Politics Biden's world climate summit must include a pledge to tackle methane emissions
Overnight Energy: Putin, Xi among leaders invited to White House climate summit | Kerry looks to private sector on climate change | White House reportedly canceled 50-person Interior Department party over pandemic concerns
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President Biden has come out swinging on climate change. In his first months as president, his administration has rejoined the Paris Agreement, appointed domestic and international climate czars, and this weekwith sweeping investments in greener infrastructure. All of this, however, is prologue to the highly anticipated April 22 World Climate Summit at the White House, where he is expected to unveil the United States' ambitious new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement.
The new NDC presents the Biden administration with a clear opportunity to take up the mantel on global climate leadership, and to send a clear signal out across the world that keeping temperature rise well below 2 degrees C is the right goal. To do so, the NDC must include aggressive reductions of methane pollution.
2021 tech events, summits, and conferences to add to your calendar
The 2021 conference season is going to be a strange one, with many events still TBA or online only due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.Many events have yet to announce dates, and with good reason: The coronavirus pandemic is leaving 2021 shrouded in uncertainty and announcing dates now could result in another bad investment.
Methane pollution, commonly emitted during oil and gas production, as well as from agriculture, coal mines, and landfills, warms the planet 80 times more than carbon pollution over 20 years. It accounts for a, and . But there's a clear opportunity to change that. Rapidly and dramatically cutting methane pollution is both critically needed and technologically attainable and presents a clear opportunity for an early climate victory on the road to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
A recent study found that the U.S. can cut methane emissions from the oil gas sector by up to 65 percent with currently available technologies. By strengthening requirements to find and fix methane leaks at oil and gas facilitates and replacing outdated equipment with zero-emitting technology, the U.S. could cut methane emissions by 7.8 million tons, the equivalent of shutting down 170 coal-fired power plants or taking 140 million gas-powered cars off the road. In addition to the climate impacts, strong methane standards would provide immediate relief to more than 12 million people living within a half mile of gas and oil facilities, including- all while creating thousands of new jobs.
A reshaped battlefield for climate policy
As Washington talks climate rules and legislation, carbon emitters are burnishing their climate credentials. TC Energy, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, pledged days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration to buy carbon emissions offsets for the project, which the administration halted. General Motors announced in January it plans by 2035 for the bulk of […] The post A reshaped battlefield for climate policy appeared first on Roll Call.
And while any efforts to address methane in the NDC are welcome, retreading the Obama-era level methane commitments would be insufficient. Just like no one today wants an iPhone 6, the U.S. should not be satisfied with a methane policy from 2016. Even if extended to existing equipment, the 2016 standards would only reduce emissions by a- 5 million more tons of methane pollution per year compared to an ambitious policy. The United States' pledge must reflect all the progress that has been made over the past five years and fit into the Biden administration's efforts not just to build back, but to build back better.
A strong methane emissions target would put the U.S. in good company with its global peers as well. In October of 2020, the European Commission released the EU's "," signaling the start of a process to develop legislation to tackle methane pollution. In 2018, Canada and Mexico issued strong methane standards for the oil and gas sector, and many other countries are considering following their lead. By the same token, a strong U.S. commitment on methane pollution would help galvanize similar action from other major global emitters like China, India, and Russia. If executed correctly, the NDC can become the fulcrum for leveraging international action on methane and other gases.
To See How Biden's Infrastructure Plan Will Address Climate Change, Look at the Details
To See How Biden's Infrastructure Plan Will Address Climate Change, Look at the DetailsBut the White House officials charged with leading the Administration’s climate policy say the plan’s strategy to reduce emissions and prepare the country for the effects of a warming planet is more than the sum of the programs with climate in the name. Understanding how the Biden Administration plans to use the infrastructure bill to tackle climate change, they say, requires looking at how climate considerations are included in the details of a range of proposals in the plan, from manufacturing to housing.
The table is set for a strong methane target in the U.S. NDC to the Paris Agreement.
President Biden made methane emissions a central component of thethat he campaigned on. Congress recently for the oil and gas industry. And newly confirmed EPA Administrator Michael Regan that he would be "laser-focused" on reducing methane emissions.
The world will be watching when Biden takes to the podium to reintroduce the U.S. on the world stage. By announcing a strong goal to tackle methane emissions, he can take an immediate bite out of U.S. emissions and usher in a new era of U.S. leadership on climate change.
Sarah Smith is the Program Director, Super Pollutants at Clean Air Task Force.
The US has a chance fix its broken climate risk disclosure system .
If companies ignore their vulnerability to climate change, the global economy is at risk.Financial regulators in the US are grappling with that question now. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened a 90-day public comment period in March that will inform the first update to federal climate risk disclosure guidelines in a decade. Shareholder groups and asset managers like BlackRock (CEO Larry Fink wrote in February that “climate risk is investment risk”) are pressuring boardrooms to improve corporate transparency around climate risks.