Bay Area Council Blog: Energy and Climate Change Archive


Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund Awards Economic Institute $15,000

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute is pleased to announce its second year of partnership with the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund in support of work through its initiative, Climate Bay Area.  The Fund awarded $15,000 for Climate Bay Area to continue strengthening the strategic focus, alignment and effectiveness of the Bay Area’s numerous programs, policies and initiatives working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Bay Area was formed in July of 2009 by the Joint Policy Committee (JPC),[1] and has its goals to:

  • support synergy of the climate policies of the four regional planning agencies with regional local government, private, other non-governmental initiatives;
  • bring critically needed scale, leverage and capacity to programs and approaches with potentially high impact; and
  • foster collaboration, develop new partnerships, and present a stronger, more cohesive voice on climate- and energy-related issues to decision-makers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

“This is an initiative of which we’re proud,” said Sean Randolph, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “Climate Bay Area brings a regional vision and unifying leadership to the work of meeting climate change policy targets through entrepreneurial programs. We are helping drive discussions with the Bay Area’s most influential climate change leaders and laying the requisite groundwork and facilitating change by creating approaches and tools that work. We’re delighted to have the Goldman Fund supporting us again this year.”

For additional information on the Climate Bay Area project, please contact Sean Randolph.

To support the climate change work of the Council, contact Chandra Alexandre.

[1] The JPC is a formal body for addressing shared policy priorities of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).


Press Release: Symposium on Global Green Cities of the 21st Century to Be Held in San Francisco

Organizers and sponsors of the Global Green Cities of the 21st Century: Evolving Models for Sustainable Urban Design today announced that the symposium will take place February 23-25, 2011 at the San Francisco JW Marriott. With the goal of fostering sustainable urban development and design, the landmark symposium will shed light on the development of green cities. Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California, will deliver the opening remarks on Feb. 23.

The symposium will feature a high-level exchange of ideas and information among elected officials, planners, researchers, technologists, business executives and other leaders recognized worldwide.

“We’re extremely excited to have such an esteemed gathering of global experts on sustainable urban growth convene in San Francisco,” said Sean Randolph, President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “Their experience of planning and living in some of the world’s most innovative cities is invaluable, and we hope that the exchange with U.S. and Bay Area leaders will help advance the state of the art.”

Focal points of the symposium include urban design, the relationship between policy and citizen behavior, and the applications of technology. The symposium will showcase technology and policy advances specific to California.

Global collaboration will be achieved through both on-site participation and the use of Cisco TelePresence, a state-of-the-art meeting solution enabling an “in-person” virtual presence.  The Virtual Meetings by Marriott studios will also connect participants worldwide, using the AT&T Business Exchange, AT&T’s unique network-based, inter- and intracompany collaboration program.

“Cisco is proud to support Global Green Cities of the 21st Century,” said Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president of Cisco Services. “Cisco TelePresence is the perfect solution to connect worldwide contributors to this symposium and to facilitate conversations that will bring positive change to the sustainable-urban-design sector. This will also allow our meeting participants to experience how innovation and technology can advance economic, social and environmental sustainability.”

Jim Herlihy, managing director of Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, echoed Elfrink’s sentiments: “We’re honored to contribute to such a truly important event. The discussions promoted by this symposium will no doubt benefit the growth and evolution of green cities worldwide.”

Global Green Cities of the 21st Century is organized by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute in partnership with the Alfred Herrhausen Society, Cisco and Deutsche Bank, with program advice provided by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics.

Confirmed participants include:

