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The week in climate policy: 6 updates you need to know

The U.S, House approved a nuclear power bill, and the SEC plans to drop its Scope 3 reporting requirement.

Sign at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Source: Shutterstock/Mark Van Scyoc

Here’s the week in climate policy news:

  1. The House approved a bipartisan bill — the Atomic Energy Advancement Actthat would accelerate the approval of new nuclear plants. With a vote of 365-36, the legislation fast tracks the environmental review process for new nuclear reactors and extends the legal liability for nuclear accidents by 40 years. 
  2. Spain is moving forward with the development of offshore wind plants. The country’s government officially opened a public consultation period concerning new rules for offshore wind energy, including lease areas, remuneration schemes and grid connections. With an allocated budget of $159.5 million, the program is designed to meet Spain’s goal to produce 3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
  3. Colorado released the second version of its Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, Roadmap 2.0. The report is an optimistic review of the efficacy of the state’s climate policy. The new version states that if Colorado didn’t pass any further climate legislation into law past the fall of 2023, the state is already projected to be more than 80 percent of the way to meeting its goal of a 50 percent emissions reduction in 2030 from 2005 levels. 
  4. The SEC plans to drop the mandatory reporting of Scope 3 emissions for all publicly traded U.S. companies from its climate-reporting rule, according to Reuters. The news follows more than a year of congressional hearings and public commentary on the SEC’s rule requiring U.S.-listed companies to report climate-related risks. The official vote to adopt the still-to-be-finalized rule will occur March 6.
  5. New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against JBS USA Food Company, the American subsidiary of the world’s largest beef producer, for misleading the public about its environmental impacts. The suit alleges that JBS claimed it will achieve net zero by 2040, despite plans to increase production and thus the company’s carbon footprint. In 2021, the suit says, JBS’s parent company reported its total emissions to be over 71 million tons, while that April, JBS USA took out a full page advertisement in the New York Times featuring a net zero claim.
  6. A law in the European Union setting mandatory rules meant to address companies’ negative impact on the environment and human rights failed to pass this week. The corporate sustainability due diligence directive (CSDDD) would force companies to identify, assess, prevent, mitigate, address and remedy impacts on people and the planet. It failed after resistance from Germany, Italy and France. 

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