CLEAN AIR TASK FORCE INC

Catalyzing resilient solutions, scaled to meet the climate challenge.

aka CATF   |   Boston, MA   |  www.catf.us

Mission

Clean Air Task Force is a nonprofit environmental organization that works to help safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of low carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies through research and analysis, public advocacy leadership, and partnership with the private sector.

Ruling year info

2000

Executive Director

Armond C Cohen

Main address

114 State Street 6th Floor

Boston, MA 02109 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3512550

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our planet is undergoing an unprecedented and rapid change. Every year we pump almost 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – that’s a hundred times faster than the Earth has ever seen. If we don’t take action, our planet will change far more quickly than we can adapt. This is the mother of all environmental problems and the Clean Air Task Force is on it. Our task is to prevent catastrophic climate change by applying an overwhelming amount of force on the biggest levers for reducing carbon and other climate warming emissions. CATF uses technology innovation, policy advocacy, and thought leadership to catalyze new ideas and create resilient solutions scaled to meet the climate challenge.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Power Plants

CATF works to ensure the adoption of U.S. emission standards (either by legislation or regulations) on U.S. fossil power plants that would zero out power sector carbon emissions by 2050.

Population(s) Served

CATF advocates for super pollutant emissions reductions in the U.S. and internationally by supporting scientific research, promoting policy initiatives, encouraging the development of financial incentives for pollution controls, and championing and defending standards that can dramatically reduce emissions of these climate super pollutants.

Population(s) Served

CATF is identifying and promoting measures that maximize the climate benefits that result from thoughtful land use practices — from the carefully targeted use of bioenergy to smarter and more comprehensive forest management.

Population(s) Served

CATF’s Decarbonized Fossil Energy work aims to enable global energy system decarbonization by 2070. CATF works towards this goal by developing and advocating for policies aimed at making carbon capture technologies cost competitive with using dirty fossil fuels for power generation and for use in the industrial sector, globally.

Population(s) Served

CATF aims to make nuclear energy a viable option for decarbonizing the world energy system at needed scale and speed. We catalyze private sector and government activity to lower the cost and deployment speed of current nuclear technology.

Population(s) Served

CATF’s advanced energy systems project brings analysis to bear on the question of what kind of technologies will be required to achieve an affordable, zero carbon energy system by mid-century, and catalyzes private sector activity and public policy to make those technologies into 
real options.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At Clean Air Task Force we are practical climate problem solvers with a simple purpose - to build momentum for solutions based on scientific evidence, intellectual integrity, and collaboration.

For over two decades we’ve been on a mission to push the change in technologies and policies needed to get to a zero-emissions, high-energy planet at an affordable cost. Our vision is for a world where the rising energy demands are met, locally and globally, in a way that is financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

We pursue the following goals in six key focus areas:
- Advanced Energy Systems: Produce rigorous analysis of the specific challenges to decarbonize the world energy economy, and what kind of technologies and systems will be needed to do so.
- Advanced Nuclear Energy: Create a global research and demonstration, commercial, regulatory, and social ecosystem in which nuclear technology can flourish and emerging technologies can be realized.
- Bioenergy: Redirect the production and use of bioenergy so that it contributes to, rather than undermines, decarbonization and climate stability and ensure that bioenergy use is at least carbon neutral and, where possible, carbon negative.
- Decarbonized Fossil Energy: Rapidly accelerate the adoption of carbon capture technologies to prevent the emission of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from power generation and industrial sources around the world.
- Power Plants: Enact direct carbon limits on power plants, gas as well as coal, and ensure the adoption of emission standards, by legislation or regulations, on U.S. fossil power plants that would zero out U.S. power sector carbon emissions by 2050.
- Super Pollutants: Catalyze deep, global reductions in methane and black carbon emissions to stave off the risk of irreversible changes to our climate.

CATF’s team of globally recognized energy policy and technology experts, are creative problem solvers who pursue change in three main ways:
- Technology Innovation: Working with companies and governments on effective strategies to commercialize and rapidly scale proven, as well as emerging, low-carbon energy and climate change mitigation technologies.
- Policy Advocacy: Create and enact policies to support low carbon energy and phase out carbon emitting energy.
- Thought Leadership: Through analysis, speaking, and networking, drive support and collaboration to realize the most effective policy and technology strategies to combat climate change.

We apply these strategies in 6 key Focus areas:
- Power Plants: Ensuring the adoption (by legislation and/or regulation) of emission standards on U.S. fossil power plants that would zero out power sector carbon emissions by 2050.
- Super Pollutants: Advocating for methane and black carbon emission reductions in the US and internationally by supporting scientific research, promoting policy initiatives, encouraging the development of financial incentives for pollution controls, and securing standards that can dramatically reduce emissions of these climate super pollutants.
- Bioenergy: Identifying and promoting measures to maximize the climate benefits of thoughtful land use practices — from the carefully targeted use of bioenergy to smarter and more comprehensive forest management.
- Decarbonized Fossil Energy: Developing and advocating for policies to make carbon-capture technologies cost competitive with unabated fossil fuel power generation and for use in the industrial sector, globally.
- Advanced Nuclear Energy: Making nuclear energy a viable option for decarbonizing the world energy system, at the needed scale and speed, by catalyzing private sector and government activity to lower the cost and accelerate deployment of current and emerging advanced nuclear technology.
- Advanced Energy Systems: Bringing analysis to bear on the question of what technologies will be required to achieve an affordable, zero-carbon energy system by mid-century and catalyzing private sector activity and public policy to forge real options from those technologies.