  • The Hon. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Karnataka State and Bangalore Urban District (India)
  • The Hon. Ed Lee, mayor of San Francisco
  • The Hon. Jean-Louis Missika, deputy mayor of Paris
  • The Hon. Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary
  • The Hon. Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California
  • The Hon. Chuck Reed, mayor of San Jose
  • The Hon. Young-gil Song, mayor of Incheon, Metropolitan City (South Korea)
  • Chye Teng Khoo, executive director, Centre for Liveable Cities, and chief executive, Singapore Public Utilities Board (Singapore)
  • Chris Andrews, lead project manager, Infrastructure Conceptual Design, Autodesk
  • Murat Armbruster, senior adviser, Carbon War Room
  • Scott Barnette, vice president for corporate business development, North America, Hitachi
  • David Baum, vice president, North American Strategic Sustainability Initiatives, Philips Lighting
  • Sven Armin Beiker, executive director, Center for Automotive Research, Stanford University
  • Stewart Brand, founder, Whole Earth Catalog, and co-founder, Global Business Network
  • Peter Calthorpe, principal, Calthorpe Associates
  • Ranbir Saran Das, managing director, Fairwood Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (India)
  • Isabel Dedring, environmental adviser, Mayor’s Office of London (United Kingdom)
  • Wim Elfrink, executive vice president and chief globalisation officer, Cisco
  • Stefan Denig, head, sustainable cities program, Siemens (Germany)
  • Nicky Gavron, Londonwide Assembly member, and chair, Planning & Housing Authority, Greater London Authority (United Kingdom)
  • Jeffrey Heller, president, Heller Manus Architects
  • David Helliwell, co-founder and CEO, Pulse Energy (Canada)
  • Uli Hellweg, chief executive, IBA Hamburg GmbH (Germany)
  • Steve Heminger, executive director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Jim Herlihy, managing director, Deutsche Bank
  • Bjarke Ingels, president, BIG Architects (Denmark)
  • Warren Karlenzig, president, Common Current
  • Bruce Katz, director, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
  • John Kriken, consulting partner, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP
  • Kent Larson, director, Smart Cities/Changing Places research group, MIT
  • Yvon Le Roux, vice president, Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco
  • Steve Lewis, CEO, Living PlanIT
  • Greg Lindsay, contributing editor, Fast Company
  • Chris Luebkeman, principal, foresight+innovation, Arup
  • Anil Menon, president, Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco
  • Tom Murcott, executive vice president, Gale International
  • David Nieh, general manager, planning, Shui On Land (China)
  • Wolfgang Nowak, director, Alfred Herrhausen Society
  • Henk Ovink, director of national spatial planning, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands
  • Sean Randolph, president & CEO, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Ezra Rapport, executive director, Association of Bay Area Governments
  • Philipp Rode, executive director, LSE Cities at the London School of Economics
  • Arthur Rosenfeld, distinguished scientist emeritus, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Michel St. Pierre, director, planning & urban design, Gensler
  • Shankar Sastry, dean, college of engineering, UC Berkeley
  • Helle Lis Soholt, partner & managing director, Gehl Architects (Denmark)
  • Kevin Surace, CEO, Serious Materials
  • James Sweeney, director, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford University
  • Will Travis, executive director, San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission
  • Conrad Wagner, senior lecturer in Mobility Studies, Lucerne University (Lucerne)
  • Tom Wright, executive director, Regional Plan Association
  • Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu, professor, College of Architecture & Urban Planning, Tongji University (China)
  • Anupam Yog, founder and director, Mirabilis Advisory
  • Dimitri Zenghelis, senior economic adviser, Cisco, and visiting fellow, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics (London)
  • Konrad Otto Zimmermann, chair, World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Urbanization and secretary general, ICLEI

A webcast of the symposium will be streamed at the following Web address:

For more information on Global Green Cities of the 21st Century, please visit the event website,, or contact Nicholas Gaffney, Infinite Public Relations, 415-732-7801,

PDF Press Release


San Francisco Chronicle: California poised to enter carbon-trading market

Today could be seen as the biggest day yet for California’s climate change law, assuming, as expected, the state Air Resources Board signs off on the rules to implement it.

It will also be a big day for Aaron Singer, CEO of San Francisco startup Pacific Carbon Exchange, which is engaging in an enterprise thought dead in the water not so long ago: carbon trading.

“It’s the official starting gun for California and for Western regional carbon markets,” Singer said. “It means we get to make this business a growing reality.”

Central to the law, which goes into effect in 2012, is a “cap and trade” system designed to limit the amount of carbon from the state’s 500 largest emitters – mostly power plants, energy companies and heavy industry.

Companies emitting less than their state-mandated limit can trade their unused allowance – also known as carbon credits, or offsets – with companies that may be seeking to emit more than their mandated share.

