Updated Apr 22, 2022 - Axios Events

Watch: An Earth Day conversation on U.S. climate priorities

On Friday, April 22nd, Axios co-founder Mike Allen and energy reporter Ben Geman examined the top priorities on the U.S. climate agenda and the progress toward net-zero and clean energy goals, featuring White House national climate adviser and former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions President Nat Keohane.

Gina McCarthy gave an update on the status of the Biden administration’s climate initiatives and expressed optimism around efforts to collaborate with Congress to pass climate legislation in the months to come.

  • On strengthening clean manufacturing and energy security: “The president is really doubling down on his commitments now and his demand that Congress work with him…we’ve moved forward with the offshore wind industry, but all of this can actually be incredibly producing jobs, not just on our ports, but in the manufacturing sectors in our heartland. So we have to keep pushing forward.”
  • On working with Senator Manchin to deliver climate legislation: “I think we’re actually going to show him and others that these are necessary investments, not sacrifices, but the ways in which we’re going to deliver for the American public. Look, we don’t have time to spare. We don’t have a lot more opportunities available to us than we have today to be able to get this job done.”

Nat Keohane considered what has and what has not been accomplished on the Biden administration’s climate agenda, how a lack of progress on U.S. climate legislation influences other nations and the intersection between geopolitical crisis and climate change.

  • On the administration’s climate progress: “There is a really important thing remaining to be done, and that is enacting the climate and energy provisions that were in that Build Back Better framework back in the fall. We know that Build Back Better itself is not on the table, but it’s going to be so important to get those climate and energy provisions passed.”
  • On the Ukraine crisis and the climate change crisis: “In the long run, I think those crises are aligned, or the solutions are aligned, because the way to protect ourselves from and protect Europe from future aggression of this sort is to start to get off of fossil fuels and to accelerate that clean energy transition.”

In the View from the Top segment, Bank of America Global Environmental Executive Alex Liftman emphasized the importance of short-term goals in achieving longer term net-zero emissions targets.

  • “Now, if you think about that net-zero before 2050 goal, that’s 28 years in terms of length. So it’s important to set shorter term targets, and we’ve done that with a range of 2030 targets…as a financial institution, our greatest ability to help drive emission reductions at scale is frankly through our financing of clients.”

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper