Climate 411

A decade in, California’s cap-and-trade has slashed climate pollution and generated investments — where does it go from here?

Sunset on the Mohave Desert

This year, California marked the 10th anniversary of its landmark cap-and-trade program, and the Golden State has good reason to celebrate: California saw reduced year-on-year emissions from nearly every sector covered by the program. On top of delivering on critical emissions reductions, cap-and-trade has generated revenue resulting in $9.3 billion implemented through California Climate Investments programs that contribute to emission reductions, support climate equity and improve public health outcomes. And yet, there’s still much more work to be done to ensure that this program delivers reductions at the scale and speed required to avert the worst impacts of climate change while meaningfully supporting overburdened communities.

With a rulemaking in progress to make further necessary improvements to cap-and-trade, here’s what you need to know about what’s coming up through the end of the year and what to pay attention to in the new year.

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Also posted in California, Carbon Markets, Cities and states, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Comments are closed

Latin America’s Climate Challenge, and Opportunity

This blog is co-authored by Sergio Sánchez, Senior Policy Director of Global Clean Air; Edgar Godoy, Associate Vice President of Jurisdictional Partnerships; Santiago Garcia, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Relationships Manager; and Erica Cunningham, AVP of Latin American Fisheries and Oceans.

Scene from the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week 2023 opening ceremony. UNclimatechange via Flickr.

This week leaders and climate stakeholders from throughout Latin America are meeting in Panama to discuss climate action, and the strategies and finance needed to climate-proof the continent. It’s not an easy task in a region facing multiple challenges, from political instability to insecurity to stunted economic growth in many countries.

Climate change is already making life even more challenging for many vulnerable people in Latin American and Caribbean. Communities throughout the region are grappling with sea-level rise and extreme weather events that occur more frequently. The largely man-made destruction of natural resources, like the Amazon rainforest, will intensify the impacts of climate change, and the impact of climate change is creating further pressure in the ecosystems and their degradation. Yet enforcement of conservation efforts alone is not enough for a problem that is economic in nature.

Mitigation and adaptation strategies will look different from country to country in this highly diverse and mega biodiverse continent. However, they all share some common threads: the need for climate finance, capacity building, and technology transfer, among others.

The opportunity for climate action

A successful climate strategy for Latin America will also solve other problems. Efforts to conserve the region’s rich natural ecosystems must happen alongside efforts to safeguard vulnerable communities against climate impacts. At Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week, the region’s leaders and climate stakeholders will have the opportunity to collaborate and advance discussions on climate policies that address multiple issues for both mitigation and adaptation. Climate financing, both from rich countries and the private sector, will need to be scaled up for solutions to work.

EDF’s delegation at Climate Week will engage and collaborate with the region’s climate leaders from government, civil society, Indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders, on critical topics including clean air, forest conservation, food security, and resilient oceans and coastal communities.

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Also posted in Carbon Markets, Extreme Weather, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Indigenous People, International, REDD+, United Nations / Comments are closed

New analysis shows that, in a decisive decade for climate action, Oregon must aim higher

Last legislative session, Oregon’s lawmakers had the opportunity to update Oregon’s statutory climate targets. This would have been the first time that Oregon updated its outdated climate targets in 15 years and would have brought Oregon’s climate goals in line with the level of ambition of President Biden’s national climate targets and from other climate leadership states.

But then, Oregon’s legislative session was stalled by a small group of state Senators who fled the Capitol instead of fulfilling their core responsibility as elected officials: to represent their constituents by casting votes in the legislative process. This walkout tactic has been used time and time again and has prevented climate action supported by a majority of Oregonians. This year’s walkouts — the longest in Oregon’s history — prevented Oregon from updating its climate goals.

Without updated climate goals in place, Oregon risks falling short of securing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions that are needed to avoid the most dangerous, irreversible impacts of climate change. Oregon has made important progress in regulating emissions, as one of the states leading the way on cutting pollution from the power sector, the transportation sector, and natural gas fuels — but new analysis by EDF has found that without additional action, Oregon is projected to fall short of achieving its climate commitments.

Here’s what to know about the analysis and next steps Oregon can take to raise the bar for climate action.

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Also posted in Carbon Markets, Cities and states, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health / Read 1 Response

New Mexico is off course for reaching its climate goals, but there’s enormous opportunity for action

New Mexico communities know the stakes for climate change are high — hotter and drier conditions threaten public health, livelihoods, and cultural and recreational resources, as they lead to increased drought, extended and more extreme wildfire seasons, and extreme heat. Those impacts are projected to get much worse in the coming decades, without serious and urgent action to slash climate pollution. It’s why polls underscore that the majority of New Mexico voters support strong action on climate change.

Governor Lujan Grisham has made bold, science-based climate commitments and both the legislature and regulators have adopted a number of important policies, but a new EDF analysis finds that with existing state and federal policies in place, New Mexico is projected to fall well short of achieving its 2025 and 2030 climate goals unless it takes aggressive climate policy action as soon as possible. The analysis also finds that the state’s current course will lead to far more cumulative emissions through the end of the decade — a critical metric that ultimately determines the severity of climate damages that our kids and grandkids may face.

While New Mexico is projected to face a glaring “emissions gap” — the distance between emission reductions the state has committed to and those it is projected to achieve — the opportunity to correct course with bold action has never been greater. With historic federal investments lowering the cost of clean energy, New Mexico can leverage this momentum to put in place strong limits on pollution that secure a safer climate future and grow a prosperous, equitable clean energy economy.

Here’s what you need to know about this analysis:

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Also posted in Carbon Markets, Cities and states, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News / Comments are closed

Washington state’s carbon market continues to raise major investments, as state leaders consider linking to California-Quebec market

Results were released today for Washington’s third quarterly cap-and-invest auction, which was held on August 30th. The results from this sold-out auction continue to demonstrate strong demand for allowances in this program, which has brought in significant revenue for the state of Washington to reinvest in its communities. These results follow on two previous sold-out quarterly auctions, as well as an auction from the Allowance Price Containment Reserve last month which raised an additional $62,491,660 while functioning as a market stabilizing feature. In total, these auctions have generated $919,564,777 for Washington communities.

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Also posted in California, Carbon Markets, Cities and states, Economics, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health / Read 1 Response

Washington state’s cap-and-invest program demonstrates cost containment features with special August auction

Yesterday, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) released the results from Washington’s first Allowance Price Containment Reserve (APCR) auction, held on August 9th. At this auction, all 1,054,000 of the available APCR allowances were sold at the two APCR tier prices of $51.90 and $66.68, with 527,000 allowances available at each price tier. This auction, along with two previous sold-out cap-and-invest auctions, shows continued strong demand for allowances under Washington’s cap-and-invest program and demonstrates the important role that an APCR can play in building predictability and stability into allowances prices.

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Also posted in California, Carbon Markets, Cities and states, Economics, Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, News / Comments are closed