On January 20, 2021 Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, which capped off an especially contentious election season. The Biden administration has widely publicized that a key component of its vision for the country is pursuing clean energy to help mitigate the impacts of climate change; he even wrote one of the first climate bills in the US Senate.
How could this new administration and its push for clean energy affect the tissue industry?
Watch Matt Elhardt’s Recent Presentation on this Topic
What We Already Know
President Biden has rejoined the Paris Treaty on Climate Change and has promised an enforcement mechanism to limit carbon emissions in an attempt to curb climate change. He has also selected Janet Yellen as the new Secretary of the Treasury, who has been open about her support for a price on carbon as a means to drive reductions. While Biden has also said that he supports a carbon tax, his team seems to favor an Emission Trading System (ETS).
California currently operates the largest carbon regulatory regime in the United States through its own ETS system, which is also known as “cap and trade.” This means that benchmarks for carbon trade emissions are established by an individual industry; each unique manufacturing sector essentially has different carbon targets. If a single manufacturing facility exceeds it allotted benchmark, a penalty is administered in the form of a fee.
Broad adjustments are factored in as a way to prevent job losses so that regulation doesn’t completely stifle profitability, which could result in curtailments or closures. But high performing facilities are able to sell or exchange their surplus “credits.”
What if an ETS System Was Established for the US Tissue Industry?
There has already been at least one public lawsuit by a major tissue producer regarding California’s ETS system, which means we know that it does, in fact, affect the tissue industry. If an ETS system like California’s were to be established on a national scale, what would that look like for the entire US tissue industry?
Using the Carbon Benchmarking Model from
Interested in learning more about how the FisherSolve Water Supply & Treatment and Carbon Emissions modules can help you analyze and address these topics in a changing global market that will be increasingly impacted by ESG initiatives? Carbon benchmarking in FisherSolve includes the CO2 footprint analysis of every machine, mill, company, country, and world region. This unique resource supports analysis of carbon emissions at both mill and macro levels with standardized measures and consistent methodology for the industry worldwide.
Ultra-performance tissue producers may want to have a sound understanding of the metrics and their individual performance in order to address such concerns.