Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2022

The US government has officially halted federal aid to overseas fossil fuel projects. The new policy comes after the US joined nearly 40 other countries in a COP26 pledge to end foreign fossil fuel financing by the end of 2022.

The funding change will mean no more US financing for coal plants, coal mines, oil drilling, and natural gas infrastructure in foreign countries. The US will also halt diplomatic and technical assistance for such projects.

A memo from the White House regarding the policy reads, “Our international energy engagement will center on promoting clean energy, advancing innovative technologies, boosting U.S. clean-tech competitiveness and providing financing and technical assistance to support net-zero transitions around the world.”

The new ban does not apply to projects the US is already funding. Although encouraging, environmental advocates note that the ban does not put a direct halt on domestic fossil fuel funding. It also makes exceptions for oil and gas projects needed to protect national security or expand energy access in areas which lack electricity. Some experts recommend that, as the second largest carbon emitter in the world, the US adopt stronger fossil fuel restrictions at home before imposing them abroad.

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