ASHRAE Seminar 17, “Current Issues Update” was held at the ASHRAE Winter Meeting on Monday, Jan. 29, and provided an update on recent energy issues that are important to ASHRAE members. Steven H. Bernhardt, Ph.D., Dupont de Neumours & Co. (Wilmington, DE) spoke on the Status of the Political Process on Climate Change; Cyrus Nasseri, P.E., United States Department of Energy (Washington) spoke on “Getting to Uniform National Efficiency Standards from ASHRAE 90.1: The Role of DOE and Current Status;” Elizabeth Shearer, United States Department of Energy (Washington), spoke on “FEMP’s Role in Saving Federal Energy;” and Vera Au, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Washington), spoke on “The HCFC Allowance Allocation System for the U.S. EPA.”
The future of the Kyoto Protocol is in doubt, according to Bernhardt. Several bargaining groups are at odds over the terms of the agreement. These include the Umbrella Group, of which the United States is a part; the European Union; the Alliance of Small Island States; G77 and China Sub; and OPEC. Specific points of contention include the use and limit of carbon sinks, market mechanisms, and funding. The Umbrella Group is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the other groups, including OPEC, which demands payments from lost oil profits if the Kyoto Protocol is ratified, Bernhardt said.