At Lee International, we excel at communicating with policymakers and politicians, tackling complex public affairs and putting visions into practice. Our singular focus is climate change. Our portfolio of projects, both past and present, is diverse. Each of the below serves as examples of the types of work done, and the nimble approach to success taken by the LI team.
> MONETIZING CARBON REDUCTIONS
Ekurhuleni CDM Project - EKURHULENI (EMM) is a metropolitan municipal council located close to Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). It has a population of approximately 3.2 million people and generates approximately 25% of the GDP of the province of Gauteng.
Lee International began advising EMM in 2006 as it sought ways to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through projects that could participate in international emissions trading. On the recommendation of Lee and other members of the advisory team, EMM decided to focus on emission reductions at the municipality’s landfills. In 2010, EMM succeeded in registering a landfill gas to energy project under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. Lee led the advisory team that helped the city to find a buyer for its emission reductions and negotiated the contract to sell its emission reductions. Lee continues as the City’s primary carbon advisor as it explores the opportunity for its CDM project to participate in the South African Carbon Tax Scheme, expected to be implemented in 2016.
> FROM CARBON REDUCTION TO CLIMATE ACTION
Maine Climate Table - Catherine Lee initiated and currently chairs the Maine Climate Table (MCT), a broad coalition of individuals and organizations from the nonprofit, business, philanthropic and government sectors whose vision is to create a state-based model for climate communication and climate action that will increase civic engagement and lead to action by elected officials.
Maine Climate Table supports increased private and public investment in job creation and workforce training that advance climate mitigation and adaptation and build on Maine's comparative advantages. In addition, MCT will contribute to associated benefits such as moving toward energy independence, food security, healthier forest management and improved public health.
The 2015 Maine Climate Table Steering Committee:
The following are among the many additional participants at the Maine Climate Table:
- COASTAL ENTERPRISES INC.
- ISLAND INSTITUTE
- LEE INTERNATIONAL
- MAINE COAST FISHERMAN'S ASSOCIATION
- MAINE CONSERVATION VOTERS
- MAINE FARMLAND TRUST
- MAINE PEOPLES RESOURCE CENTER
- NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL OF MAINE
- THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
- CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION
- ENVIRONMENT MAINE
- LEE AUTOMALL
- MAINE AUDUBON SOCIETY
- MAINE CENTER FOR ECONOMIC POLICY
- REVISION ENERGY
- SIERRA CLUB
- TIDEMARK INSTITUTE
- UNITY COLLEGE
> EXPANDING WEATHERIZATION
Maine State Housing Authority VCS Weatherization Project - With assistance from Lee International and its strategic partner, Climate Focus of the Netherlands, Maine State Housing Authority became the first housing finance agency (FHA) in the country to quantity and sell carbon emission reductions from the weatherization of low income homes and apartments in Maine. This program was developed as a model to demonstrate how FHA's across the US could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate new revenue that could be used to make additional homes energy efficient.
MaineHousing created the world's first validated methodology to measure carbon savings that result from weatherization of residential dwellings - The Methodology for the Weatherization of Single and Multi-family Buildings. The Methodology was reviewed and accepted by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and recognized in the international carbon market. For the first time, there was a method to measure the impact of weatherization on carbon savings. This enabled MaineHousing to create real, permanent, verifiable and salable carbon emission reductions that were sold to the Chevrolet Division of General Motors.
> CLIMATE PROGRAMS AND POLICIES - DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - RGGI is the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is a cooperative effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector.
Catherine Lee represented the State of Maine as a climate change policy expert on the Staff Working Group which was responsible for designing and implementing the program.
Read more about RGGI.
December 5-11th, Cathy Lee attended COP21 .
Building on year-round work from Climate Action and the UN Environment Programme, the forum convened cross-sector participants from business, Government, finance, UN, NGO and civil society that resulted in 195 countries adopting the first universal agreement on climate change.
On October 20th, Cathy Lees spoke at The GrowSmart Maine Annual Meeting.
She offered an overview of what to expect at the upcoming Paris negotiations and talked briefly about the action at the national level.
As chair of the newly-formed Maine Climate Table (MCT), Cathy discussed what she has learned shared how to talk about the impacts of our changing climate at the local level.
She was joined by fellow MCT member John Piotti, executive director of Maine Farmland Trust. Their discussion included what’s happening in Maine and specifically, the development of the Table's innovative model for state action.