It’s Saturday, but not resting yet. COP28 action is still hot in Dubai for Day 3. Today’s conference theme was methane, and the US provided some HISTORICAL news on the front. But first…
The US COP28 Pavilion opened this morning, local time, to an activist show of force making their top demand for the Biden Administration known. Climate Envoy John Kerry, Senior Advisor to the President John Podesta, and EPA Administrator Michael Regan all got face-to-face time with activists and impacted community members demanding President Biden do more to tackle climate and environmental racism.
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke before world leaders today and acknowledged that “we need to do more.” She fell short of making the commitment on behalf of President Biden to phase out fossil fuels. So, we have more work to do.
Biggest deal today: At a noon press conference, EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced the finalization of EPA rules to #cutmethane. This is historic. As mentioned in an earlier post, the IEA says we must phase out fossil fuels AND aggressively reduce methane emissions. The Obama Administration passed rules to tackle methane pollution in 2016, but the Trump Administration undercut those rules. The Biden methane rules to cut methane go further and include most of the provisions demanded by experts, advocates, and impacted communities on the frontline of oil & gas methane pollution.
Methane rules are just words on paper without effective implementation and aggressive enforcement. So, look forward to hearing from Earthworks on that front in the coming months. But today was an achievement by many working over a decade – including many Earthworkers, partners, and allies – to stop climate and air pollution from oil & gas. You can read our statement here.
Best dressed: A dugong (sea cow) seen at a Leave it in the Ground (LINGO) press conference today.
What’s next? Tomorrow, Earthworks is partnering with the Center for Biological Diversity for a roundtable discussion, “Holding Big Oil Accountable.” California Attorney General Rob Bonta will be joining us!
Also, in the coming days, we’ve got much more to highlight on the critical minerals and clean energy transition and global demands not to repeat the dirty mining practices of the past.