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Can the United States Achieve a Low Carbon Economy by 2050?

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EESI - Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Can the United States Achieve a Low Carbon Economy by 2050?

Thursday, March 9
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Room G11 – Dirksen Senate Office Building
Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE

A live webcast will be streamed at 2:00 PM EST at www.eesi.org/livecast (wireless connection permitting)

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing showcasing two new reports on how to transition the United States toward a low carbon economy. The reports, From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy and the United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, present a range of pathways that can achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2050. These pathways involve mixtures of: energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, increased carbon sequestration in U.S. lands, and reductions in non-CO2 emissions. These pathways rely on commercial or near-commercial technologies that American companies are adopting and developing. The briefing will explore how deeper investment in clean energy can yield long-term dividends for the American economy.

In a low carbon economy, total electricity generation could double between now and 2050, presenting a prime opportunity to reap the benefits of investing in clean energy. An average of $320 billion a year in additional private sector investment would be needed between now and mid-century to reduce total energy sector CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2050. This bold step forward could in turn yield an average of over $360 billion in annual savings from reduced spending on fossil fuels.

Karl Hausker has worked for 30 years in the fields of climate change, energy, and environment in a career that has spanned the federal government, research institutions, NGOs, and consulting. Much of his work has focused on the energy and transportation sectors and on low carbon, resilient development strategies.

At WRI's U.S. Climate Initiative, Noah Kaufman focuses on carbon pricing and other market-based climate solutions. He has previously served as Deputy Associate Director of Energy & Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and as a Senior Consultant at NERA Economic Consulting.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to expedite check-in.

 

EPA enforcement office may be next on the Trump team’s hit list

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EPA enforcement office may be next on the Trump team’s hit list

By Kate Sheppard and Nick Visser on Feb 9, 2017 1:57 pm

This story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The Trump administration is considering closing down the enforcement division of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a report Wednesday evening from Inside EPA.

The new administration is reportedly looking to close the Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, or OECA, and instead let individual program offices (such as the air program, the water program, and others) handle enforcement. The outlet Inside EPA quoted “a source familiar with the plan” who says the Trump administration intends to “disassemble the enforcement office … take it, break it up, and move it back into the program offices.”

In a statement emailed to the Huffington Post, the agency’s press office said the “EPA does not have a confirmed administrator and we cannot speculate on future plans for the agency.”

Closing the office would almost certainly mean less enforcement work happens at the agency. OECA handles both civil and criminal enforcement of the country’s core environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The office is an independent body with about 3,000 employees who “work to advance environmental justice by protecting communities most vulnerable to pollution.”

“Dissolving OECA would have a disastrous effect on EPA’s ability to do its job,” said Nicholas Conger, who served as communications director for OECA from July 2013 through March 2016 and later worked in the EPA administrator’s public affairs office. Conger is now the press secretary of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Americans depend on a strong federal enforcement presence, and that depends on having a program that is directly focused on holding polluters accountable and ensuring they fix their problems.”

Myron Ebell, a climate change denier who led the Trump administration’s transition at the EPA before returning to the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted in an email with HuffPost that most environmental enforcement efforts were largely the responsibility of individual offices before the creation of the OECA in the 1990s. Ebell has previously recommended the agency slash its workforce by two-thirds, from about 15,000 to 5,000 employees, and cut the EPA budget in half.

Environmental advocates were quick to point out that Scott Pruitt — the Oklahoma attorney general Trump picked to lead the EPA — made almost the same move back home. Pruitt closed his office’s Environmental Protection Unit not long after he took office in 2011.

Pruitt’s online biography describes him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” and says he “established Oklahoma’s first federalism unit to combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government.” Republicans voted Pruitt’s nomination out of committee last week over a Democratic boycott; he is expected to go up for a vote in the full Senate, though a date for the vote has not been scheduled.

