What you need to know after Biden’s climate pledge

If you’re wondering what actions are required to meet Biden’s climate aspirations, we have you covered.

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The reports were true.

President Biden officially upped the U.S. climate goal Thursday to 50 percent lower emissions in 2030 than we had in 2005. That’s more in line with the science on how to avoid really catastrophic warming. 

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If you’re wondering what actions are required to actually meet this new and improved aspiration, Canary Media has you covered. 

Jeff dug into the policies that could add up to Biden’s target, based on research from the folks at think tank Energy Innovation. 

Our modeling finds that to get the types of reductions we’re talking about, you need more than incentives,” said Robbie Orvis, EI’s director of energy policy design. 

Here’s a taste of those more muscular measures:

  • Force the closure of all coal plants by 2030.
  • Bar construction of new natural-gas plants (absent as-yet-unavailable carbon-capture technologies).
  • End the sale of gasoline-fueled cars by 2035 and diesel-fueled trucks by 2045.
  • Ensure that all new building appliances on the market by 2030 are electric.

The administration will now see what it can enact through infrastructure and jobs legislation and what else it can achieve through regulations. Let the wrangling begin.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that, et voilà. (Graphic credit: Energy Innovation)

Also check out Emma’s investigation into cutting-edge policy efforts to facilitate new transmission projects, which analysts say are crucial to building a cost effective, low carbon grid.

Emma spoke with Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico on his new effort to get transmission support through Congress.

There’s broader recognition that we can’t get to where we need to go unless we take transmission much more seriously,” said Heinrich. We’re going to pursue every avenue to try to move this forward.”

And if you’re looking for a sign of the times in Silicon Valley, Congruent Ventures just raised a new $175 million fund to invest exclusively in early-stage climate-related startups.

I spoke with founders Abe Yokell and Joshua Posamentier about what’s surprised them since they launched in 2017 and how the wild valuations of cleantech SPACs complicate their work as VCs.

That completes my second full week at Canary Media. I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as I intend to.


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Photo courtesy of Joe Biden.

Julian Spector is an editor at Canary Media and reports on the rise of clean energy. He worked at Greentech Media for nearly five years, and before that he reported for CityLab at The Atlantic.