Big companies are undermining climate commitments with political donations, report says

The report of Policy Responsibility Centera non-profit organization focused on disclosing corporate political spending, looked at the top companies that have pledged to cut emissions that cause global warming, including household names such as walmart, Amazon, AT&T, Uber and Citigroup.

He revealed that in the 2016, 2018 and 2020 election cycles, 75 of these companies gave more than $772,000 to 16 Republican attorney general candidates, according to contributions reported to the Internal Revenue Service and Secretary of State Offices.

In addition, 58 of these companies each donated $100,000 or more to the Association of Republican Attorneys Generalwhich channels money directly to candidates’ campaigns.

Findings on specific companies include:

  • Walmart has the objectives set achieve net zero emissions in its global operations by 2040 and reduce supply chain emissions by 1 billion metric tons by 2030. . Walmart also donated $12,500 in the 2020 cycle to the Utah Attorney General’s campaign. Sean Reyes (R), who joined a lawsuit to arrest President Biden to revoke a key license for the Driving Keystone XL.
  • Amazon, which has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2040, donated $150,000 to RAGA and $10,000 to Reyes in the 2020 election cycle. And in the 2019 round, the company donated $5,000 to the Louisiana Attorney General’s campaign. Jeff Landry (R), who recently led a lawsuit to block the Biden administration from using the social cost of carbon. (founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos possesses The Washington Post.)
  • AT&T, which has pledged to be carbon neutral in all of its global operations by 2035, gave RAGA $105,350 in the 2016 campaign cycle, $125,000 in the 2018 cycle, and $250,000 in the 2020 cycle. .

The results demonstrate that “these companies are really going against the goals, promises and emissions policies they have in place,” said Carlos Holguinresearch director at the Center for Political Accountability.

Bruce freedchairman and co-founder of the center, said the report highlights business risk for companies that have not aligned their policy spending practices with their climate goals.

Asked to comment on the findings, the Amazon spokeswoman Tina Pelkey highlighted a recent blog post which details the company’s support for political action on climate change.

Walmart Spokesperson Randy Hargrove said in an email: “Historically, we have supported bipartisan organizations like the Republican Association of Attorneys General and the Democratic Association of Attorneys General. Our political contributions do not mean that we support all of an elected official’s views.

Hargrove added that Walmart donated $125,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Association in the 2016 election cycle, $125,000 in the 2018 cycle and $240,000 in the 2020 cycle.

Spokespersons for RAGA and AT&T did not respond to requests for comment.

The report highlights two cases in which Republican attorneys general successfully sued to prevent key climate policies and regulations from taking effect.

  • In Louisiana vs. Biden, 10 Republican-led states have sued to stop the Biden administration from raising the social cost of carbon, a key metric that places a monetary value on the damage caused by each additional ton of greenhouse gas pollution. tight. On February 11, a federal judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction barring the Biden administration from using the metric in a series of back-to-back rulings. the justice department appealed the decision.
  • In Wyoming v. Department of the InteriorRepublican-led states and industry groups have sought to block barack obamaThe 2016 rule to reduce the venting and flaring of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from natural gas operations on public and tribal lands. In 2020, a federal judge in Wyoming hit most of the Obama-era rule, finding that the Land Management Office had exceeded his authority and acted arbitrarily and capriciously.

“When companies give to RAGA, they may think it’s just another third-party group, and they may not realize the consequences,” said Freed of the Center for Political Accountability.

“But they have very serious consequences,” he said, “and companies bear a lot of the blame for that.”

Energy sector methane emissions 70% higher than official figures, IEA says

Global methane emissions from oil, gas and coal are 70% higher than official figures released by governments, according to a report released today speak International Energy Agency.

This year’s edition of the report, dubbed the Global Methane Tracker, incorporates readings from a new generation of satellites dedicated to researching and measuring greenhouse gas emissions. It also includes for the first time country-by-country emissions from coal mines.

The report follows a recent Washington Post survey revealed a wide gap between the emissions that countries report to the The United Nations and the emissions they send into the atmosphere.

In a statement, the executive director of the IEA Fatih Birol said it was “alarming” to identify such “massive under-reporting” of methane emissions. Birol called on countries to support increased monitoring efforts and stronger policy action to reduce emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas.

Although carbon dioxide is more abundant, methane is about 80 times more effective at trapping heat in its first decade in the atmosphere. This means that reducing methane pollution in the short term could be a relatively quick way to slow the Earth’s warming.

Biden announces new spending for sustainable mineral production

President Biden, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and others on Tuesday announced new investments to expand the nation’s supply chain for minerals used in the production of clean energy products such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, The Washington Post reported. John Wagner and Amy B Wang report.

The event included several announcements, including a $35 million prize by the Department of Defense for PM materials to separate and process heavy rare earths at its plant in Mountain Pass, California. Berkshire Hathaway Renewable Energy also said it plans to open a facility in Imperial County, California this spring to test the viability of its sustainable lithium mining process.

Biden said environmental protections are “paramount” as companies increase their investments in mining these minerals so residents of nearby communities don’t face the same environmental devastation that other mining towns have suffered around the world. the past.

The Ukrainian crisis is pushing Europe away from Russian energy dependence

the European Commission plans to announce a strategy on March 2 to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, calling for a 40% reduction in the use of fossil fuels by 2030, so that Europe no longer depends on Russia to keep houses warm and factories running. The strategy also requires European energy companies to fill their natural gas storage tanks this summer so that the continent will already be less dependent on Russian gas by next winter. However, it could take years to finalize a complete break with Russian energy.

Interior Department to hold first offshore wind lease sale under Biden

the Interior Department is expected to hold the first offshore wind lease sale under the Biden administration starting today.

interior Office of Ocean Energy Management plans to auction off leases in the New York Bay, an area of ​​nearly 800,000 acres of Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island, to 25 qualified bidders. The sale will help achieve the president’s goal of generating 30 gigawatts of electricity from offshore wind power by 2030.

Biden administration suspends Alaska mining road right-of-way

The Interior Department on Tuesday suspended the right-of-way of a controversial mining road in northwest Alaska, saying it had found “significant deficiencies” in an environmental scan conducted under donald trumpThe post office Joshua Partlow reports.

Ambler Road would traverse wilderness and indigenous territory to reach valuable deposits of zinc, copper, gold, cobalt and other metals. Alaska Native and environmental groups welcomed the decision, while Alaska’s congressional delegation condemned the decision.

Risk of wildfires out of control will increase and spread to new areas, warns UN

According to a report released today by the United Nations Environment Program, Diane Leonard reports for La Poste.

The report claims there has been a “dramatic shift” in wildfire patterns around the world due to global warming and changes in land use. Fires burn longer and hotter in fire-prone regions and spread through land that is expected to be waterlogged or frozen, such as bogs and permafrost.

Steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint

  • Create less food waste by keeping track of best before dates.
  • Buy sustainably by buying less.
  • Swap a gasoline car for an electric car.
  • Weather your home, primarily by sealing cracks around windows and doors to better utilize energy.
  • Learn more about the connection between climate change and racial equity.

Our colleague Michael Birnbaum found a flight on eBay: