Every Monday, we round up five of the best good climate news stories we’re celebrating this week. This week we’re covering a win for Biden’s Climate Corps, a promising global emissions reduction trend, rural clean energy, and more.
In just three weeks since its launch, over 42,000 young people have signed up for the American Climate Corps, signaling high levels of interest in green jobs and enthusiasm for growing the country’s green economy.
The program, which will center climate justice and equity in its work, aims to provide green job training and placement for 20,000 young people in its first year, supercharging implementation of Biden’s affordable clean energy plan. The program will also provide pathways for participants to continue to work in federal and public service positions.
New research from energy NGO Ember shows global power sector emissions for the first half of 2023 essentially plateaued, a marked departure from the historical trend of increasing emissions.
As the power sector is the biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions globally (and the second largest in the U.S.), the importance of reducing emissions from this sector in addressing the climate crisis cannot be understated.
Ember claims that 2023 may mark a turning point in power sector emissions, writing it is possible this year will be the first with “structurally falling” emissions in this critical sector.
A Department of Agriculture program aimed at providing grants for rural utilities to accelerate their transition to green energy received a record 157 funding applications last month for projects in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Several red states have balked at federal funding for clean energy projects, with Florida, South Dakota, Iowa and Kentucky all refusing any funding from the Biden administration’s affordable clean energy plan. However, the number of applications for this program from rural utilities has proven that there is a high level of interest in moving toward a cleaner energy future, even in communities that typically skew Republican.
The US Supreme Court rejected a challenge by 12 red states to the Biden administration’s methods for estimating the social costs of climate change.
Metrics estimating the social costs of climate change are used in evaluating major projects and to back new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. By rejecting the attempt by Republican-led states to weaken methods for determining social costs, the Supreme Court has allowed the administration to continue its fight to advance environmental justice.
The European Union has officially launched phase 1 of a first-of-its-kind carbon tariff which will require foreign companies to report all greenhouse gas emissions associated with certain imported goods, including iron, steel, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, hydrogen fuel, and electricity. According to the European Commission, more imports will be added to that list in coming years.
The new tax plan aims to reduce emissions from high-polluting industries by charging any imports that do not meet emissions standards an extra fee to cross the border starting in 2026.
Source: Inside Climate News