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.

Nov. 19: 10 ways the Build Back Better Act will benefit the U.S.

The House of Representatives has passed the single most significant piece of climate legislation ever. Now it’s on its way to the Senate, where it will also need to be passed in order to become law.

This bill is incredibly important in the effort to transition to a climate-safe economy. The bill includes key climate and clean energy investments that will make a real difference in the lives of people and communities across America.

Here are ten ways the Build Back Better Act will benefit U.S. families and businesses: Read More »

Posted in Cars and Pollution, Climate Change Legislation, Economics, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, News, Policy / Read 1 Response

Why the Department of Energy launched an ‘Earthshot’ effort to draw down and store carbon pollution

This blog was co-authored by Sonali Deshpande, Program Analyst for U.S. Climate at EDF.

At a COP26 event on November 5, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced a new, visionary effort to scale up solutions that can draw down and store carbon pollution from the atmosphere: The Carbon Negative Shot

The Carbon Negative Shot follows two other Energy Earthshot announcements from DOE this year on hydrogen and long duration storage, all aimed at achieving breakthroughs in emerging climate solutions this decade. It’s the latest way that DOE is demonstrating how it can deliver on President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to combating climate change.

While we need to prioritize slashing carbon and methane pollution this decade to have a fighting chance of reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century — the target that gives us the best chance of avoiding the worst effects of warming — the science suggests that we might also need to scale up strategies to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, known as carbon dioxide removal or CDR.

DOE’s new Earthshot aims to fund research and innovation to achieve durable and scalable carbon removal under $100 per ton of CO2 within a decade. To be clear, that’s an ambitious goal: currently, a ton of direct air capture can cost multiples of that. However, some experts believe that these costs can fall significantly with an aggressive research agenda. And there are plenty of other challenges beyond cost: storing the CO2 permanently and safely, engaging with communities to ensure they inform and benefit from CDR, and ensuring CDR does not compete with renewable energy generation and other vital infrastructure for land use, and more.

To explore ways to maximize the value and impact of the Carbon Negative Shot, DOE gathered a range of voices for the launch at COP26, including remarks from Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol; and a panel featuring, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and expert on CDR Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer Dr. Lucas Joppa; and moderated by Dr. Akshat Rathi, Climate and Energy Reporter for Bloomberg News.

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Posted in Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Comments are closed

The Supreme Court will review a crucial case about climate pollution from power plants. Now what?

(This post was co-authored by EDF legal fellow Jesse Hevia)

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a D.C. Circuit decision that struck down the Trump administration’s rule weakening regulations of carbon pollution from power plants.

Here’s a look at what happened – and what might happen next.

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Posted in Clean Air Act, Clean Power Plan, EPA litgation, News, Policy / Comments are closed

What’s in store for forests at COP—and why you should be excited

This post was coauthored by Ruben Lubowski.

Amazon Canopy.

Stakeholders from all over the world are gathering in Glasgow for the COP26, which is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal climate change convenings. While participants will discuss how to tackle climate change and build back better (and greener), they will also focus on how to mobilize support and resources to reduce tropical deforestation.

Halting tropical deforestation is indispensable for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to 1.5C and for enhancing global climate action. Although forests are not included in the official negotiation agenda, during COP stakeholders will have the opportunity to turn discussion into commitments, action and finance to reduce emissions from deforestation. EDF will be closely tracking and contributing to these developments. Here’s what you should keep an eye on. Read More »

Posted in News / Comments are closed

Safeguarding Americans’ financial futures from climate change

This post is co-authored with Michael Panfil, Director of Climate Risk Strategies Project Manager at EDF.

Climate change presents immense risks for our society. These include, as is becoming increasingly apparent, the financial system. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor is taking a step to help safeguard one critical part of our economy and a cornerstone of many Americans’ financial futures – workers’ retirement savings.

The Labor Department has proposed a rule that would make clear that retirement plan managers can consider climate change when making 401(k) investment decisions. Risk management is bedrock to our financial system, and this proposal empowers 401(k) plan sponsors to incorporate the substantial and growing risks posed by climate change alongside other financial risks.

A substantial body of research highlights the financial risks stemming from climate change. The London School of Economics found that climate change could cause trillions of dollars in financial damage, far more severe than the 2008 financial crisis. The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment found climate change could stifle economic growth by 10% by 2100.  The U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission released a report last year that found Earth’s rising temperatures, and resulting extreme weather, pose “a major risk to the stability of the U.S. financial system and to its ability to sustain the American economy.” These findings were reaffirmed last week, with an Executive Order initiated risk and finance report by the White House making clear that “climate change poses serious and systemic risks to the U.S. economy and financial system.”

Read More »

Posted in Economics / Read 1 Response

COP26: 4 Reasons Carbon Markets Rules under Article 6 (Finally) May be Agreed in Glasgow

The SEC Centre in Glasgow Credit: CC0/PublicDomainPictures.net

The SEC Centre in Glasgow Credit: CC0/PublicDomainPictures.net

Interest in carbon markets is currently booming and with increased activity comes increased attention and, of course, familiar criticism. A high-integrity carbon market can help companies and countries increase their ambition on the pathway to net zero by mid century.

If designed well, the carbon market can channel public and crucial private sector investment from developed to developing countries and to the most urgent areas for climate action — like tropical forest protection.

A few key changes since countries met at COP25 in Madrid mean we are in a better position to get agreement on Article 6 at COP26 in Glasgow. Read More »

Posted in Carbon Markets, News, Paris Agreement, United Nations / Read 1 Response