Climate 411

What We’re Watching in Reconciliation: Regular Updates from EDF

Photo Credit: John Williams

Through the process known as budget reconciliation, Congress is now crafting a bill that could include significant investments in climate action that will drive economic and job growth. There are going to be a lot of moving parts over the next few weeks, which is why EDF will be weighing in regularly in this space to help break down what’s happening, and why it matters.

Want a primer on the key issues EDF will be watching? Read all about them here. Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Climate Change Legislation, Economics, Health, News, Policy / Comments are closed

What We’re Watching in Reconciliation

Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz

Through the process known as budget reconciliation, Congress is now considering significant investments in climate action that could supercharge economic and job growth. With so many moving pieces, it can be difficult to know what to watch for, which is why we’ve homed in on four key questions to ask as the process unfolds.

EDF staff will also be weighing in on key developments as they happen, and you can read those comments in a new, regularly updated blog post you can read here. Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Energy, Green Jobs, Health, Jobs / Comments are closed

A revamped cost curve showcases the biggest carbon-cutting opportunities

President Biden has raised the bar for U.S. climate ambition, setting targets to cut economy-wide emissions 50-52% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050. As the administration, federal lawmakers and state and local leaders work to make these goals a reality with strong climate policies and investments — including in climate-focused infrastructure and reconciliation packages being negotiated in Congress — they are faced with many questions. What are the cheapest ways to cut carbon right now? How will a particular policy affect emissions? How much should we be investing in new clean technologies that are not widely available yet?

A new and improved ‘cost curve’ tool developed by EDF and Evolved Energy Research shows that the electricity and transportation sectors offer the most impactful carbon-cutting opportunities at the lowest cost right now — with potential to get us nearly halfway to net-zero emissions from energy and industry by 2050. This tool, which offers a new take on what is known as a Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) curve, gives policymakers an economic roadmap to net-zero emissions and beyond by revealing greater insights into the costs, impact and optimal sequencing of different carbon-cutting actions.

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Also posted in Economics, Energy / Comments are closed

Carbon removal tech could help us draw down historic pollution and go beyond net-zero. But it needs the right policy.

This blog was co-authored by Maureen Lackner, Manager for Economics & Policy at EDF.

This EDF working paper explores policy tools that federal policymakers could use to quickly and responsibly begin deployment of Direct Air Capture facilities, one of several possible carbon removal approaches that could help get the U.S. to net-negative emissions, alongside essential measures to slash pollution.

Carbon Engineering's direct air capture pilot plant.

Carbon Engineering’s direct air capture pilot plant. Photo Credit: Carbon Engineering

The latest report from the IPCC underlined what many already know: action is failing to keep pace with the accelerating climate crisis. A rapid, global transition to net-zero emissions is mission critical since every fraction of a degree in warming could worsen the climate damages we’re already experiencing.

Directly cutting U.S. emissions by moving toward clean energy sources will be the unquestionable priority this decade. But the report also makes clear that we need to scale up carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to reduce the likelihood of the most catastrophic impacts beyond 1.5C warming. The unforgiving math means we will need to harness scientifically-robust ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere through nature — such as managing healthy forests — and through emerging technologies.

One technology-based solution receiving considerable attention is Direct Air Capture with dedicated geologic storage (called DACCS), where carbon is pulled from the air and permanently and safely stored underground.

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Also posted in News, Policy / Read 1 Response

Oregon’s Climate Protection Program must live up to its name

As Oregon faces another out of control wildfire season, the state’s lead environmental agency, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), just released regulatory language for its Climate Protection Program, a program intended to be a pillar of the state’s strategy to meet the ambitious climate goals Governor Brown committed the state to in 2020.

The stakes are high for this critical rulemaking, which will decide whether Oregon truly follows through on its climate commitments. In a recent New York Times op-ed, Governor Brown wrote that Oregon is “working to lead the way” on climate change. With the latest IPCC report underscoring how climate change is affecting every inhabited region across the globe and how many damaging impacts are accelerating, we are at a moment where climate leadership is desperately needed.

But at this critical moment, the DEQ’s proposed Climate Protection Program falls far short of what we expect from effective climate action. There’s still time for the program to be strengthened as the public comment period for the program is only just beginning, but Oregon’s decision-makers must ensure that the Climate Protection Program will deliver the swift, equitable and ambitious climate action that Oregon needs.

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Also posted in Cities and states / Comments are closed

California needs to raise its ambition to beat the climate crisis. This policy will be key.

This post was authored with Katie Schneer, High Meadows Fellow for subnational climate policy at EDF, and Mayu Takeuchi, intern for U.S. Climate at EDF.

This summer, as Californians face an onslaught of climate-fueled disasters like severe drought and explosive wildfires, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is launching the development of a roadmap that will outline the next phase of the state’s climate fight.

The 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan, which will guide the state towards achieving its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and its 2045 net-zero emissions target, is a critical opportunity for California to double-down on its climate ambition. State leaders should harness this moment to calibrate California’s suite of climate policies to ensure that the state not only meets its climate goals, but maximizes cuts in emissions this decade.

California’s cap-and-trade program, which launched in 2013, is one of the key policies that should be fine-tuned to respond to the urgency of the climate crisis that Californians are seeing across the state. CARB should act swiftly to ensure that the most important aspect of this program — the emissions cap — is stringent enough to ensure that California meets its 2030 emissions goal of a 40% reduction below 1990 the emissions level and delivers the most reductions in pollution as quickly as possible.

Here’s why CARB should tighten the emissions cap:

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Also posted in California, Carbon Markets, Cities and states / Read 1 Response