The White House is set to reveal a wealth of information on U.S. climate progress ahead of global talks two weeks from now, but it’s unclear whether it will include a detailed roadmap to halving emissions from oil. ‘by 2030.
The staff of climate envoy John Kerry and the White House National Security Council yesterday told conservationists the United States will send two overdue reports to the UN outlining the House’s decisions Blanche on emissions, climate finance and other issues. The reports, known as the “national communication” and the biennial report, were not released during the Trump administration and are overdue.
The United States is also expected to provide details of the financial assistance it will provide to poor countries over the next two years to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen their defenses against climate change (see related story). And it will release a new report, known under the Paris Agreement as the “long-term strategy,” which describes in broad terms how it plans to reduce its emissions to zero by 2050.
The Obama administration has unveiled a 2050 strategy in its final months, providing a diagram of how the United States could cut emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. But the Biden administration adopted a zero emissions pledge by 2050 in line with what scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The White House is also drafting a “framework” for how the United States would meet Biden’s pledge to cut emissions 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. But it’s not clear whether the document, which has been described by sources, will be released before the negotiators. meet in Glasgow, Scotland.
Climate advisor Gina McCarthy is taking the lead in developing this strategy. Yesterday, the National Climate Working Group she chairs unveiled a website celebrating actions the Biden administration has taken over the past 10 months to limit emissions or improve adaptation and global reach.
While Congress is still debating climate legislation that could determine how, or whether, the United States meets the 2030 target, some advocates say the administration could wait to reveal the framework until the start of the year. next year.
But others say Biden is expected to provide more details on how the United States will meet the emissions commitment he made five months ago, especially after his climate envoy spent the year pressuring other countries to redouble their ambition ahead of the conference.
“John Kerry can’t go to Glasgow without a document that says ‘this is how we’re going to do 50 percent,'” said Robert Perciasepe, senior adviser at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and former EPA deputy administrator under Obama. . “So they’re going to do this.”
Perciasepe said the administration would likely include efforts to expand natural carbon sinks, the next generation of regulations for vehicle emissions, and the likelihood of new tax credits for clean energy and electric vehicles.
He doesn’t expect the White House to announce a new rule similar to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which attempted to reduce emissions in the power system. But he predicts that the EPA will come up with new strategies to encourage phasing out coal-fired power plants, maintaining nuclear power, and fulfilling Biden’s commitment to a zero-carbon power grid by 2035. .
The EPA is also expected to propose rules to limit methane from oil and gas facilities. Any announcement would likely come before Biden leaves for the Group of 20 summit in Italy on October 29. He is due to travel to the climate talks from Italy.
If the House and Senate scaled back their ambitious climate legislation – as seems likely – Perciasepe said the White House could seek to counter the perception that its climate agenda was failing by highlighting further progress.
âBut then to be credible in Glasgow they have to have a document, a report, something that they can point out and say, look, we’ve analyzed that,â he said.
McCarthy and his team have spent months working with federal agencies on Biden’s climate pledge.
Jake Schmidt, international climate director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement would have been the product of an inter-agency process that shifted from technical staff to deputy directors before the White House only decides on the 50 to 52 percent target.
Schmidt said the White House could provide more details on how it plans to achieve its goal if the sprawling climate and spending bill Democrats are trying to push forward in budget reconciliation appear unlikely to succeed. .
âI guess there’s a lot in their pocket that they’re cooking. But given the state of affairs, they are preparing it and they will decide whether or not to withdraw something, âhe said.
Kevin Book, who heads the research team at ClearView Energy Partners LLC, said the White House strategy is likely to be far-reaching.
âWhen you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail,â he said. “We looked at it and thought: what’s not in there?”
The White House’s decision to revise National Environmental Policy Act regulations to elevate climate change into federal rule-making, along with its roadmap on protecting the economy from climate change and federal guidelines procurement would all be elements of the 2030 strategy, he said.
He also noted that McCarthy has met with officials from many states this week, and that the administration is likely to tout subnational action as part of keeping its pledge.