Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit

Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit – On the path to net zero, states face challenges unique to their local geography and resources. In this case study, we examine four custom paths for Nevada.

Achieving zero targets requires deploying a portfolio of carbon management solutions at scale, with solutions that are technically, economically and socially tailored to the local context.

Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit

Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit

As Nevada proposes a carbon reduction plan, it should include an assessment of potential environmental justice issues that may arise from the deployment of clean energy and carbon capture technology.

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Extent (in MtCO2/year) of carbon that would need to be captured by direct air capture (DAC) to achieve net zero targets.

As of January 2022, twenty-four US states and the District of Columbia have declared economy-wide greenhouse gas emission targets through legislative and/or executive action. These targets usually assume a certain level of emission reduction at a certain future date. They may also include terms such as “carbon neutrality” or “net zero,” which require a certain amount of carbon removal to address residual emissions.

While there may be countless paths to net zero, not all are created equal. Decisions regarding technical approaches to both carbon reduction and removal will have varying levels of social and economic impact. These impacts must be considered early and often as net zero commitments turn into action.

The concept of net zero or carbon neutrality is theoretically straightforward: the declaring entity must ensure that there are no net CO emissions in a given term

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E into the atmosphere. Any sound net-zero plan starts with a thorough assessment of emissions: where they occur, why they occur, and what their trajectories are.

Looking at US emissions by sector gives an immediate sense of where efforts need to be made (Figure 1, left). Still, there are two problems with viewing the problem in such broad strokes. The first is that regional contributions by sector can look very different in one area of ​​the country to another.

To zoom in, let’s look at the case of Nevada (Figure 1, right). Like the United States as a whole, most emissions come from transportation and electricity, but in Nevada, those numbers are skewed above the national average. On the contrary, fewer emissions come from agriculture, which is understandable given the dry climate, and from industry due to problems with resource availability and proximity to markets.

Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit

Figure 1: Sectoral emissions at the national (left) and state (right) levels show similar trends, but also highlight the importance of tailoring a net-zero plan to a state’s needs and resources (EPA 2019, NDEP 2020, SNDT 2021b).

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A potentially much bigger problem is the range of emissions. According to the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard (GHGP 2015), emissions can be classified into three categories (Figure 2):

In this report, we consider scope 1 emissions because these are the emissions that companies and individuals have direct control over. For the transportation sector, emissions from fuel production (scope 3) were also factored into our estimates because most of these emissions are generated outside the state and a change in fuel consumption in Nevada could prevent these emissions.

One complication is that one state’s scope 1 emissions may be another state’s scope 2 or 3 emissions. Consider, for example, a power plant in California that supplies electricity to Nevada. These emissions would count as Range 1 in California and Range 2 in Nevada. Similarly, cars made in Nevada could have range 3 emissions in other states.

A full understanding of scope is important because, in addition to showing where to focus efforts, it also reveals how to exercise control. For example, if a company produces its own electricity, that company has a number of options to reduce the carbon emissions associated with production. Conversely, if this electricity is obtained from elsewhere, there may be no direct route to achieving emissions reductions at the source. In such cases, companies are left with three options: reduce consumption, change suppliers or turn to carbon offsets. Many solutions will involve a combination of these strategies.

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Another complication that arises from net-zero roads is the possibility of emissions leakage. In this sense, leakage does not refer to the physical leakage of emissions from storage tanks, but rather to the economic leakage of emissions resulting from local efforts to reduce emissions. For example, a lime producer required by the state to decarbonize operations or upgrade with carbon capture and storage (CCS) could instead move operations out of state. While this shift in emissions may have a positive effect on the government’s ledger towards net zero, emissions will not decrease, they will just shift off the books.

The opposite situation can also arise, when the influence of neighboring states could lead to the transfer of emissions to the state through an induced leakage of economic activity and/or an influx of population. For example, Nevada’s two western neighbors, California and Oregon, both have zero targets. Therefore, it will be important for Nevada to closely monitor policies and efforts in neighboring states to minimize any adverse effects of interstate leakage.

Figure 3: Three approaches to achieving net zero: reducing emissions, avoiding emissions and eliminating emissions. Neither approach can achieve net zero on its own.

Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit

Reduce: The most widespread approach involves mainly emitting fewer emissions. To do this, it is necessary to develop low-carbon energy sources (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal, biomass), electrify cars and homes, increase the energy efficiency of processes and buildings, and decommission energy production systems using fossil fuels. , especially coal.

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Avoid: Emission reduction strategies often only address part of emissions and many industries will continue to produce CO

As an inevitable by-product. Here, technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCUS) can help avoid the release of much of this CO

Should be placed for long-term storage, either by subsurface injection in suitable tanks or by conversion to long-life products.

Remove: Even after deep reductions and avoidance, it may be necessary to close the gap in climate targets by directly removing carbon dioxide (CDR) from the atmosphere. CDR can address current and legacy emissions and generally falls into two categories: nature-based approaches and technology-based approaches. Nature-based approaches include reforestation, afforestation and increasing soil organic carbon. Technical approaches include direct air capture (DAC) or carbon mineralization for long-term CO storage

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. Both natural and technological solutions are needed to remove carbon from the atmosphere. A balanced implementation of these strategies with respect to local resources and environmental and social needs is essential to ensure a successful path to carbon net neutrality.

Removal may appear to play a similar role in reducing emissions that cannot be reduced, it is more energy efficient and less expensive to capture carbon at source (Pilorgé et al. 2020, Psarras et al. 2020). Avoidance should therefore be preferred over elimination whenever possible.

As part of a larger effort to mitigate climate change, Nevada has committed to zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. In 2017, greenhouse gas emissions were 43.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO).

Carbon Accounting For Las Vegas Businesses: Strategies For Sustainability And Profit

E by 2050 if no efforts are made to control carbon emissions. In 2021, Nevada had a population of 3.17 million people (SNDT 2021) and one of the highest population growth rates in the nation, with a projected population of 3.79 million in 2040 (SNDT 2020). It is also one of the most urbanized states with over 90% of its population living in cities (Iowa State University 2010).

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Nevada is also the driest state in the country (World Atlas 2019), receiving only 250 mm of average precipitation per year (NOAA 2021). Due to water scarcity, local ecosystems are composed of 74% deserts and semideserts, 15% forests and woodlands, 7% shrub and herbaceous vegetation, and 5% other ecosystems (USGS 2016a). This desert environment is suitable for solar energy production with an average horizontal solar radiation of 4.5-5.25 kWh/m

/day in the southern part of the state with seasonal variation (NREL 2018). Nevada also has one of the highest amounts of geothermal resources in the country (DOE 2018).

Nearly 87% of the state’s land is publicly owned by the federal government (NACO 2020), and 63% of the state is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (DOI n.d.). Nevada has extensive mining operations that mine gold, silver, copper, diatomite, lime, sand, and gravel (NVMA 2020, USGS 2020). The mining subsector consumed more than 36.5–66.4 million GJ (including power from the grid) at the end of 2010 (Evolved Energy 2020, TNC NV 2018) and generated more than US$8 billion in 2019 (USGS 2020), which is the highest amount of all states.

Projecting to 2050 is difficult due to many uncertainties. Will the current trends maintain the same trajectory? Will the projects require different levels of economic investment? What effects can the actions and decisions (political and otherwise) of neighboring states have on the state? And how might priorities shift as a result of climate feedback events? To deal with these inherent uncertainties, we define a business-as-usual scenario and four unique decarbonization scenarios with progressive assumptions and actions:

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As many strategies in the transport, construction and industrial sectors rely on increased electrification, it is essential to monitor this growth in demand with regard to land use and transmission

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