Another power utility in the United States has joined a diverse group of companies that are developing a voluntary target for the reduction of their emissions of greenhouse gases.DETROIT, Michigan, US, 2001-08-09 [SolarAccess.com] Another power utility in the United States has joined a diverse group of companies that are developing a voluntary target for the reduction of their emissions of greenhouse gases. DTE Energy will join a diverse group of energy, manufacturing and environmental groups that are working to design a voluntary market that would reduce or offset GHG emissions by 5 percent by 2005, compared to their 1999 levels of emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants linked with global warming. “We are pleased to be a member of the first voluntary, greenhouse gas emissions trading pilot program in the United States,” says company CEO Anthony Earley. He says DTE Energy recognizes its responsibility to protect the environment but he strongly believes that growth and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive. “This market-based, voluntary approach to the challenging greenhouse gas issue will prove to be a workable model for the future,” he adds. The design phase of the trading market pilot program is called the Chicago Climate Exchange. The proposed voluntary program will help address climate change, according to a study released in May by Environmental Financial Products. Participating firms could directly reduce their emissions, purchase allowances from companies that have achieved surplus reduction credits, or establish other projects to offset greenhouse gases. Potential offset projects could include renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and the capture and use of agricultural and landfill methane. DTE Energy says it avoided or offset 6.5 megatonnes of CO2 emissions in 1999 from a range of activities, including tree planting, efficiency improvements in power plant, transmission and distribution systems, and operation of 28 landfill gas-to-energy recovery facilities. These projects, combined with increased generation from nuclear reactors since 1990, have offset the additional CO2 emissions resulting from increased fossil-fuel power generation to meet the growing electricity demand. Initially, the Chicago Climate Exchange will focus on Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin, and then is scheduled to expand to include all of North America. Other companies involved in the design phase include Ford Motor, Suncor Energy, BP, Exelon, Mead, Waste Management, Interface, Swiss Re, The Nature Conservancy, IT Group and Nuon. DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its principal operating subsidiaries are Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, and Michigan Consolidated Gas, serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.