“This is a significant milestone,” said Josh Margolis, CEO of Cantor CO2e, a San Francisco offshoot of New York’s Cantor Fitzgerald, referring to the board’s expected action. “In the trading world, it’s been a decadelong anticipation.”

With the Bay Area Council serving as the firm’s incubator, Singer has been working on its trading infrastructure for the past two years and is in the process of obtaining the certifications and accreditations from the U.S. Commodity and Futures Exchange Commission.

In the meantime, PCarbX, as it is known, plans to begin some futures and options trading next year, pending a full rollout when the bell officially rings in January 2012.

Read the story…


Sacramento Business Journal: California’s clean-tech industry faces increasing competition

Should California fail to produce clean-tech companies that aggressively compete in domestic and global markets, other nations that are adopting policies and providing financial support for the clean-tech sector will fill the void, costing California jobs and economic growth, according to a Bay Area Council Economic Institute report released Tuesday.

California’s success as a leader in energy and climate policy and cutting-edge clean-energy technology development needs to be seen in a global context, according to the report.

According to the institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education, California attracted more than $1 billion in clean-tech investment in the second quarter, accounting for 70 percent of U.S. clean-tech investment and 50 percent of global investment in the sector.

But the bar is being set by Germany, a global leader in solar and wind, and China, which has emerged as a major global producer of solar, wind, battery and other clean-tech products.

China is now the word’s leading supplier of solar panels, accounting for 30 percent of world production, and is tied with the United States for installed renewable energy capacity but is growing its capacity three times faster.

Read the story…



California continues to hold an edge over China and other countries as the world’s innovation leader for clean energy technology, but will fall behind if state leaders falter in their pursuit of forward-looking energy and climate policies, according to a report released today by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

According to the analysis conducted by the Institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government, and higher education, California has attracted 70 percent of U.S. investment in clean tech and 50 percent of global investment. In the second quarter of 2010 alone, clean tech investment totaled $1 billion. The state, says the study, also leads the nation in clean tech jobs.

But China, as well as Germany and an array of other countries, are poised to overtake California if the state retreats on implementation of its pioneering clean energy and clean air standard, AB 32, low carbon fuel standards, and its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS).

Other countries lead the U.S. and California in the production and sale of renewable energy equipment, and China is investing heavily in clean tech deployment. California’s challenge is to both sustain and grow its edge in venture investment and technology innovation, and capture the downstream jobs that result.

“With a strong strategy of our own to deploy clean energy, we can remain competitive with countries like China and Germany,” says R. Sean Randolph, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and author of the report. “If we fail, the state’s leadership and thousands of current and future jobs are at risk.”

According to the analysis, the reason for California’s strong position is its long-term policy direction, tremendous technology research and development capacity, and the ability to create and sustain new businesses.

“California has an entrepreneurial culture; we are better than anyone else at taking an innovative idea and turning it into a profit: from research to development to deployment,” says Randolph. “Our state has a long history of global leadership in emerging sectors, attracting venture capital investment, growing the number of new businesses, creating jobs and maintaining the state’s strong economic standing. California has the highest proportion of clean tech jobs of any U.S. state; we need to continue that momentum with aggressive policies that nurture this fast-growing industry.”

“California has become the international leader in creating clean tech jobs and businesses, but that leadership is currently being threatened by China and even Germany,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  “As this study points out, to ensure that California remains at the forefront of this sector, we must continue to encourage the growth of the clean tech industry or we run the risk of other countries taking the lead in the marketplace.”

PDF Press Release
Download the Report



On Monday, Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman joined other members of the California Climate Adaptation Task Force, including task force co-chair and former EPA administrator William Reilly, to release recommendations on how the state can plan ahead for the effects of climate change. The report, “Preparing for Unavoidable Effects of Climate Change: A Strategy for California,” reviews and analyzes evidence of sea level rise and recommends that the state should create incentives to encourage preventive action by individuals, businesses and organizations and make investments to protect critical resources and infrastructure. The group was convened in 2009 by the Pacific Council on International Policy, a Los Angeles-based nonpartisan policy organization, and was later appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as an advisory panel to the state.


