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Carbon Management: Findings of the McKinsey Report on Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Carbon Management
Reported by
Karla Harby

Posted May 20, 2008


In December 2007, McKinsey & Company, a privately held, global management consulting firm, released its report, Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much and at What Cost? According to its authors, the report is designed to provide a policy-neutral compilation of facts to inform approaches by policy makers, business leaders, and others toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) in the United States. The researchers reviewed five sectors of the economy, evaluated more than 250 options to reduce GHGe, and interviewed more than 100 experts over a 10-month period.

Rick Duke of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (and formerly of McKinsey & Company) discussed the highlights of the McKinsey report on March 19, 2008, at the Academy. Vasilis Fthenakis, of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Columbia University and a solar power expert and Drew Shindell of NASA also provided insights. Marco Castaldi of Columbia University presented information about a recent discovery for using CO2.

Web Sites

Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much and at What Cost?
The McKinsey & Company report Web site. Includes links to the executive summary, full text report, video, and company information.

Video Summary of McKinsey Report
Directors at McKinsey & Company, Jack Stephenson and Ken Ostrowski, discuss the methodology and contents of "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much and at What Cost?"

International Energy Outlook 2007
Official energy statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

United States Climate Action Partnership
A coalition of multinational corporations and environmental groups calling for significant decreases in GHGe.


Eisenberg R, Nocera DG. 2005. Overview of the forum on solar and renewable energy. Inorg. Chem. 44: 6799-6801.


Aresta M, ed. 2003. Carbon dioxide recovery and utilization. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, Massachusetts.


Castaldi MJ. 2002. Method for reduced methanation. U.S. Patent application 20030175198, filed March 12, 2002.

Castaldi MJ, Lyubovsky M, Roychoudhury S. 2004. Method for improved selectivity for the water-gas-shift reaction. Patent Application 20030175198, filed April 26, 2004.

Smith LL, Etemad S, Ulkarim H, et al. 1999. Method and Apparatus for a Catalytic Firebox Reactor. U.S. Patent 6,174,159, filed March 18, 1999, and issued January 16, 2001.

Smith LL, Etemad S, Castaldi MJ, et al. 2001. Method and apparatus for a fuel-rich catalytic reactor. U.S. Patent 6,394,791, filed July 20, 2001, and issued May 28, 2002.


Rick Duke, PhD

National Resources Defense Council
e-mail | web site

Rick Duke is the director of NRDC's Center for Market Innovation in New York City. Prior to joining NRDC, Rick worked for McKinsey and Company, where his projects included leading a team that developed a novel global warming solutions map covering all major sectors. Rick also worked as an assistant economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, managed the Honduran office of a renewable energy company and consulted for the International Finance Corporation. Duke received his doctorate in public and international affairs at Princeton University, where he wrote his dissertation on the economics of public support for emerging energy technologies.

Marco Castaldi, PhD

Columbia University
e-mail | web site | publications

Marco Castaldi is assistant professor of earth & environmental engineering at Columbia University in New York City. His research interests include reaction engineering for use of biomass and carbon dioxide to produce high value products; catalytic reaction engineering to upgrade low energy fuels for low carbon energy production; flame chemistry for novel applications of CO2 usage; non-equilibrium catalytic reactions applied to highly selective processes, such as oxidative coupling; coal-biomass reactions; and use of CO2 as a diluent in combustion systems. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his BS in chemical engineering from Manhattan College.

Karla Harby

As a journalist living near New York City, Karla Harby has written for Scientific American, Discover and the Reuters news agency. In her other career, she is a professional flutist.