Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

November 6, 2021

Weekend Reads: The Dawn of Carbon Capture; Biden's 2050 Net-Zero Strategy

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

White House unveils strategy for 2050 net-zero goal (The Hill) The U.S. early Monday unveiled its strategy for achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 — under which the country would try to eliminate or offset all of its climate pollution. Biden repeatedly expressed a desire to put the country on track for net-zero by 2050 on the campaign trail and since taking office. The new report lays out a more specific policy pathway for getting there. “Our investments and policies will supercharge our economy, they'll strengthen the fabric of our society, and improve quality of life,” national climate adviser Gina McCarthy told reporters on Sunday.

Why companies must produce five-year plans for climate transition (Financial Times) We are at a watershed moment for corporate environmental disclosure. Global support for mandatory disclosure regulation has accelerated in the past year, with a wave of new rules being heralded from Brazil to Japan — directly shaping how companies measure and manage their environmental impacts. It’s a welcome move that will drive accountability and presents a huge opportunity to accelerate the transformation of capital markets towards becoming sustainable. However, there is a risk that regulation will not go far enough to tackle the scale of the crisis we face.

Is Carbon Capture Here? (The New York Times) Stephan Hitz paused from his work operating an odd-looking machine in an otherworldly landscape in Iceland and reached for a “Star Wars” analogy to explain his job at the frontier of climate technology. “I feel like I have come from the Dark Side to become a Jedi warrior,” he joked as he braced against a chill wind blowing across the treeless stretches of cooled lava and distant volcanoes. The 37-year-old service technician from Zurich spent nine years working in the aviation and marine industries before joining Climeworks, a Swiss start-up that is trying to undo the damage caused by such heavily polluting industries. “It does give you extra satisfaction to know that you’re helping the planet instead of damaging it,” he said.

What the U.S. can learn from the U.K. about wind power (NBC News) As President Joe Biden’s administration puts its muscle behind wind power with plans to develop large-scale wind farms along the entire United States coastline, the administration can look at how the windiest nation in Europe is transforming its energy grid for an example of how to proceed. In the search for renewable sources of energy, the United Kingdom has embraced wind power. In 2020, the country generated as much as 24 percent of its electricity from wind power — enough to supply 18.5 million homes, according to government statistics. With usually reliable winds, the U.K. currently has the highest number of offshore turbines installed in the world, with China at a close second.

In Icy Russia, Interest in Solar Power Is Growing (The Moscow Times) Solar energy in Russia might be on the verge of a major expansion, thanks to a government support program for renewable energy sources, industry experts told The Moscow Times. Russia, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has historically relied on its vast oil and gas reserves to bolster its economy. But the Kremlin has started to pay attention to the global climate emergency, and ahead of this week’s pivotal COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, President Vladimir Putin pledged that Russia would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The second stage of a trillion-ruble ($14.2 billion) support program for renewable sources of energy started in September with the allocation of benefits for projects due to come online in 2025-2035, many of them in the solar industry.

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