Sep 26, 2019

How federal tax incentives could yield big carbon emissions cuts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New research from the Rhodium Group consultancy finds that extension and broadening of federal tax incentives for climate-friendly energy and transportation could yield substantial carbon emissions cuts.

Why it matters: As Rhodium points out, big climate legislation isn't on the menu right now. But they argue that there's at least some political opening in this Congress for agreement on legislation around federal tax credits for renewable power, storage, nuclear energy, EVs and more.

What they found: "Extending and expanding tax credits through 2025 for zero-emitting generation including wind, solar or nuclear could achieve reductions of up to 125 million tons compared to current policy in 2025," the note states.

  • This could meet one-fourth of the "gap" between projected U.S. emissions under current policy and the U.S. pledge under the Paris agreement, it finds.
  • That pledge, offered under then-President Obama, calls for reducing U.S. emissions by 26%–28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
  • And extending and broadening separate credits for EVs and carbon capture could yield even more cuts than just boosting power generation incentives.

Read the note

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The IMF wants major carbon taxes to fight climate change

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund is calling on major greenhouse gas-emitting countries to implement carbon taxes that reach $75-per-ton by 2030 to bolster today's "inadequate" responses to climate change.

Why it matters: Their new report says the window for keeping temperature rise to manageable levels is "closing rapidly" and that "limiting global warming to 2°C or less requires policy measures on an ambitious scale."

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Renewable energy will keep rising through 2050, but so will CO2 emissions

Adapted from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Led by wind and solar, renewable energy will make up nearly 50% of global electricity within the next 30 years, up from today’s 28%, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Yes, but ... The data also finds that carbon dioxide emissions will keep rising over that same time period, underscoring a stubborn, inconvenient fact: To tackle climate change, you need to address the emissions from oil, natural gas and coal, not just rapidly increase renewables.

Go deeper: Climate denial among D.C. policymakers thrives in echo chambers

Mayors announce Global New Green Deal in Copenhagen

Zero Hour founder Jamie Margolin, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo attend a press conference in Copenhagen in conjunction with the C40 Mayors Summit on Oct. 9. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Mayors from 94 cities committed to cutting emissions from the sectors that most contribute to climate change (transportation, buildings, industry and waste) to keep global temperatures below the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement.

The big picture: The Global New Green Deal was announced today at the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. Despite the U.S. government pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, cities have committed to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019