This month’s Washington Update offers an extensive overview of the major legislation that has recently been introduced on Capitol Hill, as well as the big takeaways from this month’s congressional hearings related to energy policy. We also examine the ramifications of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, and highlight the Department of Energy’s latest funding announcements for three research and development projects.
On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, sparking serious concern about the future of global efforts to mitigate climate change. In response, cities, states, and corporations across the United States are collaborating to submit a plan to the United Nations ensuring that the U.S. fulfills its emissions targets under the Paris accord – with or without support from the United States federal government.
The Obama Administration recently announced new financing for renewable energy projects through several initiatives domestically and around the globe. From committing $125 million in Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) financing for renewable energy projects in El Salvador and India to announcing seven Innovation Challenges with a goal of reducing carbon emissions, the Administration hopes to continue the global transition to zero-and-low carbon energy sources. To learn more about these new initiatives, read on!
In December 2015, 195 nations and the European Union formally pledged to meet nationally determined emissions-reduction targets in the Paris Agreement. Since then, many experts have observed that the national targets are not sufficient in meeting the goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius.
However, Jessika Trancik of the MIT Institute of Data, Systems, and Society recently presented research results that demonstrated that there is a mutually reinforcing cycle between emissions-reduction policies and technology development. Her analysis illustrates that for countries to meet their emissions-reduction pledges in the Paris Agreement, they need to deploy low-carbon technologies, which will spur technology innovation, lower costs, and ultimately enable further deployment of these technologies. To learn more about this cycle, read on!
On June 29, 2016, the North American Climate, Energy, and Environment Partnership was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama, and President Enrique Peña Nieto at the North American Leaders Summit in Ottawa, Canada. The three leaders publicly committed to see half of the continent’s electricity generated by clean sources by 2025—placing climate change at the center of the enduring Partnership. To learn more about the Partnership, read on!