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On Friday, May 21, Axios climate & energy reporter Andrew Freedman and energy reporter Ben Geman unpacked the shift to wind and solar jobs, the recent spike in private equity investment, and the impact on local communities, featuring Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and WeSolar founder Kristal Hansley.

Sen. Chris Coons discussed how policymakers are supporting the transition to clean energy and creating new initiatives around meeting climate goals.

  • On bipartisan support for the Financing Our Energy Future Act: "It takes an obscure capital formation tool...and makes it available to renewables. It actually would be one of the biggest new capital access opportunities for renewables in our tax code in a long time because it would be permanent."
  • On the proposed Civilian Climate Corps as a new channel for the future of green jobs: "It will create great jobs for young Americans serving our country, doing some of the hard work...all over our nation that we need to be prepared for climate resiliency and to give a new generation of Americans an opportunity."

Kristal Hansley unpacked the community solar industry, its potential to open up the solar energy market, and solutions it presents around accessibility.

  • "Only about 20% of American households have access. You have to own the roof. You have to be able to tap into a loan and have the credit score to have the approval for a loan...[Community solar] means that underrepresented communities, minorities, Black populations, front line communities that deal with the threat of climate change can now also be a part of this just transition."
  • "I think it's very friendly as it relates to renewables...Until we can really say that we're allies, I think we want to see the legislation. It's not just one house or one party...It really would take the entire country to champion the solar industry as well as the community solar sector within that space."

Axios Senior Director of Strategy Jordan Zaslav hosted a View from the Top segment with Facebook's Head of Renewable Energy Urvi Parekh discussed expanding the clean energy job market and Facebook's environmental impact report.

  • "It provides a template for states to think about what could be the impact of attracting companies who have 100% renewable energy commitments and seeing pathways that other states have taken to bring these jobs into their backyards...It should remind cities and in different states is that customers really do want renewable energy."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 31, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Biden is caught between political worlds on climate change

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

These two things both happened Monday: The Health and Human Services Department unveiled its climate office, and the White House promoted efforts to keep gasoline prices in check.

Why it matters: The two moves show how the White House is now operating simultaneously in the old and new world of energy and climate policy.

22 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.