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

Where the U.S. stands going into COP26

After a year-long delay from the pandemic, COP26 — the next UN meeting aimed at accelerating global action on climate change — is right around the corner. As a newly rejoined Party to the Paris Agreement under the leadership of President Biden, the United States will be arriving under much different circumstances than the last COP. But will other countries see the U.S. participation and its new commitments as credible? Will the United States be positioned to push global ambition to the levels needed to beat the climate crisis? The answers to those critical questions depend on how much policy progress the U.S. can make at home.

In April, the United States renewed its commitment to meeting global climate targets, including through an ambitious new nationally determined contribution (NDC) that pledges to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030. While highly ambitious, multiple analyses have demonstrated that this goal is also achievable, lending much-needed credibility to the U.S. pledge. Since then, the Biden administration has unveiled a series of actions intended to move the country towards achieving that goal.

Critically, one of the largest and most significant components of the president’s plan to tackle climate change is a piece of legislation that is currently in active stages of negotiation in Congress. Getting this bill and the included climate investments across the finish line will be crucial to meeting our climate goals. On top of that, the U.S. must also ratchet up regulatory climate action at the federal and state level to meet our 2030 pledge, as incentives and investments alone won’t be enough to slash emissions at the pace and scale needed.

So what has the U.S. accomplished since announcing its new NDC in April and what is still on the table? Here is where progress stands.

Read More »

Posted in Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Jobs, Paris Agreement / 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 »

Posted in Cars and Pollution, Energy, Green Jobs, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, Jobs / Comments are closed

The U.S. needs more economic stimulus: Here’s how it can create jobs and tackle climate change

After winning on the strongest climate platform of any major party presidential nominee in history, the Biden-Harris administration has a mandate to confront the existential crisis of climate change. This blog series explores what it will take to restore and strengthen climate leadership both across the country and on the global stage.

Man looks at wind turbines in the sunset

Of the many items on the to-do list for the Biden administration, one of the first priorities must be to work with Congress to accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the year-end stimulus bill recently passed by Congress gave some support to struggling families and businesses, significantly greater economic relief and stimulus investments are needed to ensure an equitable economic recovery.

There is enormous opportunity to “Power Up, America” by rebuilding an economy that is stronger and more equitable than before—one that helps protect current and future generations by investing in solutions that simultaneously address the urgent climate crisis, create good-paying jobs and build healthier communities. While stimulus spending alone will not be enough to meet necessary climate goals – achieving a 100% clean economy in the United States no later than 2050, and cutting emissions 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 to get on that path — well-targeted investments can reduce climate pollution in the near term and help buy down the costs of longer-term reductions.

Congress should take this opportunity to invest in clean energy across the economy, with an emphasis on cleaning up the power sector and electrifying transportation. Investment in these two sectors can create millions of jobs, save thousands of lives through cleaner air and make American businesses more competitive.

The year-end stimulus bill contained several important climate and clean energy provisions, such as a phaseout of the powerful super-pollutants known as HFCs and a temporary extension of key renewable energy incentives, but much more will be needed to meet our long-term climate goals. New policies will also be needed to fill the gaps in the package, including policies to advance equity and accelerate deployment of electric vehicles, both of which were included in earlier versions of the bill but were notably absent from the final deal.

As policymakers consider what to include in an early 2021 economic stimulus package, there are a number of important factors they should take into account: Which clean energy policies can curb the most pollution? Create the most jobs? Improve health and equity? And provide the most bang for the buck? Congress should prioritize policies that will generate the most benefits for economic recovery, health, equity and climate action.

Read More »

Posted in Jobs, Policy / Comments are closed