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What Is The Government Doing About Climate Change

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Maintaining International Business Competitiveness

Can Homeowners In The U.S. Afford Climate Change?

With the goal of addressing carbon leakage risks and protecting Canadian businesses from unfair competition resulting from firms not subject to carbon pricing, Canada is also:

  • continuing to utilize the Output-Based Pricing System, which is designed to support the competitiveness of emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries in Canadian jurisdictions where the federal backstop applies
  • exploring with the European Union and others, the potential around border carbon adjustment measures

Making The Places We Live And Gather More Affordable By Cutting Energy Waste

Homes and buildings account for 18% of Canadas emissions and there are more than 285,000 workers in Canada at present that conduct energy efficiency-related work in the construction industry from installation to contracting. Making Canadas building sector more energy efficient will cut pollution, save households and businesses money on energy costs and create jobs in all parts of the country and sectors of the economy.

California Air Resources Board

Local governments have a role to play in helping the State achieve its climate goals. Californias Climate Change Scoping Plan encourages local governments to adopt goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 1990’s levels by 2020, 40% below 1990 levels in 2030, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The 2050 target is roughly equivalent to a per capita annual emission target of less than 2 metric tons of CO2e. Read the executive summary of the 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan for more information.

Additionally, Executive Order B-55-18 calls for carbon neutrality by 2045, consistent with the latest IPCC report. This executive order introduces the concept of balancing carbon emissions and carbon sequestration within the state.

For guidance on how local governments can take action, CARB has prepared the following resources:

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What Can Local Governments Do To Fight Climate Change A Heck Of A Lot Say Experts

As costs to fight wildfires skyrocket amid warming temperatures and cities look at spending millions to raise sea walls, local leaders say theres real action local governments can take to combat climate change and that the public has an important role to push for it.

Speaking this week at an online conference hosted by Chapman University, panelists said local city and county officials can do things like join renewable power agencies, improve bicycle transit, and redirect government purchasing power to buying zero-carbon products.

But among the most impactful things local governments can do to combat climate change, they said, is incentivizing zoning and land uses that allow people to live closer to where they work. That, coupled with making it easier for people to get around by walking, biking and public transit.

Each city is planning for a lot of housing units. But its putting those housing units close to employment areas, close to areas of transportation, where theres public transport. Because we want to reduce those vehicle miles , said Seimone Jurjis, community development director for the city of Newport Beach.

If you use your car less, theres less carbon emissions.

About 40 percent of Californias carbon dioxide emissions come from transportation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dealing with climate change in a creative way, particularly at a local level, means improving the way we live.

Elections matter, Cole added.

Why Is It Important For Planning To Consider Climate Change

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In addition to supporting the delivery of appropriately sited green energy, effective spatial planning is an important part of a successful response to climate change as it can influence the emission of greenhouse gases. In doing so, local planning authorities should ensure that protecting the local environment is properly considered alongside the broader issues of protecting the global environment. Planning can also help increase resilience to climate change impact through the location, mix and design of development.

Addressing climate change is one of the core land use planning principles which the National Planning Policy Framework expects to underpin both plan-making and decision-taking. To be found sound, Local Plans will need to reflect this principle and enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework. These include the requirements for local authorities to adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change in line with the provisions and objectives of the Climate Change Act 2008, and co-operate to deliver strategic priorities which include climate change.

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What Is The Government Doing To Help Climate Change

Government research and development programs, such as the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy, can drive progress in clean energy technologies and bring them to commercial use. Voluntary programs, like the Natural Gas STAR program, work with businesses to reduce emissions, often with public recognition.

The Economic Promise Of Climate Action

Reaching global net-zero represents the greatest economic opportunity of our time. Today, solar and wind power are the cheapest sources of power generation in countries accounting for 77 percent of global GDP. The global renewable energy market is projected to be worth $2.15 trillion by 2025. U.S. manufacturers can lead this global market in renewable technologies. Conserving forests, restoring ecosystems, and deploying climate-smart agricultural practices can enhance productivity while creating access to new sources of revenue. Small businesses can grow by designing, installing, and innovating energy-conserving technologies and infrastructure.

Smart investments in infrastructure, innovation and U.S. workers can build a zero-carbon economy that gives everybody a fair shot at the American Dream.

