Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Biden official defends ‘carrots’-based approach

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is seen during a Senate Appropriations hearing on June 15
UPI Photo

Welcome to Wednesday’s Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today we’re looking at Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s reassurance on reconciliation, the House majority leader making moves on deforestation and the latest COP26 news on climate finance.

For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: rfrazin@thehill.com and zbudryk@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Let’s jump in.


Energy chief ‘bullish’ on climate strategy 

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm defended Democrats’ largely “carrots”-based approach to taking on climate change in their spending bill following the removal of at least one key program that would have sought to also use penalties to advance clean energy.

Asked during a call with reporters on Wednesday about the lack of restrictions on fossil fuels, Granholm said, “I am so bullish on carrots.”

“We’ve got growing energy demands. We want to make sure we build the capacity for the renewable energy that we want to add,” she said. “We are focused on ‘build.’ Build and put people to work and gain a corner in the market for these clean energy technologies.”

The story so far: Her comments come after a program that would have sought to use both fines and incentives to shift towards clean electricity was cut from the spending package. 

It also comes as another key program is at risk. That program would penalize polluters by placing a fee on emissions of the greenhouse gas methane.

A framework released by the White House contains neither of these programs, though it does put $555 billion toward tackling the issue.

Read more about Granholm’s comments here.


Through innovation and new partnerships, we’re providing energy and reducing CO2 emissions. Learn more.


Hoyer bill to bolster Biden’s deforestation vow

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday will introduce a bill that aims to bolster President Biden’s commitment at COP26 to end and reverse deforestation by allocating billions of dollars to the effort.

The bill, first reported by CNN, calls for creating a $9 billion trust fund at the State Department that would be used to roll out bilateral forest conservation efforts in tandem with developing nations across the globe, which is the same financial commitment Biden made at the COP26 conference on Tuesday.

The leaders of more than 100 countries entered into an agreement at the conference in Glasgow, Scotland, that aims to stop and reverse deforestation by the year 2030. The countries that reached a deal represent more than 85 percent of the forests in the world, including the U.S., Congo, Brazil, Indonesia, China and Russia.

The pledge includes $19 billion overall in public and private funds.

What does Biden say? Biden, during brief remarks, said his administration would request Congress to allocate $9 billion for conserving forests through 2030. He also said he would work with the private sector and local communities that bear the brunt of deforestation’s effects.

Hoyer is now turning Biden’s vow into action, introducing legislation to create the trust fund.

“We need them to keep it in the ground,” the majority leader told CNN when discussing stopping countries from cutting down trees. “The first step [is] stop losing the forest.”

Read more about Hoyer’s announcement here.


A price tag for global climate financing 

An illustration of money growing on a plant

The president of the COP26 international climate summit, Alook Sharma, sounded an optimistic note on climate finance goals on the summit’s third day Wednesday, while the conference’s executive secretary stressed the need for meaningful follow-through.

“On the basis of information submitted by donors, the [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] analysis shows that developed countries will make significant progress toward the hundred-billion-dollar goal in 2022. … Over the five-year period from 2021 to 2025, we will likely be above $500 billion in aggregate,” Sharma said.

Sharma also said he was “very pleased” that the U.K. has doubled its own climate finance commitment to 11.6 billion pounds and announced a further billion pound commitment.

“It’s encouraging that developed countries have stepped up in recent months and indeed, even recent days,” he said. “I hope through negotiations and more broadly, we will continue to increase the focus on adaptation and access to finance, which matters a great deal to climate-vulnerable countries.”

Sharma added that he was “cautiously optimistic” about progress on ongoing international climate negotiations.

In her own remarks, COP26 Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa quoted statements made by U.S. Climate Finance Envoy Mark Carney earlier Wednesday morning: “Make no mistake, the money is here, if the world wants to use it.”

Espinosa also noted a multibillion-dollar commitment, valued at a total of $8.5 billion, made by developed nations to aid South Africa in transitioning away from coal.

“I do hope that by the end of this conference, we can really get to all of the hundred billion” commitment by 2022, she added.

Read more about the leaders’ remarks here:


Through innovation and new partnerships, we’re providing energy and reducing CO2 emissions. Learn more.





And finally, something offbeat but on beat: Return of the King

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. 


Tags Boris Johnson Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden Steny Hoyer

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video