Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — US joins pledge to end overseas fossil funding

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — US joins pledge to end overseas fossil funding
© Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Welcome to Thursday’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 a new pledges on blocking funding fossil fuel projects abroad, phasing out coal and a group of Republicans heading to the global climate summit. 

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.

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Let’s jump in.

US aims to drop fossil fuel projects abroad 

The United States was among 20 countries that announced an agreement at the COP26 climate conference Thursday to end funding of fossil fuel development abroad.

The deets: In an agreement announced Thursday, nations including the U.K., Switzerland and Italy announced an end to any new public financial support for the fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. The agreement makes an exception for “limited and clearly defined circumstances that are consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

“[I]nvesting in unabated fossil-related energy projects increasingly entails both social and economic risks, especially through the form of stranded assets, and has ensuing negative impacts on government revenue, local employment, taxpayers, utility ratepayers and public health,” the announcement adds.

Parties to the agreement “will encourage further governments, their official export credit agencies and public finance institutions to implement similar commitments into COP27 and beyond,” the statement adds.

Who else is on it? Other signatories include several African and island nations, which comes as conference participants have warned those regions are on the front lines of the crisis and require immediate actions. Mali, Fiji, Ethiopia and the Marshall Islands all joined the agreement.

Several major emitters are not listed as signatories to the agreement, including China, the world’s number-one emitter; India, the third largest and Russia, the fourth largest. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced earlier this year that the country will end international backing of new coal projects.

Read more about the new pledge here.

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18 nations — but not US — vow to phase out coal 

Eighteen more countries are committing to end investment in new coal power and phase out the fuel in the coming decades. 

The commitment, spearheaded by the U.K., comes as countries meet for a global climate summit and has also resulted in other commitments on methane emissions and deforestation.

As part of the new commitment, 18 countries including Poland, Vietnam and Chile will agree for the first time not to build or invest in new coal power domestically and internationally, according to a UK press release. 

The countries committed to phase out coal power in the 2030s if they’re major economies or 2040s if they’re not. 

They also pledged to scale up deployment of clean power generation instead. 

What about the US? The U.S. is not part of the pledge.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland sidestepped questions on a call with reporters on why the U.S. did not join.

"We are doing every single thing we can to manage the public lands of the United States...with an eye toward climate change, with an eye toward the future that we need to provide for our children and our grandchildren," Haaland said.

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Read more about the push here.

Republicans head to COP 

A group of Republican lawmakers is heading to a global climate summit — even as their party remains largely opposed to domestic actions aimed at fighting climate change. 

The group — which includes Reps. John Curtis (Utah), Garret GravesGarret Neal GravesBiden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — US joins pledge to end overseas fossil funding GOP lawmakers prepare for Glasgow trip MORE (La.), David McKinleyDavid Bennett McKinleyFour states to feature primaries with two incumbents in 2022 West Virginia lawmaker slams GOP colleague over support for infrastructure law McBath to run in neighboring district after GOP redrew lines MORE (W.Va.), Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawThis issue will secure a Democratic wipeout in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker Juan Williams: The GOP is an anti-America party MORE (Texas) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) — aims to win support and allies for what they bill as conservative solutions on climate change: a scaled-up program of next-generation nuclear plants, battery storage and investment into capturing and storing emissions from fossil fuels.

“I want to show the United States and the world that Republicans care enough” to be active participants on climate, Curtis said on Thursday, noting that their failure to do so had “damaged our brand.”

“We have really good ideas. But when we’re not at the table — which, to be honest, we haven’t been there — we don’t get to advocate for our ideas.”

At the conference, the lawmakers are expected to meet with foreign leaders, take outside meetings and look at technology, according to Graves. 

Will it be all warm and fuzzy? Asked how he thinks the GOP will be received, the lawmaker quipped that it “depends on how much scotch these folks have had.” 

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“Folks that are actually practitioners, people that have worked in the technology in the energy field, I think we will be very well received there,” he said. “Those people that have chosen this as more of an emotional issue, I think that’s where we’re going to be running into some challenges.”

Read more about the GOP/COP trip here.

A MESSAGE FROM API

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

WHAT WE’RE READING

Secretive court system poses threat to Paris climate deal, says whistleblower The Guardian reports

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OPEC+ rebuffs U.S. calls for speedier oil output increases, Reuters reports

The dark secrets behind big oil’s climate pledges, Floodlight reports

Why water is the next net-zero environmental target, CNBC reports

ICYMI

World's energy ministers to convene in Pittsburgh next year 

Haaland: Reconciliation bill will pass but may 'take a little bit more time'

Democrats call on Biden to sanction climate change contributors

Facebook under pressure to curb climate misinformation

And finally, something offbeat and off-beat: The birds and the bats.

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.