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Carbon Pricing In Canada

Putting a price on pollution reduces emissions and encourages innovation. Canada has proven that this can be done in a manner that keeps life affordable. Canadas leadership on carbon pricing has been recognized internationally, including by the International Monetary Fund which recently stated that carbon pricing is the most efficient mitigation instrument and success in Canada provides a model for others.

Since 2019, the Government has ensured it is no longer free to pollute by establishing a national minimum price on pollution starting at $20 per tonne in 2019, increasing at $10 per tonne annually to $50 in 2022.

The Governments approach to pricing carbon pollution gives provinces and territories the flexibility to implement the type of system that makes sense for their circumstances as long as they align with minimum national stringency standards, or benchmark criteria.

In provinces where it applies, the federal carbon pricing system returns all direct proceeds from the fuel charge to those living in the relevant province or territory. These funds are returned to individuals, communities, and businesses. Approximately 90% goes directly to people when they file their taxes through Climate Action Incentive payments, with the majority of families receiving more money back than they pay. In 2020, the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that Canadas approach supports low and medium-income families the most.

Supreme Court decision on carbon pricing

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Federal government announces new climate change plan

The Energy Department said it will implement clear climate adaptation requirements for contractors and suppliers to employ climate adaptation and resilience practices, as well as advance research programs for climate technologies at national laboratories.

The Defense Department wrote that climate change poses a threat to military operations and could create new sources of conflict across the world, including conflicts over potential water shortages. The department has committed to using climate intelligence to inform military planners on where and how military installations are at risk.

The Transportation Department wrote that climate change will make construction and commuting more difficult and dangerous. It vowed to advance greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the sector and invest in more resilient infrastructure.

The department said it will also consider environmental justice by assessing the disproportionate impact climate change has on poor, minority communities when designing new transportation projects.

The Treasury Department said it will work to mitigate the impacts of climate-related financial risks on financial stability. Its also developing a plan to better sustain its supply chains, including materials required for currency and coinage production.

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What Are Governments National Standards For A Buildings Sustainability And For Zero Carbon Buildings

The National Planning Policy Framework expects local planning authorities when setting any local requirement for a buildings sustainability to do so in a way consistent with the governments zero carbon buildings policy and adopt nationally described standards. Local requirements should form part of a Local Plan following engagement with appropriate partners, and will need to be based on robust and credible evidence and pay careful attention to viability. In this respect, planning authorities will need to take account of government decisions on the Housing Standards Review when considering a local requirement relating to new homes.

If considering policies on local requirements for the sustainability of other buildings, local planning authorities will wish to consider if there are nationally described standards and the impact on viability of development. Further guidance can be found under Viability.

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Is The Uk Really All That Responsible For Global Climate Change

Its tempting to think that the UK, being a small collection of islands, isnt a big contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Some people believe that countries like China or India have more of a responsibility to curb their national emissions, as they are much larger countries with much larger populations. But this is a little simplistic.

The UK is actually one of the worlds greatest contributors to global warming over time. This is due to our long history of generating greenhouse gas emissions beginning during the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, creating emissions both in the US and the UK.

An Oxfam study found that the richest one percent of the worlds population were responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the worlds poorest 3.1 billion people, from 1990 to 2015. The truth is that, European and North American countries currently consume more, and have higher emissions per person on average, than those in China or India.

However, this does mean that we can do more than most countries with equivalent emissions to tackle climate change and use our wealth and diplomatic power to lead by example.

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Clean Energy Canada Report

On June 17, 2021, Clean Energy Canada released “New Reality, an assessment of economic growth from Canadas climate plan. It found that by 2030, the number of jobs in clean energy is expected to grow almost 50% to 639,200 and the sectors GDP is forecast to grow by 58% in the same timeframe under the governments plan.

Since the release of Canadas strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy in December 2020, the Government of Canada moved swiftly to implement key aspects of the plan in order to create jobs, grow the economy and protect the planet. This document provides an overview of climate actions taken in Canada, with a focus on those since December 2020. As committed in the plan, a refined way forward on pricing carbon is also included.

Over the past 5 years, Canada has taken significant and urgent action to address the climate crisis. Canada is phasing out traditional coal-fired power plants and embracing renewable energy. It is investing in Made-in-Canada technologies and clean solutions. It is improving building codes and standards so homes and buildings use less energy. It is supporting cleaner alternatives to diesel in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.