At CATF, we are non-traditional environmentalists. Our diverse team of policy experts, scientists, lawyers, and communication specialists are known for the following capabilities:
-Policy Development & Advocacy: CATF develops and advocates for policies that regulate climate- and health-damaging emissions both in the U.S. and internationally, as well as policies and incentives that drive low-emission energy technology deployment.
- Rulemaking, Litigation & Legislation: CATF represents non-profit clients in court cases, arguing in support of regulations that reduce pollution and protect the climate. CATF has a long history of legal and policy research, strategy, and technical record building which have resulted in many successful efforts to enact regulations and defend them from attempts to weaken or repeal.
- Commercial Assessment & Support: CATF scopes new and emerging low-emission energy technologies and evaluates their potential to scale to climate impact levels. We conduct extensive research and modelling to understand the factors that impact deployment, including cost, market ecosystem barriers, and business models. CATF works directly with low-emission energy companies on their business models and strategies and catalyzes business-to-business partnerships and information sharing through workshops and site tours. Where possible, CATF organizes advocacy efforts with private sector and NGO partners to advance incentives and regulations to speed deployment of low-emission energy technologies.
- Education & Outreach: CATF builds awareness of the health and climate impacts of pollution from power plants, oil and gas production, bioenergy, and other sources. We educate stakeholders on the need for a broad portfolio of scalable, low-emission energy solutions to reach climate mitigation goals.
- Collaboration: CATF plays a catalytic role in forming many coalitions and campaigns leading to many crucial policy enactments.
- Research & Analysis: CATF staff, often in partnership with other leading experts, conduct extensive research into emission impacts, emission reduction opportunities, economic feasibility of energy technologies, and on potential decarbonization pathways in order to develop the fact-based, realistic strategies that drive our work.

Accomplishments:
- Founded and led the U.S. campaign vs. dirty coal plant emissions, helped deliver power plant emissions reductions in pollution-causing smog and soot of more than 70%, and more than 90% of mercury, as well as significant reduction in other air toxic emissions.
- Founded and led a successful national campaign highlighting disease and early death from diesel engines, resulting in policies to retire, replace or upgrade engines with emission controls to meet modern emission standards.
- Helped enact “clean energy standards” in several states requiring utilities to meet 100% carbon-free electricity by mid-century.
- Mobilized NGOs and the U.S. government to target climate-damaging methane emissions and led successful efforts to enact and later defend methane-reducing emission controls on oil and gas equipment.
- Provided several years of expert support which enabled Canada and Mexico to finalize comprehensive standards for methane from the oil and gas sector.
- First major NGO to mount and sustain a fact-driven critique of conventional biofuels. Educated key stakeholders on how overproduction of corn ethanol and soy biodiesel can worsen climate change and solidified global opposition to policies that subsidize their production.
- Led efforts by NGOs and U.S. government to promote technologies that capture and store fossil fuel carbon emissions, achieving a recent U.S. victory providing tax incentives to scale up the technology.
- Moved the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to modernize its licensing process to encourage innovative nuclear energy systems that could be safer and less costly.
- Initiated a successful campaign before the International Maritime Organization to reduce black carbon emissions from existing diesel engines and led an international coalition to curb soot emissions from marine shipping.

What’s Next:
- Enacting comprehensive state and federal requirements for US utilities to acquire 100% of their electricity generation from carbon-free sources.
- Creating a suite of US innovation policies to drive advanced low carbon energy into the market, including zero carbon liquid fuels, hydrogen, advanced geothermal energy, advanced nuclear energy and carbon capture.
- Defending existing regulations on coal power plant and oil and gas emissions from attempts to weaken or repeal.
- Leveraging success and lessons learned in North America to bring best practices for methane regulations to countries around the world.
- Limiting the overproduction of climate damaging biofuels through accurate accounting of life cycle emissions and ensuring policies accurately reflect their climate impact.
- Supporting further improvements in regulations and policies that govern advanced nuclear technologies in order to accelerate development and deployment.

Financials

CLEAN AIR TASK FORCE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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CLEAN AIR TASK FORCE INC

Board of directors
as of 3/23/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Wendy Jacobs

Harvard Law School Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic

Bruce Phillips

The Northbridge Group

Jane Long

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Seema Paul

The Nature Conservancy

Sue Sheridan

Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy

Phil Guidice

Elizabeth Thompson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No