Environmental Law and Carbon Accounting

The energy industry and the environment are two things which have been tied together since the beginning of the industrialized world. It comes as no surprise that the Department of Industry (DOI) wishes to discuss environmental law for energy awareness month. Environmental law is a complex system of treaties, statutes, conventions, common law, and regulations. The idea behind the law is to govern the impact humans have on the environment in terms of pollution and natural resources.

Two of the most discussed environmental laws at this point are carbon taxes and cap and trade. The main ambition fueling these institutions is the reduction of carbon, specifically carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. Carbon taxes have gained support in multiple groups over the last few years. The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA) focuses on caps more than taxes. The ACESA is optimistic that these caps will create more jobs and give the United States an edge in the clean energy market.

Under cap and trade or carbon tax systems the economic incentives to lower carbon emissions can be substantial. In order to fully capitalize on a cap and trade system you would need to have a constant awareness of the amount of carbon being produced by your operations so that you can decide if you need to sell or buy carbon credits. In order to understand your carbon output you need to conduct carbon accounting which is generally a long process that is either carried out by an audit or through carbon inventories that will need to be accumulated and calculated in order to arrive at your organizations total carbon output. This can be an extremely long and expensive process.

Continuous Energy Management and Optimization (CEMO) contains powerful carbon accounting software that allows users to see the full picture of their carbon production in real-time for their facilities. The minute by minute information will show how energy efficiency or energy conservation is playing a role in your carbon reduction. The comprehensive dashboards will also factor in alternative energy sources or other carbon reducing practices. Without real-time information you are stuck waiting until an audit is completed or trying to guess your carbon reduction. You wouldn’t trade stocks without watching the market and the same applies for carbon credit trading. Why use guess work when you can have the power of real-time information at your finger tips?

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