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2023 mid-year impact update: Moving the needle on climate change 

June 29, 2023

The past six months have been characterized by a series of key climate and clean air breakthroughs around the world, with CATF at the forefront of many promising technology and policy developments.  

Our unique approach allows us to grapple with the complexity of the climate challenge and to find innovative ways to advance the full range of solutions we need to tackle it.  

We hope you enjoy this mid-year recap from CATF, and that you’ll continue to stand with us as we work each day to drive lasting change around the world. 

Policy wins 

Strong rules. Clean air: U.S. EPA proposes stringent carbon pollution standards for U.S. power fleet, reflecting CATF-proposed architecture. 

  • Why it matters: Power plants are the largest industrial contributor to global warming in the U.S., accounting for 30% of U.S. carbon pollution. The bulk of those emissions have, so far, gone completely uncontrolled. 
  • What’s next? This carefully formulated proposal represents a good first step toward what the U.S. needs to do to protect clean air and achieve climate goals, and CATF is engaging every step of the way. Now, we’re stepping up to defend the rule and further strengthen it throughout the process toward final adoption. Check out CATF Litigation Director Jay Duffy’s testimony before EPA, applauding the standards and providing three recommendations on how the rule can be strengthened to further protect public health and the environment, as well as his testimony before Congress on EPA’s proposed standards.

It’s official: European Parliament adopts a strong position on the EU Methane Regulation, with support from CATF.

  • Why it matters: Reducing methane pollution is one of the fastest ways to slow global warming.  We have readily available solutions to reduce methane emissions now, but we need strong political leadership to make it happen.  
  • What’s next? The recommendations approved by Parliament must be agreed upon by the Council of the European Union, EU Commission, and Parliament in trilogues. CATF is encouraging strong backing of the Parliamentary recommendations to ensure the final legislation sets a standard for others to follow.

The EU gets serious about solutions: Major CATF proposals for carbon capture and storage funding and hydrogen included in Net-Zero Industry Act proposal. 

  • Why it matters: The Net-Zero Industry Act sets up the potential for the EU to achieve climate neutrality and economic growth. By setting a target for carbon storage and placing the responsibility to deal with emissions on the biggest emitters, it also sets the stage for widespread carbon capture and storage deployment in the EU. 
  • What’s next? CATF will continue to advocate for a well-designed and implemented Net-Zero Industry Act to support the development of much needed clean energy infrastructure.

Good rules make good neighbors: CATF legal advocacy contributes to U.S. EPA finalizing “Good Neighbor” rule – a federal plan to address interstate smog. 

  • Why it matters: EPA’s “Good Neighbor” rule protects communities in downwind states from harmful air pollution caused by upwind states that have not adequately reduced their emissions. 
  • What’s next? CATF is on the front lines to make sure this rule is implemented effectively and results in improved air quality for downwind and frontline communities.

Expanding our reach. Increasing our impact 

Africa’s energy transformation, led by Africans: CATF expands work in Africa, assessing the state of climate and energy scholarship on the continent. 

  • Why it matters: Africa is the fastest urbanizing region in the world; by midcentury 25% of the global population will be African. The fate of our climate will depend in part on how Africa’s energy systems evolve to meet its fast-growing needs. However, recent CATF analysis shows that scholarship on Africa’s energy transformation is out of touch with the continent’s realities.
  • What’s next? CATF’s Energy and Climate Innovation Program in Africa is working with a network of partners on the continent to shape a pragmatic and context-appropriate energy future that meets the needs of a growing continent while protecting our climate.

A new vision for European climate leadership: CATF launches options-based climate strategy in Europe, advocating for policies respect the scale and complexity of the challenge. 

  • Why it matters: Emissions reductions are behind schedule, and Europe’s position in the world is undergoing rapid change. Amidst the shifting geopolitics and socio-economic impacts of the energy crisis, Europe needs a full suite of climate solutions to help it reach 2050 climate targets.  
  • What’s next? CATF is on the ground in Europe’s capitals, bringing forward innovative climate solutions across the continent that achieves long-term energy security and economic growth. Follow our work.   

A lot at state: CATF launches new state policy program to accelerate U.S. climate action, working with state and local governments to implement climate funding. 

  • Why it matters: Congress has passed two bills — the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act — that are set to flood the U.S. clean energy economy with over $400 billion and unlock more than $1 trillion when you count matching private investment. States have an opportunity to capitalize on implementing these projects.  
  • What’s next? We’re investing in U.S. state policy at this critical moment, ensuring the implementation of policies and federal funding to advance climate solutions that work. 

Explore our interactive tools, maps, and more 

Over the past six months, CATF has provided policymakers, industry stakeholders, NGO partners, academics, and others with technical tools to better make sense of the complexity of the decarbonization challenge. These include: 

  • The Country Methane Abatement tool (CoMAT): An online policy tool for governments and other industry leaders to use to take stock of their methane emissions and develop customized management strategies. 
  • European cost of carbon capture and storage tool: An interactive tool that visualizes the cost of capturing, transporting, and storing carbon dioxide from sites across Europe, and how greater infrastructure development could bring those costs down. 
  • Hydrogen Hubs map: An interactive U.S. map that identifies leading stakeholders and regions that have responded to the Department of Energy’s funding notice for its Regional Hydrogen Hubs program, showing the potential for U.S. hydrogen hubs – economic clusters that would connect fuel-consuming industries and producers of zero-carbon hydrogen fuel. 
  • Hydrogen Production Calculator: An interactive tool that provides a better understanding of the material requirements to produce low-emissions hydrogen, either through a low-carbon or renewable energy process. 
  • iSpy Methane Emissions: Using a special infrared camera, CATF found methane pollution from oil and gas site storage tanks, emergency relief stacks, unlit flares, and other miscellaneous leaks from piping equipment throughout Europe. Retrace our steps at three of the sites, and see if you can spy the emissions. 

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