MTC Awards $6 Million for Electric Vehicle Taxi Implementation

A world class electric vehicle network for the region, supported by the Bay Area Council, moved one step closer to fruition yesterday. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has awarded $14 million in grants for electric vehicle projects in the Bay Area.  The grants, to be matched by government and private funds, include $6 million for an Electric Vehicle Taxi Corridor, supported by the Bay Area Council, which will fund 61 electric taxis and four battery switch stations in the Bay Area. This is a major milestone towards cementing the Bay Area’s leadership in the electric vehicle arena.

White House Adviser Nancy Sutley Visits Bay Area Council

By Andrew Michael

Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and principal environmental policy adviser to the President, stopped by our offices this week for an engaging discussion with Bay Area Council members. Sutley tackled many issues important to the Bay Area, including the challenges of sea level rise and climate change in the Delta region.  Sutley also pointed to the increased level of engagement by the federal government in addressing the decline of the Bay-Delta, namely the creation of a Federal Leadership Committee on the Bay-Delta co-chaired by her and Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Sutley also discussed the new efforts the federal government is working on with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement new standards for trucks. Additionally, she mentioned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon be releasing a report that will provide scientific monitoring tools to local and state governments to help adapt to climate change. We look forward to working closely with Nancy Sutley and the Obama administration on these, and many other issues in the coming months, to improve the quality of life in the Bay Area.


Bay Area Council to Hold Forum on AB 32

The Bay Area Council is conducting a forum on AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, tomorrow, Thursday, July 22.  Supporters and opponents of AB 32 will present their arguments, and Proposition 23, the ballot measure to repeal AB 32, will be discussed at length.  Leaders from business, academia, environmental groups and politics will be voicing their opinions on AB 32.

“With Proposition 23 on the ballot this November, the stakes are high for California,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “This forum will be a lively discussion about AB 32’s impact on the economy, jobs and climate change.”

WHO: Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council

Professor W. Michael Haneman
, Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Agricultural &   Resource
Economics, University of California at Berkeley

Aaron Singer, Managing General Partner, Pacific Carbon Exchange

Dave Fogarty, Yes on Proposition 23 campaign

Donald Simon, Attorney, Green Business Practice, Wendell Rosen Black & Dean, LLP

WHAT: Forum discussing AB 32 and Proposition 23, with supporters and opponents presenting arguments.

WHERE: Wendel Rosen Black & Dean, LLP
1111 Broadway
19th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
(Office is located near 12th Street/Oakland City Center BART station)

WHEN: 4pm – 6pm
Thursday, July 22, 2010

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Blythe Goodell at All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 946-8725.


Bay Area Council Solidifies Support of AB 32

By Jim Wunderman

Today, the Bay Area Council announced that its Executive Committee voted to continue the business organization’s support of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the Global Warming Solutions Act. AB 32 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006. The Executive Committee of the Bay Area Council took action to solidify their support in response to a possible initiative on the November 2010 ballot postponing implementation of AB 32.

The Bay Area Council’s Executive Committee also agreed with the positions laid out by Governor Schwarzenegger in a March 24, 2010 letter to the California Air Resources Board, which clarified how AB 32 can be implemented in a way that would allow California businesses to remain competitive.

“The notion of repealing AB 32 presents a false choice to the people of California,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “We don’t have to choose between a strong economy and combating climate change. These two critically important goals can mutually reinforce each other. In fact, postponing AB 32 would send a signal to the world that California is hot and cold on climate change – a view that will crimp investment in our future economy.”

In 2006, the Bay Area Council was the first business group in California to support AB 32 and successfully negotiated language that made the bill business friendly. The Bay Area Council recognized then the threat of climate change to the economy and quality of life, and also saw an opportunity for California to become a global leader in clean technology and related fields.

“The threats that existed in 2006, when AB 32 was first adopted, still exist today,” said Wunderman. “But so do the opportunities.”

According to Governor Schwarzenegger’s letter to the Air Resources Board, California has already seen a positive economic impact due to AB 32. Indeed, between 2006 and 2008, 10,000 new green businesses were created, producing more than 125,000 jobs – more than any other state in the country.