Fully implementing Canadas plans is required to reduce emissions in line with what science says is needed and to ensure Canada is well-positioned to take advantage of the significant economic opportunities associated with a growing low-carbon global economy.

How Do Governments Combat Climate Change

Two

Explore seven ways countries are responding to a changing environment.

Actor Joaquin Phoenix stands with protestors waiting to be arrested on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building during a climate change protest and rally on Capitol Hill on January 10, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Have you ever brought a reusable tote bag to the grocery store? Or refilled a water bottle rather than buy a disposable one? Do you separate your recycling from your trash?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, youre not alone. In the United States, more than half of all adults claim to have taken some action to protect the environment. But will individual actions be enough to address the massive, transnational challenge of climate change? Unfortunately, no.

Almost all experts agree that governmentsnot individuals or private businessesneed to lead the fight against climate change. However, they disagree on the most effective options to address the problem. This lesson outlines seven policies aimed at combating climate change and explores their potential upsides and downsides for society.

U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown, and Robert Menendez, during a news conference announcing legislation aimed at ending subsidies to the five largest oil companies, on May 10, 2011.

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Federal Government Activity On Climate Change

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Environmental terms

Climate change can refer to significant or large-scale changes in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, or other weather-related events that can occur over a long period of time, including decades, centuries, and millennia. Human-caused climate change is the theory that human-induced increases in carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can lead to global warming and subsequent changes in the climate. Various proposed policies to address potentially human-caused climate change include limits on carbon dioxide emissions from oil, coal, and natural gas and policies to support the production of renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy.

The following article includes background information on the concepts referenced in climate change policy discussions and summaries of federal and state government policies related to the issue. For an article on the relationship between greenhouse gases and climate change, click here.

Why Gao Did This Study

Since 1993, OMB has reported over $154 billion in funding for federal climate change activities, spread across the governmentraising questions about fragmentation, overlap, or duplication.

GAO was asked to review federal climate change funding. This report examines reported federal funding from 2010 to 2017 and the extent to which reports on such funding are clearly linked to the federal fiscal exposure to climate change the extent to which selected agencies reported climate change funding that supports programs where addressing climate change is the primary purpose and the extent to which the primary purpose programs are fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative.

GAO reviewed OMB climate change funding reports analyzed budget justifications for six agenciesthe Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Energy the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundationrepresenting 89 percent of OMB-reported climate change funding in fiscal year 2014 analyzed documents on primary purpose programs against GAO’s fragmentation, overlap, or duplication criteria and reviewed GAO’s prior work on fiscal exposures.

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What Climate Change Legislation Should Planners Be Aware Of

Section 19 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires local planning authorities to include in their Local Plans policies designed to secure that the development and use of land in the local planning authoritys area contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change. This will be a consideration when a Local Plan is examined.

The Climate Change Act 2008 establishes a legally binding target to reduce the UKs greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. To drive progress and set the UK on a pathway towards this target, the Act introduced a system of carbon budgets including a target that the annual equivalent of the carbon budget for the period including 2020 is at least 34% lower than 1990.

The Climate Change Act 2008 also requires the government:

  • to assess regularly the risks to the UK of the current and predicted impact of climate change
  • to set out its climate change adaptation objectives and
  • to set out its proposals and policies for meeting these objectives.

These requirements are fulfilled by the UK climate change risk assessment and the National adaptation programme report respectively, which may provide helpful information for plan-making.

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Emissions And Fuel Use Standards For New Light

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On December 20, 2021, EPA finalized federal greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for Model Years 2023 through 2026. The final standards leverage advances in clean car technology to unlock $190 billion in net benefits to Americans, including reducing climate pollution, improving public health, and saving drivers money at the pump. These standards are the strongest vehicle emissions standards ever established for the light-duty vehicle sector, and are based on sound science and grounded in a rigorous assessment of current and future technologies. The updated standards will result in avoiding more than 3 billion tons of GHG emissions through 2050.

These standards set the light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas program on track to provide a strong launch point for the Agency’s next phase of standards for MY 2027 and beyond. EPA is planning to initiate a separate rulemaking to establish multi-pollutant emission standards under the Clean Air Act for MY 2027 and later will speed the transition of the light-duty vehicle fleet toward a zero-emissions future consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order, “Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks.”

Learn more about the light-duty vehicle final rule.

Learn more about the heavy-duty trucks announcement.

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