January 26, 2021
Contact: Alec Gerlach, GerlachA@c2es.org, 703-516-0621
C2ES Outlines Climate Priorities for Congress, Administration
Top U.S. Companies Collaborate on Ambitious Policy Recommendations
WASHINGTON—The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) today released detailed recommendations to the Biden Administration and Congress for ambitious, bipartisan policy to put the United States on the path to carbon neutrality. A new policy brief, drawing on discussions with top U.S. companies, outlines policies to drive innovation, reduce emissions, strengthen resilience, address climate justice, and support the post-Covid economic recovery.
Climate Policy Priorities for the New Administration and Congress calls for an economy-wide carbon price and an array of complementary standards, incentives and infrastructure investments to decarbonize all the key sectors of the economy.
“We need climate policies that are ambitious and durable—bipartisan policies that can outlast political transitions,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “Companies understand the stakes and are stepping up with ambitious climate commitments, but they can only achieve them if the federal government steps up too. They’re committed, as are we, to working with President Biden and Congress to put the right policies in place.”
Anticipating the 2020 election could open significant new opportunity to accelerate U.S. climate efforts, C2ES sought input from dozens of leading U.S. companies on policy priorities for a new Administration and Congress. As an initial step, C2ES organized a joint statement signed by 47 companies urging President Biden and Congress to enact ambitious, durable, and bipartisan climate policies. The companies included top names in the power, automotive, aviation, tech, finance, manufacturing, chemicals, oil and gas, cement, mining, food, and retail sectors.
The new brief outlines a comprehensive set of economy-wide and sectoral policies, including executive actions the Administration can undertake on its own, and legislative solutions that could fit into economic stimulus or infrastructure packages or other legislative vehicles. The recommendations include:
- Launch a White House process engaging business, labor, state and local officials, and other key stakeholders to inform the development of a new “nationally determined contribution” under the Paris Agreement;
- Enact an economy-wide carbon price or, in its absence, a market-based clean electricity standard setting a pathway for zero-carbon power well ahead of 2050.
- Strengthen federal investment in climate innovation to at least $20 billion per year for RDD&D by 2030 and $50-100 million for high impact demonstration projects;
- Strengthen vehicle standards, incentives and infrastructure investments to ensure all light-duty vehicles on the road are zero-emission vehicles by 2050;
- Establish rigorous standards to dramatically reduce methane emissions across the oil and gas value chain and to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons.
- Help state and local governments adopt updated building codes and strengthen incentives to electrify buildings and improve their energy efficiency;
- Prioritize funding to low-income and rural communities to expand energy efficiency upgrades, clean energy generation, and broadband access;
- Advance carbon removal through incentives for direct air capture and for nature-based solutions, including steps to help farmers participate in carbon markets;
- Revamp and expand the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit to spur low-carbon industry, prioritizing regions negatively affected by the transition from fossil fuels.
- Strengthen Securities and Exchange Commission guidance and Federal Reserve Bank oversight to guard against climate-related financial risks;
- Establish an Environmental and Climate Justice Division at the Department of Justice to strengthen environmental and civil rights enforcement in marginalized communities; and
- Leverage federal procurement power to help create markets for cleaner technologies through the purchase of zero-carbon power, vehicles, and other products.
C2ES published the policy priorities as part of its Climate Innovation 2050 initiative, which works with companies to examine U.S. decarbonization challenges and solutions. The initiative earlier produced Getting to Zero: A U.S. Climate Agenda, outlining federal, state, and local policies to achieve U.S. carbon neutrality.
The new recommendations will also be the frame for a discussion today at 3:00 p.m. ET, when corporate leaders Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman of Bank of America; Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Incorporated; and Jamie M. Gentoso, CEO of US Cement Operations at LafargeHolcim will outline the business case for climate action.
About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.