August 22, 2023 - WorldOra Carbon News
California limits embodied carbon in statewide building code - Dezeen The state of California has recently adopted changes to its building code that will limit embodied carbon emissions in commercial and school buildings.
The California Building Standards Commission(CBSC) voted the changes into effect in early August 2023, making the state the first in the nation to implement required embodied carbon reduction in some buildings.
"Using the building code in this way is important in shifting ‘business as usual' across the building industry to also address climate action," said architect Michael Malinowski, who led the effort for AIA California.
California's first full-scale direct air capture hub awarded $11.8 million Aug 21, 2023 The hub could potentially remove more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, or the equivalent of eliminating 220,000 gasoline vehicles on the road annually.
How to Decarbonize Your Home With the Inflation Reduction Act Heatmap’s Emily Portocorvo - What kinds of home improvements are covered by the Inflation Reduction Act? There’s funding for almost every solution you can think of to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your fossil fuel use, whether you want to install solar panels, insulate your attic, replace your windows, or buy electric appliances. If you need new wiring or an electrical panel upgrade before you can get heat pumps or solar panels, there’s some money available for that, too.
The Inflation Reduction Act: Grading Its Impact on Cars, from A+ to F Patrick George Heatmap August 17, 2023
Battery Plants A+ The Electrification Coalition, a nonprofit policy organization that advocates for EV adoption, identified more than a dozen battery manufacturing and recycling factories that have been announced or are under construction thanks to IRA incentives. These projects are, on average, $3 billion or more, and they’ll provide batteries for future cars from General Motors, Rivian, Hyundai, Tesla, Volkswagen’s new electric Scout brand, and more.
Electric Vehicle Production: A+ That’s good news for batteries. What about the cars themselves? Since the IRA heavily incentivizes batteries and EVs to be made locally — which I’ll touch on in a moment — it’s kicking off a surge in U.S. car manufacturing the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades.
China: B There’s an undercurrent that can be found across all of the Biden administration’s climate and tech investments: cutting off a rising China in countless areas. It’s why only EVs with “final assembly” in North America, that don’t source batteries or components from China, qualify for tax incentives. China has made huge investments into not only its own EV industry but controlling the supply chain around it, and America doesn’t want to cede that to a potentially hostile, non-allied peer state that has a horrific record on human rights and civic freedoms.
EV Purchasing: C Now, it’s time for our lesson in unintended consequences. The new $7,500 EV tax credits have strict requirements; essentially, the cars and their batteries have to be built in North America. Given the long-term nature of these investments, not every automaker with an EV lineup can meet those rules for now, leaving a lot of cars out of the credit.
Jobs: A+ This one is due to be an objective win for the IRA. That Environmental Defense Fund report counts 84,800 jobs that have been announced for the EV industry in America since the IRA’s passage. According to their data, nearly all of those are located in Southern states. Georgia’s the biggest winner here, believe it or not. And Tennessee, South and North Carolina, and Kentucky are all seeing, or will soon see, big booms in EV-related job growth. The same is true for Michigan, the home of America’s auto industry, as well as lithium-rich Nevada, where Tesla has had a foothold for years.
Labor: C But there’s a difference between “jobs” and “good jobs.” Take a newly militant United Auto Workers union, currently locked into unusually bitter contract negotiations with the Big Three American automakers. One thing they’re mad about: those battery factories going up everywhere, especially the joint-venture ones, don’t automatically lead to union jobs. (One GM-LG battery plant in Ohio voted to unionize with the UAW last year but doesn’t have a contract yet.)
Awareness: FAs Ryan Cooper astutely noted this week, the IRA’s biggest problem is arguably one of awareness. Very few people seem to know about these investments or what’s coming from them. That lack of awareness could be the IRA’s biggest threat. Maybe that’s a problem more for Biden than the EV industry, America’s supply chain, or the climate, but when nobody knows about the president’s biggest achievement — especially in all those red states where the jobs are going — you have to wonder what a change at the White House next year could mean for all of this momentum. It’s not like those battery plants under construction will just disappear, but I wouldn’t put it past a less climate-focused White House (or Congress) to find a way to thwart all this progress.