John Kerry, President Joe Biden‘s climate czar, during the world leaders’ virtual climate summit on Thursday talked about how getting carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere will be critical in combatting climate change, even if the United States achieves net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
“You said twice [that] getting to net-zero is going to be hard, really hard,” Biden’s Special Envoy for Climate said to a reporter at one point during the summit, on Earth Day. “And I would just remind everybody that that will depend on whether or not we have some breakthrough technologies and breakthrough innovations.”
“But even if we get to net-zero, we still have to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” he continued, adding that “this is a bigger challenge than a lot of people have […] really grabbed onto yet.”
Along with reducing carbon dioxide emissions to reach net-zero, environmentalists and scientists have said that removing the massive amount of carbon dioxide that humans have already been emitting into the atmosphere will be critical in fighting climate change. The goal would be to reduce the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere to a “safe” level, which scientists have generally placed around 350 parts per million. According to Carbon Brief, the concentration as of March 2021 has reached about 417ppm, a 50% increase over the 1750-1800 average.
The World Resources Institute, a global environmental nonprofit, illustrated six possible ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere. These include: a variety of ways to increase the amount of carbon stored in soil, Bio-energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), direct air capture technology, carbon mineralization, a number of ocean-based carbon removal concepts, and planting more forests.
There also exists a possibly lucrative opportunity for certain businesses to make lots of money by utilizing air-captured carbon in certain products and services, which, according to a 2019 report from Vox, could potentially create a $1 trillion market by 2030.
Kerry’s comments came on the same day that Biden pledged to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52%—compared to 2005 levels—by 2030, as part of a broader goal of achieving net-zero emissions in the country by 2050.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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Electric Vehicle company with Chinese ties awarded $500 million of taxpayer money for 2nd U.S. plant
With a little help from their Democrat friends, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party just announced the opening of its second plant in the United States.
Fox News reports Gotion Inc., whose parent company Gotion High-Tech is based in Hefei, China, unveiled plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Manteno, Illinois, alongside Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who cheered the project.
The announcement comes amid growing opposition to the company’s plans to build a billion-dollar factory in Mecosta County, Michigan.
In order to make the expansion happen, lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party-tied electric vehicle company funneled cash to Democrats. “Individuals at a law firm registered as foreign agents to lobby on behalf of Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery company developing a controversial project in Michigan, and wired campaign contributions to several top Democrats” reports Fox News.
“According to state and federal filings, Monique Field-Foster, an attorney at the Lansing office of the Warner Norcross + Judd law firm who is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Gotion, donated to the campaigns of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer’s sister Liz Gereghty and Michigan Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin” the Fox News report continued.
“With the right incentives, nation-leading infrastructure, world-class workforce and booming clean energy production, we have transformed ourselves into an attractive location for global manufacturers. Today, we take another leap forward. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gotion to Illinois and to show the world yet again that Illinois is ready to be a player on the world stage.”
Pritzker delivered remarks late last week thanking Gotion for choosing Illinois to call “home” in a ceremony with leaders from Gotion High-Tech, including Li Zhen, the company’s chairman and president, who said he expected the factory to open in less than 12 months.
“All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years,” the Gotion president added. “We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”
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