Climate 411

The EU has the power to bring transformational change to global shipping

Container cargo freight ship with working crane loading bridge in shipyard at dusk.

This post was written by Panos Spiliotis, Global Climate Shipping Manager for EDF, and also appears on EDF Europe.

The European Commission’s “Fit for 55” policy package opens a powerful new opportunity to decarbonise shipping—a sector with a growing share of global emissions (roughly 3%) that is not covered by any EU climate target.

Released last week, the ‘Fit for 55’ package is the most robust policy proposal package set out by any of the world’s economies to date and signals to the international community that the EU is focused on its new target to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. The Commission’s proposal to include international maritime transport in the EU Emissions Trading System can carry shipping a long way to a zero-carbon future; however, the policy suite fails in other ways to steer shipping entirely away from fossil fuels. Instead of kicking the can down the road, Brussels should chart a course that steers the sector away from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and toward cleaner options.

EU must stop favouring LNG
One key feature of the package, “Refuel EU,” mandates a progressive decrease in the carbon content of marine fuels. Unfortunately, the European Commission has put forward targets that will boost the use of LNG and biofuels in shipping—a pointless half-measure that will not lead to real transformative action. It is a sorely missed opportunity. If appropriately designed, the Refuel EU fuel standard could incentivize zero-carbon fuels.

Read More »

Also posted in Carbon Markets, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, International, Shipping, United Nations / Leave a comment

New study: Four signs of a growing U.S. supply chain for zero-emissions trucks and buses

Transitioning to zero-emissions trucks and buses is necessary for both climate stability and to protect communities from air pollution. With nearly 23 million diesel-fueled medium and heavy duty trucks and buses operating on roads today in the U.S., moving to zero-emissions technology will result in significant investments in manufacturing, infrastructure, operations and maintenance training, research and development and midlife vehicle businesses.

According to a new analysis conducted by EDF and the consulting firm PwC, a significant amount of investments in the electric truck and bus supply chain has already taken place – yielding a strong and growing domestic supply chain for zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Amidst the findings by EDF and PwC, four indicators stand out most:

Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Jobs, News / 2 Responses

The EU just moved closer to all zero-emission cars. That heightens urgency for the U.S. to act

Electric cars charging in Nice, France

The European Union just released proposed legislation for passenger cars and vans that would move the continent closer to a zero-emission transportation future.

The EU proposal would require a 55% reduction in carbon pollution for new cars and a 50% reduction for new vans by 2030 – and a 100% reduction for both in 2035. That would substantially strengthen standards that the EU adopted in 2019, and would ultimately eliminate harmful tailpipe pollution from new vehicles sold there.

The proposal would save European drivers money on gas while dramatically cutting climate and air pollution from one of the world’s largest fleets of passenger vehicles. It also has profound reverberations around the world – especially here in the U.S.

Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Economics, News / 2 Responses

This Fourth of July, we have an opportunity for independence from harmful vehicle pollution

Photo by Pixabay

As millions of Americans hit the road this weekend to visit loved ones and celebrate the Fourth of July, there is increasing reason for optimism that our road trips of the future will be in vehicles that do not emit any pollution.

This past week, the Environmental Protection Agency sent proposed motor vehicle emissions standards to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The proposed action will include strengthened pollution standards for new passenger vehicles through model year 2026, which will reduce climate and health-harming pollution and help correct the prior administration’s rollbacks to our nation’s clean car standards.

EPA’s proposed standards will be an important, near-term step forward.

But the Biden administration has an even bigger opportunity in front of it – to clearly articulate a bold, long-term vision to eliminate tailpipe pollution from new motor vehicles, one that ensures at least 60% of new passenger cars and trucks sold in the U.S. by 2030 are zero-emitting and that all new vehicles sold by 2035 are zero-emitting.

Realizing this vision would have enormous benefits for Americans’ health, the climate, and our pocketbooks:

Read More »

Also posted in California, Cars and Pollution, Cities and states, Green Jobs, Jobs, News / Read 1 Response

What the SEC can do to protect investors, companies, and people from another Texas power crisis

This post was co-authored by David G. Victor of the Brookings Institution and EDF’s Stephanie H. Jones and Michael Panfil. It is also posted here

 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering making important changes in disclosure requirements to reflect the growing recognition that climate change poses significant risks to the U.S. financial system. This week, hundreds of investors, companies, and concerned Americans, including EDF, responded to the SEC’s request for public input on climate change disclosure.

The Brookings Institution’s recent analysis on the intersection of climate change and financial markets has shown that a significant blind spot for financial institutions is how the physical impacts of a warming world affects assets. But, outside of insurance, relatively little has been said about financial vulnerabilities stemming from extreme weather.

The massive storm that hit Texas in February — known as Winter Storm Uri — highlights the dangers of ignoring the physical risks of climate change. Frigid temperatures and ensuing blackouts led to the deaths of more than 150 people and caused billions of dollars in damages. The blackouts also disrupted dozens of public companies, hundreds of small businesses, and millions of lives, raising a slew of questions for public officials.

EDF and Brookings have now released a new report, What Investors and the SEC Can Learn from the Texas Power Crises, in which we focus on one of those questions: what did the financial markets know about the odds and impacts of a storm like this before it happened?  Our report looks at SEC regulatory disclosures made by publicly-traded electric utilities and suppliers in Texas, and offers a clear answer: not much. Read More »

Also posted in Cities and states, Economics, Energy, News, Partners for Change / Comments are closed

The key to reaching Biden’s new climate goal: An enforceable clean electricity standard that slashes pollution

Editor’s note: This post was last updated June 29, 2021.

A female engineer standing beside the solar panel.

At the Leaders Summit on Climate in April, President Biden pledged to go all-in to beat the climate crisis, setting an ambitious and credible target to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. Now the administration and federal law makers must roll up their sleeves and work to achieve this target. The question is: What policies will they adopt that can secure the necessary cuts in pollution in less than 10 years?

While there are multiple pathways to meeting the target, a wide range of analyses agree on one core theme: The power sector is a critical linchpin to success. We need to cut emissions from electricity generation by at least 80% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Read More »

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