In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are now believed to be the cause with greater than 90 percent certainty.
In October 2007, a group representing the world’s 150 scientific and engineering academies, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, issued a report urging governments to lower greenhouse gas emissions by establishing a firm and rising price for such emissions and by doubling energy research budgets to accelerate deployment of cleaner and more efficient technologies.
In October 2006, a report authored by former chief economist of the World Bank, Sir Nicolas Stern, estimated that climate change will cost between 5% and 20% of global domestic product if emissions are not reduced, and that greenhouse gases can be reduced at a cost of approximately 1% of global economic growth.
The electric industry accounts for more carbon dioxide emissions than any other sector, including the transportation and industrial sectors. U.S. power plants are responsible for nearly 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and 10 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Coal is the most carbon-polluting type of power generation. Coal accounted for 53% of power generation from Idaho Power Company owned resources in 2007 and 38% of its energy portfolio source. Numerous studies including the 2007 Idaho energy plan have indicated adequate renewable resources and efficiency opportunities within state of Idaho to handle Idaho power’s load growth over the next 20 years.
A majority of U.S. states are involved in initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and at least 34 states have enacted renewable portfolio standards. National climate change legislation is expected to be a priority for the Obama administration and the 111th Congress.
In the Carbon Disclosure Project’s most recent annual survey of the S&P 500 (released 2008), 37% of utility respondents disclosed absolute greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and 52% disclosed intensity reduction targets.
Some of Idacorp’s electric industry peers who have set absolute reduction targets include American Electric Power, the nation’s largest electric generator, Entergy, Duke Energy, Exelon, National Grid and Consolidated Edison. Those with intensity targets include CMS Energy, PSEG, NiSource and Pinnacle West.
Duke, Exelon, FPL, NRG, and others, through their participation in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, have also publicly stated that the U.S. should reduce its GHG footprint by 60% to 80% from current levels by 2050. They have endorsed adoption of mandatory federal policy to limit CO2 emissions as a way to provide economic and regulatory certainty needed for major investments in our energy future
Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by September 30, 2009, on its plans to achieve these goals. Such a report will omit proprietary information and be prepared at reasonable cost.