The Biden administration is expected to move forward with an EPA proposal to impose limits on emissions from coal- and gas-powered power plants and install carbon capture technologies. This comes days after Biden announced a $1 billion contribution to the UN-led Green Climate Fund and $500 billion to halt deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon.
In a virtual meeting with big economies last Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced plans to increase funding to support climate resilience and clean energy projects in developing countries and curb deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.
Speaking at the meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, attended by countries that together account for about 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and global gross domestic product, Biden urged his counterparts to set more ambitious emission reduction goals to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C.
“Together … we can keep the goal of limiting warming to just no more than 1.5 degrees. It’s within our reach if we make progress on the four key things that we have to discuss today: decarbonization, decarbonizing energy; ending deforestation; reducing non-carbon greenhouse gas emissions; and improving carbon management,” Biden said in his speech, during which he announced $1 billion in funds to the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Established by 194 governments in 2010, the GFC aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and support vulnerable societies in climate change adaptation and mitigation practices.
Biden also promised $500 million over five years to fund projects aimed at tackling deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which, however, would require approval from the US Congress, a big challenge, considered Republicans’ previous attempts to block Biden’s plans to boost the country’s international climate funding.
Despite President Lula’s efforts to protect forest land and end illegal logging in the country, deforestation in the Amazon – the world’s largest rainforest and one of the biggest carbon sinks – is still rampant, amounting to 1.5 million hectares each year, the equivalent of about 40% of the global tropical deforestation.
The White House is also in the final stages of reviewing a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose emissions limits on new and existing gas and coal power plants, the country’s second-biggest source of emissions today. The best way for existing plants to meet the new pollution requirements would be to add carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology or substitute cleaner hydrogen for natural gas as a combustion source.
This is the EPA’s second attempt to crack down on carbon dioxide generated from power plants after the Supreme Court curbed the Agency’s ability to regulate emissions of power plants’ planet-warming pollution under the landmark Clean Air Act last July, claiming it had overstepped its authority.
The EPA is expected to unveil details of the draft proposal as soon as this week.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
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