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PROVIDING INSIGHT

"There's enough evidence that it would be foolish to say there's a 99% chance [climate change] isn't a problem. In this case, you have to build the ark before the rains come. If you have to make a mistake, err on the side of the planet. Build a margin of safety to take care of the only planet we have."

- Warren Buffett, 2007

Many of the most pressing environmental challenges we face are hard to understand or are obscured by bias. Environmental Capital Group works to simplify environmental problems, and develop strategies to communicate the results broadly.

GLOBAL SURFACE TEMPERATURES

ECG works at recognizing and solving important problems that others have missed or deemed unsolvable. ECG worked on the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study - a transparent, easily accessible database that merges and normalizes all of the major global surface temperature data going back to 1800. A unique, portable application allows researchers and the public at large graphical access to this powerful temperature data set.

CARBON LEVERS

ECG is now developing a transparent platform called Carbon Levers for evaluating pathways to reduce carbon emissions. Over the next few decades, trillions of dollars will be invested to upgrade and expand the energy capacity of the world's economies. Despite all of the sophisticated climate models that have been developed, there remains a great need to clearly articulate the key problems and available investment levers in an understandable way.

An easy to use interactive tool is needed to help guide policymakers, investors, NGOs, planners, and ordinary citizens in taking into account the priorities and trade-offs country-by-country and project-by-project. Remarkably, this has never been done, and international leaders Lord Nicholas Stern and professor Robert Socolow agree that - unfortunately - experts have done a poor job of communicating the underlying message. The model will allow users to understand the material carbon emitters, the solutions to reducing emissions, and the investment levels required to generate those reductions.

NATURAL GAS EMISSIONS

One of the key 'levers' in mitigating carbon emissions in the short term is believed to be replacing coal with natural gas. However, some scientists argue that the methane emissions associated with production and delivery of natural gas is significant enough that it throws into question the net GHG benefits of natural gas compared to coal. ECG has undertaken a study to analyze the methane emissions associated with natural gas production and distribution, and determine a range of actual methane leakage rates.


           
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