Suddenly the United States is a climate leader


Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we look at where the top carbon emitters stand to meet climate targets, Blinken meets Japan’s Hayashi and Senegal heads to the polls.

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The United States is on a slow race on climate

Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we look at where the top carbon emitters stand to meet climate targets, Blinken meets Japan’s Hayashi and Senegal heads to the polls.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.

The United States is on a slow race on climate

After several false starts, the United States appears to be gaining ground to meet its climate goals.

News that Sen. Joe Manchin, a former climate law stumbling block, will now support $369 billion in new energy and climate spending has changed the outlook. The money is fixed at motivate a number of clean energy initiatives, from power plants to making cheaper electric cars.

There’s still plenty that could go wrong, and given that the price has gone from trillions to today’s figure, the outcome is undefined. Manchin could still back down, another unstable Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, could also oppose, and the House of Representatives could disagree with the Senate bill.

Even though it’s the biggest climate bill in US history, it’s also not enough to meet the Biden administration’s goal of cutting emissions by 50% by 2030. Without doing anything new, the United States is estimated to be on track to reduce emissions by 25-35%. during this period, according to Rhodium Group analysts. The new measures, according to a new Rhodium analysispushes that range higher to between 31 and 44%, but alongside action at the state and executive level, it could push the United States all the way to a 50 to 52% reduction.

That the targets are within reach is more than can be said for other polluting countries, very few of which are on track to make changes of equal magnitude by the end of the decade. Of the six biggest polluting powers, which together account for more than half of global carbon emissions, only the European Union is ready to meet its declared climate targets, according to the Climate action tracking.

China plans to do the opposite and will continue to increase its emissions until 2030, when it plans to start reducing to net zero in 2060, ten years after most developed countries.

How many more tons of carbon China will emit by then depends on a number of factors, including what steps Beijing takes to pull out of its economic downturn as well as how quickly it can benefit from investments in its clean energy sector. This industry is already poised to break records again as solar and wind power additions are expected to beat last year’s installations by a full 25 percent.

How India, the fourth-largest emitter, plans to move to a net-zero future is only partially clear. Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged last year to bring the country to net zero by 2070, but his government is almost a year late by submitting its commitments to the United Nations.

Although India is making progress in adopting clean energy, more investment is needed. An analysis by Standard Chartered estimates the country will need $12 trillion in external investment to reach net zero by 2060.

Russia, fifth on the list of shows, also lags behind. Unsurprisingly for a country so dependent on fossil fuel exports, its current plans do not call for a gradual reduction in sales, but rather rely on its vast forests to offset its emissions.

Russia’s plans to double its negative emissions from forestry between 2030 and 2050 have been derided by climate analysts as a case of creative accounting; UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines call for only managed forests to be included in climate projections, but Russia’s inclusion of its wild forests has helped boost their numbers .

Whether Brazil takes dramatic steps to recover its position as the sixth-largest emitter will likely depend on the outcome of the October presidential election. Like his far-right colleagues elsewhere, incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro has put climate action on the back burner. His challenger, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has a checkered environmental record but has begun to integrate climate action into his campaign strategy— copying successful candidates in the region like new Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro.

Even if other countries don’t act quickly, increased U.S. climate support could make it easier for U.S. officials to make their case abroad. “You can’t preach temperance from a bar stool, and you can’t ask China, India, Brazil or other countries to cut their emissions if we don’t do it ourselves. significantly,” said U.S. Senator Ed Markey. New York Times.

Keep an eye on

US-Japan relations. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken receives his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi for a bilateral meeting as well as talks under the auspices of the Japan-US Economic Policy Advisory Committee. Blinken will continue to focus on Asia until next week when he travels to Cambodia for a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers.

The grain of Ukraine. UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said Thursday that grain shipments from Ukraine could resume as soon as from today but that the details of the exact coordinates of the maritime routes were still being finalized. Some trade barriers have also arisen as a result of the Ukraine-Russia deal, including Insurance for boats and find sailors to equip them.

Human rights in Ethiopia. A three-person team of experts sent to Ethiopia by the UN Human Rights Council is due to issue a statement on Saturday outlining the findings of a six-day investigation into human rights abuses in the country. . The trip is the first time the UN-appointed experts have visited the country since the Tigray conflict erupted in late 2020.

Elections in Senegal. Senegalese voters head to the polls on Sunday to contest legislative elections, originally postponed from 2019. As Nosmot Gbadamosi wrote in this week’s FP Africa Brief, a good result for President Macky Sall’s party, which holds the majority absolute, could encourage him to run for a controversial third term in 2024.

The German city of Hannover appears to be taking threats to European gas supplies more seriously than others, as it is implementing a series of measures aimed at reducing energy consumption by 15% across the city.

Swimmers in public swimming pools will only be able to access the cold showerspublic fountains will be turned off, as will nighttime lighting, and thermostats will be set to a maximum of 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).

If the summer heat gets too much, these showers can come in handy: portable air conditioners are also banned under the new measures.


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