Climate 411

One year later: What’s next for the bipartisan infrastructure law’s historic investments in new climate tech?

A year ago, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, the largest investment in infrastructure since the New Deal.

Among the many key climate investments included, the infrastructure law put a long-awaited down payment on several new and promising climate solutions including carbon dioxide removal, hydrogen, long-term energy storage and technologies to support clean industry.

We spoke with Natasha Vidangos, Senior Director for Climate Innovation and Technology at Environmental Defense Fund, about what’s next for these investments and how they can help us tackle the climate crisis.

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Also posted in Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News / Comments are closed

9 recommendations for getting US hydrogen hubs right from the start

This post was co-authored by Akin Olumoroti, Senior Analyst, Federal Climate Innovation

Photo of hydrogen tanks at sunrise

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Over the last year, hydrogen has gained significant momentum as a pathway to reduce pollution, create jobs and drive economic growth. Billions of dollars of private sector investment and tax credit support have been announced, and hydrogen build-out is already ramping up.

Earlier this summer, the Department of Energy (DOE) outlined its process for allocating $8 billion of investment for regional clean hydrogen hubs (i.e., close-proximity networks of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure) from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and states and companies across the country are actively developing project plans and proposals.

But before we go all-in on deploying hydrogen, it’s essential we understand – and prepare for – its potential risks. EDF has been conducting research around the environmental and climate impacts of hydrogen and has identified several key considerations, including the indirect climate warming potential of hydrogen leakage, the steep energy requirements associated with hydrogen production, and the impacts that hydrogen build-out may have on local communities’ health and environment.

These considerations will be critical to apply as hydrogen hub planning gets underway, so that we not only support hydrogen deployment – but dedicate just as much energy to getting it right.

As hydrogen hub proposals come together, here are nine initial recommendations for federal and state policymakers and hydrogen hub developers to follow:

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Also posted in Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News, Policy / Comments are closed

Key climate finance programs in the Inflation Reduction Act could unleash 10 times more private investment

This blog was co-authored by Nicole Buell, Director for Federal Climate Innovation at EDF.

The Inflation Reduction Act puts a nearly $370 billion down payment on clean energy and climate progress, making it the most significant climate action ever taken by Congress. But this federal funding only scratches the surface of the law’s transformative impact on our economy.

A new policy brief from Environmental Defense Fund shows that investment in a few of the law’s key climate finance programs could pack an even greater punch, catalyzing 10 times greater investment from the private sector. Finance programs, including a new federal green bank, a program to reinvest in energy infrastructure and additional support for existing Department of Energy loan programs, could translate $38.7 billion of federal spending into $385 billion of private investment. 

key climate finance programs unlock 10X more private investment

Here are some of the main ways the law can unleash more private dollars.

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The Inflation Reduction Act: A breakthrough for lower energy costs and climate progress

This post was authored by EDF policy experts.clean energy

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin on July 27 announced the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 — an agreement that will improve Americans’ lives by fighting inflation, lowering healthcare costs, and making significant down payments on energy security and climate progress.

If passed by both the Senate and the House, this bill will be the largest investment in combating climate change ever passed by Congress — driving down carbon pollution 40% below 2005 levels by 2030. This will bring the U.S. substantially closer to President Biden’s goal of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030 and return the U.S. to a leadership role in the global fight against climate change.

These fiscally responsible investments will create good-paying clean energy and manufacturing jobs and boost U.S. energy security — all while saving families and businesses money. The bill also makes a historic down payment on environmental justice.

While the bill does contain some trade-offs, taken together, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will greatly benefit our economy and our climate fight – now and for generations to come. Here are the key investments you should know and why they matter.

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The latest IPCC report unpacks the role of innovation. Here are five key takeaways.

Wind energy

Photo credit: Pexels.

Last week, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading body on climate science, issued another stark warning on the state of the climate crisis. With every fraction of a degree at stake, the world needs to speed up the clean energy revolution as quickly as possible to secure a safer future.

This sixth assessment report lays out a variety of pathways and solutions that can limit global climate warming and stymie the most harmful impacts of the climate crisis. The top takeaway: We need to swiftly and equitably transition to a global clean energy economy through rapid and wide-scale deployment of existing solutions like solar, wind, batteries and heat pumps. For the first time, however, the report also dedicates a chapter to innovation – the process of developing, testing and scaling new climate solutions. In all pathways studied, these new solutions will be important for addressing emissions in sectors where today’s clean energy solutions are not enough.

Here are 5 key takeaways about climate innovation in the IPCC report that policymakers should know.

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