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Zero Net Fifty

Aug 2020

ZNF Shorts – What does a ‘total fossil fuel lock down’ mean?

In this short-format edition of Zero Net Fifty, we bring the call for a “total fossil fuel lock down” into focus.

What does the REN21 call for this lock down look like, as proposed in its Renewables 2020 Global Status Report?

REN21 says we’re making progress on this lock down in some sectors – think electricity and energy efficiency – but we need to be making progress across all power sectors – think heating, cooling and transportation.

Of those sectors, we dive into transportation – with a look at what policy and progress has targeted so far and what needs more attention.

Specifically, within the transportation sector, electric vehicle policies may seem like they are moving quickly, but are they?

Listen to this 20-minute episode to understand why EVs might not be as far along the progress chain as we need them to be, and where improvements should be made.

Jul 2020

What are they thinking? How to know what the parties want from climate policy

Even if a new federal bill has no chance of becoming law, it’s still a highly instructive mechanism in climate politics.

In this episode, we look at the progress of new climate policies, first at the state level and then at the federal level.

In Vermont, a new policy for action on global warming is making its way through the Vermont legislature with potential rules that would hold the state accountable if it fails to meet new aggressive emissions reductions goals in the near term.

At the federal level, we saw the release from the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis of its proposed net zero emissions by 2050 pathway in a plan called, “Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient and Just America.” While the release of that plan presents a good opportunity to see what Democrats are thinking in terms of policies to address climate change, the committee, ultimately, is not a policy-making body. It also offers insight into what Republicans are thinking on climate change, as we saw that the committee’s Republican response was not as negative as might have been expected in the past. Does it point to an interest on the part of Republicans to open dialogue that could result in forward progress on climate policies?

Further action from the side of the Democrats at the federal level came from an infrastructure bill that relies heavily on green provisions, along with another bill on energy efficiency. Like all legislation coming out of the U.S. House, these new bills do not have any hope of moving forward, but they are representative of how Democrats see the U.S. plan to address climate change.

Specific to that thinking is a central role for environmental justice. The need to grow communities that are resilient, not just in terms of their ability to resist climate change, but also in how their members can thrive, is present and will remain a constant factor in new climate policies.

The big picture priorities, specific to how the U.S. thinks about climate change and how it will address it, are changing. Energy and climate are front and center in the national conversation in ways that they never have been before. How that conversation develops and escalates will be clear in the coming months, as the country gears up for primaries in August, and ultimately, the very critical presidential election in November.

Jun 2020

Science, the pandemic, and how the coming election is a crossroads for climate change

As the U.S. comes slowly through the worst of the pandemic, and we understand how important science was in navigating COVID-19, we discuss the stark realities of timing for policies critical to addressing climate change under any outcome of the November election.

Apr 2020

Climate change in a pandemic. Where are we now?

In this episode, we discuss how global focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting climate change efforts, and what the long-term effects might be.

Mar 2020

Post Super Tuesday – What’s the outlook?

We take a look at what to expect now that the path to November elections is a little clearer following Super Tuesday. Plus, where is the value in the American Energy Innovation Act, and how will the EU’s plan for a carbon border affect the U.S.?

Feb 2020

ZNF DC Update - How climate change will play out in 2020 elections

In this episode, we look at the latest progress in Washington D.C., and look closely at whether climate change issues will be a high voting priority in the coming election. Plus, we highlight progress in climate bonds and note the rise of resiliency bonds.

Dec 2019

ZNF DC Update – More climate emergencies in the making

In this episode, we give a brief outlook on progress in Washington D.C. for the remainder of 2019. Plus, we take another look at what makes a climate emergency declaration useful in today’s political environment, from the micro-local view to the global view.

Nov 2019

Washington Update: The Trouble with Trump and California

In this episode, we provide an update on appropriations, a continuing resolution, the nomination of judges and the conflict between the Trump administration and California over rules on vehicle emissions that has created a division in the auto industry.

Oct 2019

Here’s What to Expect Next in the Global Youth Movement on Climate Change

With the global climate strike behind us, we look at what actions the young people of the world are taking next to affect change in the political structure that is determining their environmental future.

Oct 2019

How the Youth Movement Turns Political Words into Political Will

In this first edition of "A Piece of My Mind," Joel Stronberg examines the alchemistic role of the climate youth movement in turning base political words into precious political will.

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