Edition for 29 January 2020

Top Stories

Democrats to offer $760B infrastructure plan with big climate theme (Politico)

  • But Democrats are putting a green tint on each element of the proposal, checking boxes on their climate goals while attempting to show that they are steering away from impeachment talk and toward legislating on big issues.
  • House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) says the plan will be a radical departure from highway-focused transportation bills and will put clean energy and climate "resilience" at the center.
  • The climate plan, according to DeFazio, will include everything from making federal buildings carbon-neutral to transitioning to renewable fuels for aviation.

International Seaways Announces Refinancing and Closing of New Senior Secured Credit Facilities (Business Wire Energy News)

  • In addition, the Core Facilities include a sustainability-linked pricing mechanism, which will be a first of its kind for a NYSE-listed ship owner and operator, which has been certified by an independent, leading firm in ESG and corporate governance research as meeting sustainability-linked loan principles.
  • The adjustment in pricing will be linked to the carbon efficiency of the INSW fleet as it relates to reductions in CO2 emissions year-over-year, such that it aligns with the International Maritime Organization’s 50% industry reduction target in GHG emissions by 2050.
  • This key performance indicator is calculated in a manner consistent with the de-carbonization trajectory outlined in the Poseidon Principles, the global framework by which financial institutions can assess the climate alignment of their ship finance portfolios.

The Big Dirty Secret of the World’s Biggest Companies (Washington Post)

  • Lots of companies talk a good game about cutting planet-heating greenhouse emissions but their disclosures and targets have tended to focus on the emissions over which they have direct control and which are easiest to measure.
  • From an environmental perspective these direct, or “Scope 1,” emissions are the main problem caused by these particular companies.
  • The new impetus is welcome because unless companies try to reduce the environmental damage of their products and purchasing decisions, efforts to limit catastrophic climate change will fail.

XCHG Announces Additional Strategic Investment Partners (Business Wire Technology News)

  • Xpansiv CBL Holding Group (XCHG) today announced the closing of an additional $25M in strategic funding from investors BP Ventures (BP), Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (OLCV), a subsidiary of Occidental, and Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie).
  • “We believe that XCHG will be a key enabler for our carbon offset financing and trading business and our build-out of climate-adapted commodities markets activities.” The addition of OLCV to the XCHG investment group represents progress toward a carbon-neutral future.
  • “Through our carbon-management projects and services, we are working to help create and lead a growing low-carbon economy,” said OLCV President Richard Jackson.

Over 55 Climate Scientists Call BS on Joe Biden's Claim No Scientists Support Bernie Sanders' Climate Plan (Gizmodo)

  • Last week, Biden attacked Sanders’ plan, telling reporters in New Hampshire that “there’s not a single solitary scientist that thinks it can work,” adding that he doesn’t think zero emissions by 2030 wasn’t possible (note that Sanders’ plan actually calls for 71 percent cut in domestic emissions by that date).
  • “The top scientific body on climate change, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), tells us we must act immediately to bring the world together to stop the catastrophic impacts of climate change,” the scientists wrote.
  • “We must protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we call home.” Several of the signatories told Earther that Sanders’ plan recognizes that the U.S. is running out of time to cut emissions and adapt to a changing climate, which will require a massive amount of resources.

The Energy 202: The Trump administration is forcing these workers out West. Now they want to unionize. (Washington Post)

  • Some New England governors slow to sign on to regional climate pact: The Transportation and Climate Initiative announced last month is meant to tackle transportation-related pollution.
  • Philip D. Murphy (D) announced the state will be the first to mandate that builders think about the impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels, when requesting government approval on new projects, the New York Times reports.

Congress to Google: Stop incentivizing climate change misinformation on YouTube (CNET)

  • The search giant has been accused of sending millions of people to climate denial videos every day.
  • A congressional committee wants Google to take action against climate misinformation videos on YouTube.
  • This comes after a report earlier this month alleged that the Google-owned platform sends millions of people to climate-denying videos on a daily basis.

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