Climate Policy News You Can Use — March 2023

Dear Colleagues,

The IPCC’s last report is unequivocal: deep, rapid and sustained reductions in GHG emissions are needed to limit catastrophic impacts of climate change. EDF’s take: there’s a lot more work ahead, but the future is not set in stone. Businesses will play a critical role in determining what that future will be. Read on for the top opportunities for advocacy and action now.


I. Inflation Reduction Act: new resources and growing momentum

For businesses, accelerating action on climate starts by leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) incentives to decarbonize your operations and supply chains. I’m excited to announce new resources that EDF and Deloitte developed specifically for companies to take advantage of the IRA’s climate and clean energy provisions. Our Understanding the Inflation Reduction Act hub includes the following:

  • A Snapshot for Businesses that highlights the key sectors impacted by the IRA and how companies can start taking advantage of its incentives.
  • A set of Activation Guides for five use cases: renewable energy procurement, fleet electrification, advanced manufacturing, building energy efficiency and climate-smart agriculture. The Renewable Energy Activation Guide is live and the rest will be launched in April.

But wait, there’s more! EDF and Columbia Law Schools’ Sabin Center released the Inflation Reduction Act Tracker which records federal agencies’ actions to implement the climate change-related provisions in the IRA. And if you want to know where the IRA money is going, check out the Climate Wins Here Map which tracks announced and awarded federal funding for clean energy and power, clean transportation, environmental resilience and remediation, and infrastructure.

Momentum is building. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the IRA are turbocharging investment in clean energy and transportation. The latest report from NREL finds that the two laws could boost clean electricity shares up to 90% of total generation by 2030 and avoid up to $230 billion in climate-related damages. And according to a new report by EDF and WSP, over 40% of the $120 billion in electric vehicle investments in the last 8 years have occurred since passage of the IRA.

More guidance coming soon. The Treasury Department announced it will issue guidance in the coming months on the clean vehicle credit, the energy communities bonus, the domestic content bonus, direct pay and transferability, and the prevailing wage and apprenticeship standards required to receive full credits. The issuance of this guidance will mark the end of phase 1 of Treasury’s IRA implementation.

➢ Take Action: Check out the resources above and let me know your feedback!


II. Congress: attempts to claw back climate provisions

Today, the House of Representatives passed a sweeping energy package that would repeal climate programs in the Inflation Reduction Act, including the Methane Emissions Reduction Program and yet-to-be-launched Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, while increasing the federal budget deficit by more than $2.3 billion over the next decade. See EDF’s statement: House Approves Harmful Energy Package.

Last week, President Biden issued his first veto, rejecting the Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal a Department of Labor rule that allows retirement fund managers to consider all factors relevant to investment risk and returns, including financial risks due to climate change. See EDF’s statement.

The Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn EPA’s final rule for more protective nitrogen oxides (NOx) standards for trucks is still in the Senate. These updated NOx standards are an important part of EPA’s broader efforts to eliminate tailpipe pollution – including NOx and particulate matter – from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, and are critical to protect communities from harmful air pollution. A vote is expected as early as April.

➢ Take Action: Thank lawmakers who voted NO on H.R. 1 and/or the Department of Labor CRA; share your disappointment with those who voted for them. Ask your Senators to oppose the NOx CRA.


III. Transmission: FERC wants your input

Multiple analyses show we need to double the pace of transmission growth in the U.S. to accommodate growing demand for electricity, integrate renewables and make the grid more resilient to extreme weather events. Building out inter-regional transmission solves for all three, by facilitating the sale of renewable energy from regions with high renewable capacity to those with high electrical need. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is seeking comment on a proposal to establish a minimum level of transmission linkage between regions. This would benefit major energy users by enabling them to buy more renewable energy without being limited to their particular region.

➢ Take Action: File comments with FERC by May 15th supporting a minimum required level of transmission linkage.


That’s it for March. Expect important developments on the regulatory front in April and/or May, with new emission standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks from EPA, and a final climate disclosure rule from the SEC.

Thanks as always for reading!