By Claudia Keith Climate Emergency Coordinator and Climate Emergency portfolio team members: Julie Chapman, Shirley Weathers, Cathy Frischmann, Josie Koehne, Kathy Moyd, Robin Tokmakian and Greg Martin
Climate Emergency Highlights - Claudia Keith
The $2.0T Build Back Better (BBB) reconciliation bill moved to the Senate after the House of Representatives passed it Nov 19. Secretary of the Treasury JANET Yellen: “…This fiscally responsible package takes aim at the challenges many middle class families face: It makes child care affordable, freeing parents from having to choose between raising kids and working a job. It prevents children from entering the first grade at a disadvantage by providing universal pre-K. It gives seniors the affordable care and housing they need. As important, the Build Back Better Act also makes an historically large investment in combatting climate change. This bill is more than fully paid for by asking large corporations and the country’s top earners to pay their fair share and by finally ensuring high-income tax evaders pay what they owe…”. Independent Bond rating Agencies say the bill will not add to inflationary pressure . The Congressional Budget office analysis reflects a slight increase in the deficit over a ten year period. The climate related spending /investments in the BBB are outlined here. The House and some Senators expect the Senate to make changes . Early Nov Treasury analysis reflected the bill would reduce the deficit.
Earlier this month Congress passed, and the president signed the $1.2T infrastructure bill; ‘How Oregon will spend ( ~3.7B) funds from the federal infrastructure package’ – OPB.
LWVUS UN observers attended Cop26
Here's a late update from one of the LWVUS attendees...
COP26 President Alok Sharma gathered the Parties on the last day to assess progress toward reaching consensus in negotiating the cover statement, with options still in the text issued that morning. He reaffirmed his commitment to conducting transparent and inclusive negotiations and to keeping 1.5 degrees C alive. The President said, "This is our collective moment in history." He would take the afternoon's comments into account in releasing another version in the evening for another review round in hopes of concluding COP26 on schedule, but he had to go into overtime. I hope he uses the remainder of his newly-extended term to accelerate NDCs and establish an enforcement mechanism for any hope of not exceeding 1.5.
Three dozen Parties presented interventions in the afternoon session. Most encouraged the President to write a strong, ambitious, and clear cover statement; many called 1.5 nonnegotiable; some asserted that action is needed in this decade. They want to include indigenous people and human rights in the text, as well as a long-term finance plan, which should be aligned with science, focused on implementation, and factor in climate vulnerability; to give credit to LDCs and island nations for work done since 2020; nature-based solutions to use accepted standards, including oceans; a uniform reporting format; more than a workshop for Loss and Damages/climate justice, such as a new centre; to end all support for fossil fuels, which's subsidies are much larger than financing; to involve private finance; emissions reductions, mitigation, adaptation, and implementation; and biodiversity. They didn't want any watering down of commitments to the lowest common denominator yet varied in how they viewed the loss and damage text. Financing should be new/additional and dependable and come with accessible terms and conditions. And they asked how regional negotiations will take place. The UK asserted that developed countries haven't done enough for finance and suggested that a new financial agreement is needed in the next round and that the IMF and the World Bank aren't up to the task. Kenya said to focus on action rather than hiring consultants to explain Loss and Damage and wants a chance to explain what Africa has been experiencing. Speaking for the US, John Kerry said 20 countries account for 80% of emissions and we need to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 to keep 1.5 possible. Antigua and Barbuda said doubling adaptation financing needs to happen by 2023, not 2025. Switzerland said to prevent credit carryover and double-counting. Bangladesh suggested an annual President's report on implementation. Mexico suggested NDCs should say how they lead to 1.5. Panama noted that much of this was agreed upon in 1992.
Only Russia and Saudi Arabia ignored the President's request for specific interventions to advance the text. Russia said COP26's purpose is to operationalize the Paris Agreement, more work is needed to incorporate market and non-market actors, and there is no consensus on a baseline. Russia added "we'll all have to make concessions," perhaps only wanting them from others while seeking the most favorable interpretation of the Paris Agreement for Russia by taking the floor first. Saudi Arabia similarly raised staying faithful to the Paris Agreement and questioned how to meet 1.5.
China spoke about the need for capacity building and about basing the timetable on national politics and giving LDCs flexibility. India mentioned the need to accelerate the long-term finance agenda and for developed countries to take a fair share of emissions reductions. I later learned that they both pushed back during negotiations on ending the use of coal. Brazil also argued for considering national circumstances after pointing to the NDCs' not adding up to keeping 1.5 possible.
