal Energy Efficiency Grant Program, which contributes ARRA funds to municipalities working to reduce energy consumption.
- The Chester County Facilities Department, among many other duties, oversees energy usage and is working to reduce energy consumption, and waste production throughout the county.
- The Chester County Greenhouse Gas Reduction Report [pdf] summarizes current energy use by sector, includes recommendations for how to reduce that energy usage, cites available funding sources and incentives, discusses mitigation through the agricultural and forestry sectors of the county's economy, and more.
- Montgomery County formed a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Task Force to create a plan for the county for how to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the county. The draft of this document is available at this website, as well as Montgomery County's Climate Action Plan.
Local Resources and Programs
City of Philadelphia
- Greenworks Philadelphia [pdf] is the City's plan for a more sustainable Philadelphia and includes 15 targets in the areas of energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement to achieve this goal.
- The Mayor's Office of Sustainability is dedicated to Mayor Nutter's goal of making Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States by 2015, and works to promote the projects and programs such as local food production, tree planting, and EnergyWorks.
Climate Change Science Resources
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Learn the Issues: Climate Change
- The EPA's guide to learning the basics of climate change includes information on greenhouse gases, environmental and health impacts of climate change, climate change indicators, and much more.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- The IPCC is the "leading international body for the assessment of climate change" and was established "to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts." The IPCC releases regular reports, or "assessments," which summarizes the findings of working groups and addresses the issues of particular concern to government official and policymakers.
- 4th Assessment (2007) (AR4) Each of the four volumes of this report includes a 'Summary for Policy Makers.'
PEW Center on Global Climate Change
- The Pew Center has released Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change. This document brings together several reports, and includes information on the science of climate change, its impacts, adaptation, technological solutions, business solutions, and local, state, federal and international action.
Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA)
- NECIA is a collaboration of experts working to develop an assessment of climate change, impacts, and solutions specifically for the northeastern United States.
- These documents include NECIA's overview document for the whole region [pdf], and includes data specific to New Jersey. The second document is specifically for Pennsylvania [pdf].
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories
A greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory calculates the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to or removed from the atmosphere over a specific period of time (e.g., one year). The inventory also provides information on the activities that generate GHG emissions and those that provide sequestration (remove and store carbon from the atmosphere). Inventories can be used to track progress over time, and develop strategies for mitigation.
- The US EPA maintains the national greenhouse gas inventory for the U.S. and includes the years 1990- 2009.
- Pennsylvania: The Center for Climate Strategies published a document [pdf] for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council that lists Pennsylvania greenhouse gas emissions and sinks from 1990 to 2004, and projects these numbers forward all the way until 2025.
- New Jersey: DEP: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Greenhouse Gas inventory for the state lists New Jersey's greenhouse gas emissions and sinks from 1990 to 2005, and projects these numbers to 2020.
- Regional (DVRPC): DVRPC published a regional greenhouse gas inventory [pdf] for the Greater Philadelphia region in 2005, as well as a breakdown by municipality by sector.
- The US EPA has developed draft guidance on how to perform a regional GHG inventory, drawing on the methodologies used by DVRPC and the Greater Washington Council of Governments. For a copy, please contact Andrea Denny, Local Climate and Energy Program Lead, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at Denny.Andrea@epamail.epa.gov or contact Rob Graff at DVRPC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Local: Philadelphia: A greenhouse gas inventory [pdf] was created for the City of Philadelphia with 1990 as the baseline year, with updates completed in 1997 and 2006, and projections made until 2010.
Local Action Plans
A climate change action plan lays out a strategy, including specific policy recommendations and action steps to help a place reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the projected effects of climate change.
Links to local action plans created by municipalities and counties in the Greater Philadelphia are area listed below, but these are only a few examples. Many more such plans have been created and are being created.
- Haverford Township Local Action Plan [5.7 MB pdf]
Climate Change Adaptation
Climate Change Adaptation involves looking at the anticipated effects of climate change on a particular area, and creating plans, coping mechanisms, and adjustments in order to deal with those changes.
- EPA: The EPA provides a general overview for climate change adaptation, with suggested measures for water resources, energy usage, human health, and more.
- PA: The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources maintains a Web page on Climate Change Adaptation.
- NJ: This website gives a brief overview of climate change adaptation. This report [pdf] includes some info on adaptation (ch 4, especially), but there is currently no adaptation plan for the State.