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The week in climate policy: 5 updates you need to know

Court pauses SEC’s climate-disclosure rule, the DOE publishes the positive economic impact of its loan programs office, and more.

Manhattan New York chamber of commerce facade and columns US

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/lunamarina

Here’s the week in climate policy news:

  1. A Fifth Circuit federal appeals court granted an administrative stay on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) climate-disclosure rules. The petition, filed by Liberty Energy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, was filed March 8 and argues that the new rules violate the First Amendment and are “not supported by substantial evidence.”   
  2. The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) released its Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Portfolio State Report, summarizing the growth and impact of the office’s 2023 loans. LPO’s 2023 loans funded the creation of over 46,800 jobs and provided over $19 billion in loans to US climate tech companies. 
  3. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the newest round of tailpipe emissions regulations, which are calculated to cut current emissions 50 percent by 2032. Increased EV production is expected from these new rules, with the EPA specifically stating that cost saving tax incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are applicable to auto manufacturers with the new rules.  
  4. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a district court in Amsterdam found KLM airlines guilty of greenwashing. The court found that KLM misled customers by claiming they could fly sustainably because the airline has taken mitigation measures, such as planting trees and using biofuel. This ruling sets an international precedent for greenwashing and the aviation industry, with the airline forced to retract 14 separate instances of misleading marketing. 
  5. Researchers from nonprofit group Public Citizen laid out the legal theory that fossil fuel companies could be sued and held accountable for climate-related deaths. The theory is based upon evidence of fossil fuels knowingly ignoring — and even hiding — internal reports acknowledging the danger fossil fuels posed to the public. The proposal will be published soon in Harvard Law Review. 

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