“Scott Pruitt endangered the health and welfare of Oklahomans when he closed his own environmental enforcement unit there, and now it looks like he wants to do the exact same thing at the EPA, imperiling families across America,” Liz Perera, climate policy director at the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

Republican-led efforts in Congress have already begun to roll back much of the environmental progress made under the administration of President Barack Obama. Last week, leaders in the House voted to overturn a rule meant to protect waterways from coal mining operations and another that requires energy companies to disclose payments from foreign governments.

Source: http://grist.org/article/epa-enforcement-office-may-be-next-on-the-trump-teams-hit-list/?utm_content=bufferc5b43&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Climate finance: resources for low-carbon, climate-resilient Europe

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Climate finance: resources for low-carbon, climate-resilient Europe

Article Published 15 Dec 2016 Last modified 15 Dec 2016, 05:38 PM
Our climate is changing. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the rate of climate change, and at the same time, take measures that help us prepare for current and future impacts. Both of these strands of action require unprecedented redirection of investments. This was acknowledged by the climate conferences in Paris and recently in Marrakesh. The finance sector can and will play an instrumental role in supporting Europe’s transition towards a low- carbon, climate-resilient society.

Image © Giulia Soriente, My City/EEA

Europe needs to invest substantially in climate change mitigation and adaptation.  The finance sector can and will play an instrumental role in supporting Europe’s transition towards a low- carbon, climate-resilient society.  Public sector investments will not be enough for financing the transition but can help mobilise and leverage private capital, which is indispensable for redirecting investment at the scale needed.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director

 

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Climate Change Threats and Solutions

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Climate Change Threats and Solutions

What Can We Do to Make a Difference?

Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth.  Without action, the impacts of climate change threaten to catastrophically damage our world. But by rallying people around the world to be a part of the solution, together we have the power to limit the effects of climate change.

Learn more from TNC's leaders about how we're meeting the challenges of a changing planet

Read our Science Blog to find out what's emerging in the world of conservation science around climate change.

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Higher Temperatures

Earth’s temperatures in 2015 were the hottest ever recorded (source: NASA). Why does this matter? Because a change of even 1 degree Fahrenheit – which may sound small – can upset the delicate balance of ecosystems, and affect plants and animals that inhabit them. 

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Climate Change A Natural Climate Solution

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Climate Change

A Natural Climate Solution

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Nature is the sleeping giant in solving climate change.

Climate change is a global problem, and it requires solutions on a global scale. One of those is hiding in plain sight. Our lands provide an untapped opportunity – proven ways of storing and reducing carbon emissions in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands, or natural climate solutions as we call them.

More than 30% of the climate change goals that our world leaders established at the 2015 Paris Climate Convention can be achieved through the power of nature.

This means that nature-based solutions – such as stopping deforestation and restoring coastal ecosystems – can get us more than a third of the way to the emission reductions needed by 2030.

Let’s give nature back its power to protect us! Oceans, grasslands, wetlands, peat bogs, forests – when they’re destroyed, the carbon they hold is released into the air, and their ability to provide us with life-giving assets disappears. A huge part of our climate work, therefore, is continuing the work that we’re known for: saving nature.   

These stories showcase the power of nature to solve climate change.

Maximizing Nature’s Role in Solving Climate Change
Tackling climate change isn’t just about changing how we produce and use energy. We must also maximize nature’s role.

Forest Carbon Science
Stay informed about the latest in climate change science on Cool Green Science.

This Decade’s Most Important Climate Solution
Read about how nature-based solutions are an essential piece of the climate puzzle. And nature’s time is now.

Mapping Ocean Wealth
Learn more about how our oceans and wetlands can help store carbon.

The Next Agriculture Revolution is Under Our Feet
We need to support innovation in soil health to meet the growing demand for food while strengthening the health of our communities, land, water and climate.

Not All Forestry is Carbon Equal
Learn about how forests clean our air, enhance water security and serve as the world’s oldest and most proven carbon storage technology.

The Forgotten Climate Solution
The land sector has the potential to deliver at least 20% of the climate solution.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees
See how we are helping loggers in the Berau District make changes that yield healthier local villagers and more intact forests sequestering carbon.

Source: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/global-warming-climate-change/nature-is-a-powerful-solution/index.htm?intc=nature.hp.news3

 


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