Climate 411

Latest Western Climate Initiative auction sells out; still space for more climate ambition from cap and trade

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

The latest California-Quebec auction was fully subscribed, based on results released today. This is the second quarter in a row where all allowances sold, which is good news for the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. There is still opportunity, however, for more ambition in the program moving forward.

Today’s results, by the numbers

  • All 54,773,607 current vintage allowances were offered for sale. This is the second consecutive auction where all current allowances sold. It should also be noted that there were just under 2 million more allowances offered in November compared to February, mainly due to the annual decline of the emissions cap.
  • Current vintage allowances cleared at $17.80, 9 cents above the floor price of $17.71. This is 87 cents above the November 2020 settlement price of $16.93.
  • All of the 8,306,250 future vintage allowances offered for sale sold, just as 100% sold in the previous auction. These allowances may not be used for compliance until 2024.
  • Future vintage allowances sold at $18.01, 30 cents above the floor price of $17.71, and 66 cents above the $17.35 settlement price from November 2020.
  • California raised almost $650 million for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, some of which the Legislature may allocate during the ongoing budget process for priorities such as the Community Air Protection Program and the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Program.
  • Quebec raised just over $150 million (just over $190 million CAD) to invest in their own climate priorities.

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Posted in California, Cities and states, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Leave a comment

Five things to know about the Texas blackouts

1. Our first priority must be to help Texas families

Millions in Texas were without power and drinkable water for days on end, and families across the state are still working to find food and assess the damage from burst pipes. Helping them must be our first priority.

2. Climate change means all of our infrastructure may be more vulnerable to extreme weather. But Texas’ grid wasn’t ready for extreme cold and winter storms.  

While there will be much finger pointing in the days to come, it’s becoming clear that the biggest problem is that ERCOT, the state’s grid operator, as well as the Texas Public Utility Commission that oversees it, haven’t prepared the state’s electricity grid for more extreme weather, including winter storms which may become more common with climate change.

Leaders at all levels should make sure not only power facilities, but all of our infrastructure, is built with resilience in mind & factor climate change impacts in planning. We need policies from the state to ensure Texas is ready.

As the Texas Tribune said, “Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies — many of which opted against the costly upgrades.”

3. Fossil fuel lobbyists are trying to spin the truth, but natural gas and coal were the biggest part of the problem.
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Posted in Cars and Pollution, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, News, Policy, Science / Leave a comment

Why Pennsylvania Should Move Forward with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Now

Last year tied for the hottest year on record. Increasing heat and flood risks from climate change, the result of historical and ongoing emissions of heat-trapping gases, threaten infrastructure, agriculture, and public health throughout Pennsylvania. The federal government, Wall Street, and Americans across the country have awakened to the challenge of climate change and are aggressively taking steps that move our country into the carbon-free future. At this point, the costs of inaction are too big to ignore: Every ton of climate pollution we emit matters.

Consequently, the costs of delaying entry into a program like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are real – and alarming – for Pennsylvanians. The commonwealth now has the fourth dirtiest power sector in terms of carbon pollution in the nation. The decisions Pennsylvania makes have clear consequences for the health and welfare not only of Pennsylvanians, but the entire U.S. After more than a decade of delay to act on climate in Pennsylvania, there is no reason to slow implementation of RGGI.

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Eleven facts about clean vehicles to counter gas guzzling lobbyists

The average American household spends about $175 a month on gasoline. That means billions of dollars to oil companies, refiners, and others — and a huge incentive for them to block policies that move America to clean, zero-emissions electric vehicles.

We’re already seeing a coordinated push to stop President Biden and Congress from boosting American clean cars, trucks and buses — even though these policies will create jobs and a more just and equitable economy, clean the air, and are popular with the public.

EDF experts have assembled these facts to counter the lobbyists who want to make sure Americans keep paying at the pump.

1. Moving to clean electric vehicles will help America win the race for good jobs today and tomorrow. 

The question isn’t electric vehicles versus gas-powered vehicles — the global industry is already moving to EVs, and spending at least $257 billion this decade to make the switch. The issue is whether American workers will get these jobs. We can build these vehicles in places like Hamtramck, MI and Spartanburg, SC or have them shipped to us from Hamburg and Shanghai. Switching to zero-emissions electric trucks, buses, and cars will create jobs today and help us compete with Europe and China in this rapidly expanding market. Read More »

Posted in Cars and Pollution, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News, Policy, Setting the Facts Straight / Comments are closed

How combining a just economic transition and strong climate action equals a safer, healthier and more equitable New Mexico

This post was co-authored by James Povijua, Policy Director at Center for Civic Policy

Group of multiethnic engineers in medical protective mask on background of photovoltaic solar panels.

New legislation making its way through the Roundhouse is providing New Mexico with the opportunity to set national precedent when it comes to how we can create a just economic transition, create high-quality jobs, diversify local economies and protect our frontline communities from the worst impacts of climate change.

The Climate Solutions Act (HB 9) establishes nation-leading carbon pollution reduction targets to benefit current and future generations while ensuring that all New Mexicans will benefit from the job and economic growth provided in a clean energy future..

It is no surprise then that the bill has the support of a strong, diverse coalition spanning community-based, environmental, agricultural and labor organizations. Representatives Angelica Rubio and Melanie Stansbury, and Rep. Nathan Small, as well as House Speaker Brian Egolf as well as Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart and Senators Benny Shendo and Carrie Hamblen are sponsoring the bill and championing strong action.

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Posted in Cities and states, Jobs / Read 1 Response

Measuring the true impact of Colorado’s climate delay: A pathway for curbing pollution (Part 3)

After Colorado legislators passed landmark climate legislation in 2019, which included a statutory mandate directing the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) to adopt rules and regulations to reduce statewide emissions, the state has yet to adopt a policy framework capable of getting the job done. This three-part series explores the impact of Colorado’s delay, analyzing the impact on total emissions and the state’s ability to meet its own climate targets.

Alamosa Photovoltaic Power Plant.

Alamosa Photovoltaic Power Plant.

Colorado’s policy action is nowhere close to living up to its climate commitments. As we’ve illustrated in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, the state is far off track from meeting its own climate goals, even accounting for all current policies and recently announced coal plant retirements. And the recently released final Roadmap doesn’t include a comprehensive and specific regulatory agenda that will secure the needed reductions. Without urgent action, climate pollution will continue building up in the atmosphere and will wreak further environmental, health and economic havoc on Coloradans.

But in the face of this immense challenge, the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC)—the regulatory body responsible for ensuring Colorado meets its targets—has an opportunity to get the state on the right course. The Commission is already overdue on its responsibility to evaluate options and then propose a regulation or suite of regulations to meet its statutory climate targets. A recent EDF petition for an enforceable, declining emission limit could help the AQCC deliver concrete climate progress on an urgent timeline, while improving health and equity across the state.

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