Category: Opinion & Perspective

What We’re Learning about Corporate Climate Ambition

Glasgow signaled unprecedented levels of climate action commitments from investors and businesses that can drive real economy transformation. Indeed, private sector actions could be the critical factor to keep 1.5°C alive in just the next few years. So, what have corporate actors committed to, and what do these commitments mean?

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The US Clean Energy Transition Isn’t Equitable — But it Could Be

Globally, equitable climate action requires that the United States, as the biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, significantly cut domestic emissions while increasing its international finance commitments. Making the transition to net zero emissions within the United States — in a way that addresses historic inequity and delivers a just distribution of costs and benefits — will require addressing decades of systematic discrimination.

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United States: Building Back Better with Historic Climate Investments

The House of Representatives just passed Build Back Better legislation that includes the largest investment in history to clean up the nation’s electric power sector. Enacting this historic legislation will put us on the path toward President Biden’s goal of 80 percent clean electricity by 2030. The bill contains more than $150 billion in clean electricity tax incentives as well as more than $25 billion for clean energy loans, grants, research, procurement, and other essential programs.

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Ascertaining the effect of COP26 on Asian equities

Despite being responsible for over half of all global emissions, Asia has the chance to lead the global energy transition thanks to the position it occupies at the heart of global supply chains. As both domestic and global demand for new clean technology grows – everything from EVs to renewables and green hydrogen – so too can the region’s corporates by positioning themselves now to meet that demand in the future.

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UK Biomass Policy Statement Hints At Shift But Isn’t Enough

Cracks are beginning to show in the UK Government’s finely tuned head-in-the-sand approach to biomass energy policy. The Government’s new Biomass Policy Statement shows that it’s harder than ever for officials to deny the damaging impacts of burning forest biomass for electricity. Biomass looks like a ‘zero carbon’ fuel when in fact the power plants burning it are some of the biggest carbon polluters in the country.

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Key themes shaping the US grid

The growth of distributed energy resources on the grid edge continues to influence many sectors of the energy industry. In the last few months, we’ve seen this play out in the automotive industry’s increasing investment in downstream energy services and virtual power plants becoming more commonplace. In the last few years there has been a slew of joint ventures (JVs) between developers and investors, signaling the more active role that investors are seeking in projects.

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What We Got Out of COP26—and What’s Still Needed

We’ve reached the strongest global consensus yet that fossil fuels must be phased out. But as youth activists remind us, the seas are still rising. No single gathering, no final accord, is going to end the climate crisis. As international climate talks wind down in Glasgow, though, the world is moving forward on three vital fronts, even as each reveals anew how much further we must go.

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Reducing Embodied Carbon Is Key to Meeting India’s Climate Targets

Having a national-level narrative and roadmap to net-zero carbon buildings— including embodied energy and carbon—will be central to India’s sustainable economic development. It would create certainty; address any gaps in the supply, demand, and finance aspects; and drive market transformation. Decarbonising the built environment is a profitable business, and if done strategically, can amplify the financial and environmental benefits to India.

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Why building greener is crucial to meeting Paris climate targets

“Green-building” is more than just a good idea. Reducing carbon output from buildings and construction is essential if we’re going to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below 2C. That’s the conclusion of a new United Nations-led report that shows the construction and operation of buildings accounted for 37% of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2020.

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India Focus: Less Talk, More Action on Climate Change

By definitely committing to 50% of India’s electricity generation from non-coal or gas sources by 2030 is nothing short of transformative. India is a leader in clean energy, especially solar and wind energy. India is on largely on track to meet its Paris Agreement targets, as discussed in recent analysis by NRDC and partners.

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What Success Looks Like in Glasgow

President Biden must restore lost trust in the United States as a reliable global climate partner. The Trump administration squandered that trust. Biden is working to earn it back. His strongest card is to lead by example, showing how he’ll keep his promise to cut U.S. carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases by 50 percent to 52 percent, compared to 2005 levels, and get to 80 percent clean electricity by 2030.

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G7 poised to lead the world towards clean electrification

The IEA’s newest report shows that G7 members are well placed to decarbonise their electricity by 2035, helping to unlock the benefits of clean electrification globally. This week’s G7 pathway from the IEA shows why a 2050 net-zero economy needs a 2035 net-zero electricity sector. With lots of progress to celebrate, there’s still a hefty gap between what the G7 has committed to so far, and where they need to be in the next 15 years.

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The three archetypes driving the energy transition in Southeast Asia

Given that many energy companies in the Southeast Asia operate as integrated companies – be it across the oil and gas value chain or as national utilities covering generation, transmission and distribution and retail – they are most likely to find a strategic fit as Energy Majors. Within the region, Petronas was the first oil giant to commit to reaching a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050. Others have followed suit by aspiring to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with varying levels of commitments.

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Building a Better (and Cleaner!) Electric Grid in the US

Building 22 new transmission lines and operating them for the next 50 years could lead to total emissions reductions of about 6.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide, which is roughly equal to the total yearly amount of greenhouse gas emissions for the entire U.S. In other words, building just key transmission projects would enable a massive cut in greenhouse gas emissions. To paraphrase President Biden, that’s a very big deal.

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Sustainable Momentum? China and the Mideast Solar Market

In April, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported that renewable energy’s share of new generating capacity rose substantially for the second year in a row. China, which has emerged as the indisputable leader of renewable energy expansion worldwide, has begun to reorient its overseas energy investment and finance towards non-fossil fuels projects. This shift could portend a larger role for China in the MENA region’s growing renewables sector, especially in solar power production. 

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Unlocking Europe’s Hydrogen Potential

The EU is investing €30 billion in clean hydrogen production capacity by 2030, €1.3 billion as part of its Clean Hydrogen Partnership to advance the commercial viability of hydrogen trucks and shipping, and a further €20 billion to boost clean vehicle sales by installing two million hydrogen and EV charging stations by 2025. But there are challenges to bringing about the efficient and cost-effective deployment of low-carbon hydrogen as a new energy source.

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United States: Congress Cannot Ignore Residential Solar Tax Credit Inequities

Through the Justice40 Initiative, President Biden has made clear that bringing clean energy benefits to marginalized and low-income communities is a priority. Right now, low-income households experience up to three times higher energy burden (the percent of household income spent on energy costs) than high-income households. Rooftop solar is one of many important solutions available to help alleviate this burden.

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The significance of low residential solar-plus-storage adoption in New Jersey

New Jersey is an example of a state that lacks the right cocktail of incentives and grid reliability issues to move quickly out of the nascent, “early adopter”- only market stage – where  most  homeowners aren’t yet opting to install batteries in their homes, and many solar installers do not pitch storage. Looking at detailed vendor and installer data, Wood Mackenzie finds that New Jersey’s market has a few key characteristics that are consistent with the state’s low solar-plus-storage demand.

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