Climate 411

EDF’s new equity map shows state efforts to make the energy transition fairer for all

(This post was written by EDF interns Cyera Charles and Remeny White)

Across the U.S. states are passing laws that will ensure greater equity as we transition to a clean energy system. EDF has developed an interactive map – based on our new report, the State Climate Equity Survey – that documents states’ efforts to make their energy transition more equitable and healthier.

Our new map identifies which states require, allow, or promote consideration of equity and environmental justice in agency decision-making and budget-setting.

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Posted in Cities and states, Energy, News / Comments are closed

New data shows Arizona EV jobs and investments Are soaring

This post was written by EDF’s Ellen Robo

One year ago this month, the Inflation Reduction Act put the pedal to the metal for investments in electric vehicle manufacturing – and it shows no sign of letting up.

In fact, U.S. EV investments are still growing at a breakneck pace.

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Posted in Cars and Pollution, Cities and states, Economics, Green Jobs, Jobs, News, Policy / Read 1 Response

Navigating the Core Carbon Principles and the Landscape of Guidance Toward a High-Integrity Carbon Market

This blog was authored by Jordan Faires (Manager at EDF+Business) and Pedro Martins Barata (Associate Vice President for Carbon Markets and Private Sector Decarbonization). 

The voluntary carbon market is an essential tool to advance net zero progress. The market can help us channel much-needed finance to drive climate action, conserve vital ecosystems, and support sustainable development and livelihoods in local communities. However, one of the leading challenges for companies is differentiating high-integrity carbon credits in a crowded marketplace. New integrity guidance is shedding light on how companies can make the highest impact investments to complement their sustainability commitments.  

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Rising Above the Storm: Transforming My Super Typhoon Experience Into Action

Damage in Tacloban, Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan, 2013

Imagine living in a coastal fishing community with fresh food, unpolluted air, and people sharing their food and resources. Imagine your childhood running around on a beautiful white sand beach, swimming in the ocean whenever you like, and in your free time, collecting seashells from the nearby shore, playing like tomorrow doesn’t matter.

I’m Marinel Ubaldo, a 25-year-old whose idea of a normal life changed after surviving the wrath of super-typhoon Haiyan.

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New Inflation Reduction Act Tracker Launched by the Sabin Center and EDF

This piece was co-authored by EDF Clean Air Legal Fellow Richard Yates and Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Fellow Eleonor Dyan Garcia. It is also posted on the Sabin Center’s website.

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Environmental Defense Fund have just launched IRAtracker.org. This free online resource includes a searchable database that catalogues all of the climate change-related provisions in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as well as a tracker that records actions taken by federal agencies to implement those provisions.

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Posted in Innovation, News, Partners for Change, Policy / Comments are closed

Four ways to reduce climate pollution from shipping in the Belt and Road Initiative

By Catherine Ittner and Hongming Liu

Despite global efforts to address the climate crisis, the shipping sector is on track to increase its global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 10% by 2050 – unless countries take urgent action.

China’s effort to increase investment and economic collaboration by building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – otherwise known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – is a great opportunity for countries to cooperate on decarbonizing shipping. The sea routes that make up the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which sail through Southeast Asia to South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, are critical to the success of international trade in the region — but the ships that travel these routes are significant sources of greenhouse gases.

Environmental Defense Fund contributed to a new BRI report, which highlights innovative ideas and low-carbon technologies that can cut shipping pollution and help China and other BRI countries meet their climate goals.

Need to decarbonize

Despite an urgent need to reduce GHG emissions in the shipping industry, many countries do not prioritize climate policies for shipping. Twenty-three countries are part of the Maritime Silk Road – but only five of them have incorporated the shipping industry into their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the efforts by each country to reduce national emissions.

The BRI International Green Development Coalition “aims to establish a policy dialogue and communication platform, an environmental knowledge and information platform, and a green technology exchange and transfer platform” to help ensure a green and sustainable BRI, including by decarbonizing shipping. EDF, along with Equitable Maritime Consulting, got the chance to contribute research to the BRI International Green Development Coalition’s new report on maritime connectivity and green development.

Policy recommendations

The report lays out four key policy recommendations to advance green shipping:

  1. Monitoring: Establishing a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework for international shipping within BRI. A comprehensive, effective monitoring and evaluation system is critical to ensuring that efforts aimed at reducing GHG pollution achieve results. BRI countries involved in international shipping should jointly implement a framework and data-sharing platform to monitor, report and verify the data related to GHG mitigation programs. Countries could then leverage the data collected to gather support for environmental financing of the most cost-effective green shipping projects.
  1. Research: Setting up technical cooperation and a joint research program for assessing the potentials for zero-carbon alternative fuel production. To decarbonize fast enough, the shipping sector needs low-carbon alternative fuels that are economically viable. A joint research program should undertake a full life-cycle assessment of zero-emission fuels, as well as an analysis of the supply and demand of these fuels, that considers the specific conditions of BRI countries. With the aim to improve the economic viability of zero-emission fuels for BRI countries, further research can serve as a foundation for a long-term and cost-effective decarbonization strategy for maritime transport within BRI.
  1. Ports: Strengthening the research and application of low-carbon port technologies to promote the coordinated development of green port and green shipping. The development of green shipping is impossible without ports. Ports can adopt technology – like onshore power supply and ship-port interface – to reduce GHG emissions. Onshore power supply allows ships to turn off their engines and connect to the electricity grid, with the potential for significant reductions in climate and air pollution. Ship-port interface is a platform for data interconnection and communication that enables ports to improve the efficiency of terminals and reduce the turnaround time of ships at port. BRI countries can accelerate the decarbonization of shipping through the adoption of pollution-cutting port technologies like these.
  1. Incentives and carbon pricing: Develop a green shipping incentive program and explore carbon pricing mechanisms. The BRI can look into new ways to reduce emissions, like rewarding ships that have excellent operational carbon intensity ratings and considering a carbon pricing cooperation mechanism for international shipping. Both tools can promote more efficient and cleaner ships, as well as the use of alternative zero-emission fuels.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, countries need to use every opportunity to collaborate toward decarbonizing shipping as soon as possible.

The well-designed policy suite outlined in BRI International Green Development Coalition’s new report drew a roadmap for BRI countries to spur innovation, deploy proven and cost-effective low-carbon technologies, and lead a green transition for the shipping industry. China and other BRI countries have an opportunity to model climate cooperation while pursuing economic success for the region, as well as having a ripple effect among the international community for facilitating multi-lateral cooperation.

Posted in Shipping / Comments are closed