How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide

How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide. World Resources Institute.  Xiangyi Li et al. May 2019

Electric buses could pioneer a new age of clean and efficient urban transport and put cities on track towards sustainability. However, electric bus adoption is not accelerating fast enough for the world to meet transport-related global climate objectives and help limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The aim of this report is to fill in knowledge gaps and provide actionable guidance for transit agencies and bus operating entities to help them overcome the most common and debilitating barriers to electric bus adoption. It provides a step-by-step guidance to establish and achieve electric bus adoption targets using concrete and diverse real-world experiences.

Transit agencies and bus operating entities are encouraged to maximize electric bus adoption targets based on local conditions and to develop a responsible strategy for implementation. They should be actively involved in planning and analysis; be serious about piloting and testing projects; and collaborate with city policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate a responsible adoption of electric buses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages].

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Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations. Congressional Research Service. Jonathan L. Ramseur, Mary Tiemann. Updated April 10, 2019

The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). Established as a grant program in 1972, it now capitalizes state loan programs through the clean water state revolving loan fund (CWSRF) program. Since FY1972, appropriations have totaled $98 billion.  In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA, P.L. 104-182) to authorize a similar state loan program for drinking water to help systems finance projects needed to comply with drinking water regulations and to protect public health. Since FY1997, appropriations for the drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program have totaled $23 billion. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers both SRF programs, which annually distribute funds to the states for implementation. Funding amounts are specified in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account of EPA annual appropriations acts. The combined appropriations for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure assistance have represented 25%-32% of total funds appropriated to EPA in recent years.

[PDF format, 43 pages].

Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act: Understanding Apportionments for States and Territories

Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act: Understanding Apportionments for States and Territories. Congressional Research Service. R. Eliot Crafton. April 5, 2019

The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. §§669 et seq.), enacted in 1937 and now known as the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, provides funding for states and territories to support wildlife restoration, conservation, and hunter education and safety programs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), within the Department of the Interior, administers Pittman-Robertson. All 50 states (but not the District of Columbia) as well as the 5 inhabited U.S. territories receive Pittman-Robertson funds. 

Funding for FWS to carry out Pittman-Robertson programs comes from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment. Receipts from these excise taxes are deposited into the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund in the Treasury, and monies from the fund are made available for FWS in the fiscal year following their collection without any further action by Congress. Between FY1939 and FY2019, FWS disbursed $18.8 billion (in 2018 dollars) for wildlife restoration and hunter education and safety activities for Pittman-Robertson programs.

[PDF format, 38 pages].

Analyse Widely, Act Deeply: Forest and Farm Producer Organisations and the Goal of Climate Resilient Landscapes

Analyse Widely, Act Deeply: Forest and Farm Producer Organisations and the Goal of Climate Resilient Landscapes. International Institute for Environment and Development. James Mayers. April 2019.

Local organisations, thriving among smallholders dependent on adjacent forests or trees growing on their farms, constitute perhaps the world’s biggest and most effective force for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability. They face fast-changing pressures. Many are likely to find it useful to have an organisational goal of contributing to climate resilient landscapes. Various international programmes can help in understanding and supporting such contributions – especially through practical actions for climate adaptation and mitigation, and forest restoration. ‘Landscape approaches’ are helpful for analysing the various connected issues, while context-specific politically-savvy planning is needed for effective action. This paper explores the possible motivations and actions for climate resilient landscapes amongst four different sorts of forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs): indigenous peoples’ organisations, community forest organisations, forest and farm producer groups, and processing groups in urban and peri-urban contexts. The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) aims to help FFPOs to further develop and pursue such practical actions over the next five years. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages].

The Value of Energy Tax Incentives for Different Types of Energy Resources

The Value of Energy Tax Incentives for Different Types of Energy Resources.  Congressional Research Service. Molly F. Sherlock. March 19, 2019

The U.S. tax code supports the energy sector by providing a number of targeted tax incentives, or tax incentives available only for the energy industry. Some policymakers have expressed interest in understanding how energy tax benefits are distributed across different domestic energy resources. For example, what percentage of energy-related tax benefits support fossil fuels (or support renewables)? How much domestic energy is produced using fossil fuels (or produced using renewables)? And how do these figures compare?

[PDF format, 16 pages].

Attaching a Price to Greenhouse Gas Emissions with a Carbon Tax or Emissions Fee: Considerations and Potential Impacts

Attaching a Price to Greenhouse Gas Emissions with a Carbon Tax or Emissions Fee: Considerations and Potential Impacts.  Congressional Research Service. Jonathan L. Ramseur, Jane A. Leggett. March 22, 2019

The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, released in 2018, concluded that “the impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future—but the severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur.” Members of Congress and stakeholders articulate a wide range of perspectives over what to do, if anything, about GHG emissions, future climate change, and related impacts. If Congress were to consider establishing a program to reduce GHG emissions, one option would be to attach a price to GHG emissions with a carbon tax or GHG emissions fee. In the 115th Congress, Members introduced nine bills to establish a carbon tax or emissions fee program. However, many Members have expressed their opposition to such an approach. In particular, in the 115th Congress, the House passed a resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.”

[PDF format, 40 pages].

Global Development Disrupted: Findings from a Survey of 93 Leaders

Global Development Disrupted: Findings from a Survey of 93 Leaders. Brookings Institution. George Ingram and Kristin M. Lord. March 26, 2019

A survey of 93 leaders, representing a wide range of organizations working to advance human well-being and economic development, reveals a global development sector in transition and perhaps even turmoil. Ending extreme poverty is no longer the defining lens through which development is viewed: State fragility and climate were mentioned nearly three times more often than poverty, and migration was mentioned more than twice as often. Leaders worry that responses to these and other global challenges are inadequate. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 56 pages].