Energy and Environment — A closer look at the ‘loss and damage’ fund | Whuff News


The so-called COP27 “loss and damage” fund still faces significant uncertainty – including where its money will come from. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is easing some restrictions on ESG investing and Europe is raising the price of natural gas.

This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news on energy, the environment and beyond. On the Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Will someone send you this brochure?

Uncertainty about funds leads to uncertainty

The newly agreed “loss and damage” fund under which developed countries will pay for climate damage suffered by vulnerable developing partners lacks both details and actual funding, raising questions about whether it is merely a symbolic success.

Developing countries, which have been responsible for a small amount of climate pollution for many years, have sought such a fund, which has been opposed by the United States and other rich countries.

That changed over the weekend when nearly 200 countries agreed to launch a new fund at the United Nations climate change conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The agreement says the fund will help developing countries respond to “economic and economic losses and damages associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather.”

Well, what is still unknown?

  • The agreement does not provide for funding, and there is no organizational structure, saying those details will be worked out in the coming months. It creates a “transition committee” made up of representatives from 24 countries that will be tasked with finding sources of funding and establishing a fund structure and management.
  • “The amount of loss and damage is established and important on its own, but it’s an empty vessel,” Morgan Bazilian, a professor of public policy at the Colorado School of Mines, told The Hill.

What about the US?

  • A divided government in the midterms is likely to block access to US funding. Some Republicans are already expressing opposition.
  • “It’s crazy. This was not on my list of the top 1 billion things that the United States should do with the money we don’t have,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (RN.D.) said in a written statement that his office shared with the Hill. when asked his thoughts on the deal.

However, getting to this point is a start:

  • “There was a lot of success this time around to get the United States and other traditional blockers to stop blocking,” said Jean Su, director of the energy justice program at the Center for Biological Diversity.
  • He acknowledged there were still “big questions,” including “whether the money will be delivered,” but said it ultimately gave “vulnerable communities around the world a glimmer of real hope.”

Read more about uncertainty here.

Biden eases ESG restrictions on financial advisors

The Biden administration is making it easier for fund managers to consider climate change and other environmental and social factors in retirement investments.

The Department of Labor on Tuesday issued a new final rule that allows these trustees to consider “the economic effects of climate change” in the investments they are looking at.

Assistant Secretary for Human Resource Security Lisa Gomez said in a statement that the rule was issued to eliminate the “chilling effect” created by Trump-era restrictions on considering environmental and social factors in investments.

In 2020, the Trump administration issued a rule that is expected to restrict environmental and social considerations in this type of investment.

Read more about the new rule here.

WHITE HOUSE BIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENT

The White House on Tuesday unveiled a tool aimed at assessing environmentally sound communities – poor communities that face a high pollution burden.

The Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Brenda Mallory, said in her statement that this tool will enable the administration to ensure that these communities see the benefits of their climate actions.

“The Climate and Economic Justice Assessment Tool identifies communities that have historically faced injustice and borne the burden of pollution to ensure they are the first to see the benefits of climate action,” he said.

EU raises gas prices ahead of winter

The European Commission on Tuesday proposed a temporary break in natural gas prices, with the aim of reducing energy costs and protecting supplies before winter.

The so-called Market Correction Mechanism will work “to protect EU businesses and households from the episodes of the highest gas prices in the EU,” while reducing volatility in European gas markets, according to the Commission.

“Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the use of nuclear weapons, natural gas prices have seen unprecedented price increases in the EU,” the Commission said.

At the end of August, Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom shut down its main gas pipeline to Europe for what it said would be a three-day repair, but it has not restarted.

Natural gas prices reached an all-time high in Europe during the second half of August – a situation that the Commission described as “severely damaging the European economy, with contagion effects on electricity prices and general inflation.”

  • On Tuesday, Gazprom threatened to cut its last gas pipeline to Europe, which passes through Ukraine, next week. The company accused Kyiv of diverting gas supplies meant for Moldova and creating “transport imbalances.”
  • Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System has denied the allegations, saying all gas volumes intended for Moldovan customers are being transferred “in full.”

With an uncertain winter ahead, the European Commission stressed that it aims to “avoid a repeat” of August’s inflation by proposing a “temporary and well-targeted tool.”

How does it work? In the event of an excessive gas price increase, the device will intervene automatically – setting a security price of 275 euros ($282) per megawatt hour in the derivatives of the monthly title transfer (TTF).

Read more here, from Sharon Udasin Hill.

WHAT WE STUDY

  • U.S. promising nations will always have fish, but their fish pose toxic risks (ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting)
  • A nuclear plant along Lake Michigan will not reopen after a federal bid was rejected (MLive)
  • Europe’s airline industry stumbles when it’s needed the most (New York Times)
  • Bison migration to Native lands sparks spiritual bond (Associated Press)

CYMI

🦖 Tap lightly: Not historically accurate, but we’ll let it slide.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.



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