EGEB: Ford, HP, Amazon, others call for govt climate action

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • 42 corporations release a letter to the US government urging ambitious climate policies.
  • The US would save billions if local solar powered 25% of homes, according to a new study.
  • Japan may ban sales of ICE cars by the mid-2030s.
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Corporate climate call

42 corporations wrote a letter to US President-elect Joe Biden and Congress to “work together to enact ambitious, durable, and bipartisan climate solutions.” Together, the 42 corporations have nearly 5 million employees and generate $3 trillion in annual revenues.

The letter was organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as part of its Climate Innovation 2050 initiative.

The companies include big hitters in the power, automotive, tech, finance, manufacturing, chemicals, oil and gas, cement, mining, food, and retail sectors, to include Ford, Walmart, Bank of America, Danone North America, National Grid, Morgan Stanley, Shell, and Unilever United States.

The letter can be read in full here, but here’s an excerpt:

Recognizing these risks and opportunities, seeing the broad public support for clean energy and
climate protection, and hearing the concerns of our investors, customers, communities, and
employees, our companies view climate action as a business imperative. We are each taking major
steps to reduce our climate impact. We have publicly declared ambitious goals and are investing in
clean technologies and other climate solutions.

With the election of a new president and Congress, we now have a critical opportunity to significantly
strengthen these efforts. We stand ready to work with stakeholders on all sides and with our elected
leaders to seize this moment and achieve ambitious, durable climate solutions.

This is a timely plea, seeing how a study published yesterday in the Lancet called on lawmakers to slow the rise of emissions in the next five years, as it asserts that rising temperatures and pollution is already endangering the health and well-being of Americans.

Local solar is cost-effective

Vote Solar, the Coalition for Community Solar Access, and solar provider Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN) conducted a study that found that if just a quarter of US households were powered by local rooftop and community solar and storage, Americans would benefit financially and environmentally overall in a very big way.

The study was conducted by using an advanced grid planning tool called WIS:dom®-P that laid out a roadmap to cost effectively transition to a clean grid by 2050. Energy grid modeling firm Vibrant Clean Energy developed the tool.

Here are some of the main findings of the report, called, “Why Local Solar for All Costs Less: A New Roadmap for the Lowest Cost Grid”:

  • Deploying at least 247 GW of local rooftop and community solar on the grid would be the most cost-effective way to transition to a clean energy system by 2050.
  • A clean electric grid that leverages expanded local solar and storage is $88 billion less expensive than a grid that does nothing different than we’re doing today (no clean electricity mandates and not leveraging expanded local solar and storage).
  • Under a national 95% clean electricity target, leveraging expanded local solar and storage can save the US $473 billion by 2050 compared to a clean electricity grid that doesn’t expand local solar and storage.
  • More local solar unlocks the potential of utility-scale solar and wind.
  • Scaling local solar and storage results in over 2 million local jobs by 2050.

Japan ICE car ban?

Japan may ban sales of new ICE cars by the mid-2030s in favor of hybrid or electric vehicles, public broadcaster NHK reported today.

Japan’s industry ministry will finalize a formal target following expert-panel debates as early as the end of 2020.

Reuters reports:

The likelihood of state interventions to lower carbon emissions is fuelling a technological race among carmakers to build electric cars and hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles that will lure drivers as they switch from gasoline models, particularly in the world’s two biggest auto markets, China and the U.S.

Measures already in place in Japan mean Japanese automakers, particularly big ones such as Toyota Motor Corp with greater research and development resources, could use electric vehicle technology they have already developed at home.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.