Signed: LWVUS COP26 Delegation
Governor Brown attended COP26 and highlighted Oregon DEQ’s efforts to tackle food waste. ‘A global climate pledge could change Oregon’s relationship with natural gas.’ ‘World urged to cut gas 33%, to avoid climate disaster
‘Gas is the new coal’, says Climate Analytics report that finds it the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions’. Nature: ‘Cop26 hasn’t solved the problem’: scientists react to UN climate deal - The Glasgow Climate Pact is a step forward, researchers say, but efforts to decarbonize are not enough to limit global temperature rises to 2 °C. ( 1.5 C is recommended).
Other Regional and Oregon News Highlights
The City of Eugene recently voted to stop future natural gas building permits. Find the NRDF Natural Gas 101 tutorial HERE . ‘ The BBB act would provide historic commitment to wildfire mitigation funding.’ Portland Zenith Energy challenges permit denials , and will continue operating during legal battle. New Climate Change public Health report published in November; “ Climate Change is making health worse for Portland area residents. “. 2022 Legislative priorities could include access to Cooling and improved OSHA heat and air quality regs and addressing antiquated building codes via new REACH codes. Oregon EQC approves new Truck standards a Significant Move toward Fighting Climate Change and Protecting Human Health. OPB: Researchers study effects of extreme heat on Pacific Northwest Trees. The Olympian Editorial board refers to this research HERE, ‘The good news? Climate warriors aren’t waiting for nations to take the lead on change’.
During Leg Days the W&M committee voted on OHA budget item ,grant #12. It did not pass. This federal grant line item will likely be addressed in Dec or Jan. (the submission of a federal grant application request to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for $12 million over five years to support strategies that reduce negative health outcomes attributed to climate change).
Mark your calendars
Attend as a League Observer, interested citizen, and/or view recorded agency and commission meetings, including new reports and studies.
ODF Climate Carbon Plan Updates
DEQ Climate GHG Program Updates
Agency and Commissions
Clean Energy - Kathy Moyd
Environmental Quality Commission (EQC)
The appointments of Amy Slusser and Greg Addington were approved by the Senate on November 15, but they were not able to participate as members at the November 17 - 18 meeting. They were allowed to participate in the informational sessions.
Climate Protection Program
The League has been following the Climate Protection Program, which originated from the “cap and reduce” directive in the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04. Draft rules were issued for public comment on August 4. The League presented oral testimony at a public hearing conducted by the EQC on September 30 and submitted written testimony on October 25.
At the EQC November 17-18 meeting, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) presented a summary of the comments received. Adoption of a more stringent target and ensuring that large stationary sources actually reduce or offset emissions were supported by many of the over 7000 comments received and had been supported in League testimony. Based on support from some EQC members, it is likely these will be included in the final rules to be adopted on December 16.
A League Member has been participating in the Natural Gas workshops conducted by the Public Utility Commission in preparation for the expected implementation of the Climate Protection Program in January 2022.
Landfill Methane Rules
Although the League certainly supports the control of methane from landfills, we opted not to testify because it was not clear why the California rules were not accepted completely, leaving the possibility that some small rural landfills would unnecessarily be included. The smaller landfills had been removed from the final rules approved by the EQC on October 1.
Cleaner Air Oregon Air Toxics Alignment
The League was the only speaker at the July 22 public hearing.The approved verbal text was incorporated in a letter. The rules were approved at the November 17 -18 EQC meeting.
Clean Trucks Rule
Two public hearings were conducted on September 16. The League opted not to testify because the California Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rules to be adopted by Oregon had not been completed. The rules were approved at the November 17 -18 EQC meeting.
Clean Fuels Program Expansion 2022
A League member participated in the October 13 listening session for the expansion of the Clean Fuels program in response to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04. The first Rulemaking Advisory Meeting is scheduled for December 9.
Forestry & Jordan Cove
(find reports in the NR LR)
Our Children’s Trust - Claudia Keith
Climate Emergency Team Volunteer Opportunities
Please consider joining the CE portfolio team; we lack volunteers in these critical policy areas:
1) Natural and Working lands, specifically Agriculture/ODA
2) Clean Buildings
3) Public Health Climate adaptation
4) Regional Solutions Infrastructure
5) State Procurement Practices (Dept. of Admin. Services)
6) CE Portfolio State Agency and Commission Budgets
8) Join Julie, DOT/Transportation with a focus on DLCD/LCD Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities – a major program across multiple agencies. and a priority focus on a just transition, ie;
9) Climate and Environmental Justice.
We all collaborate with Natural Resource Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics.