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Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly update on FCNL’s environmental advocacy and the climate crisis. 

Worldwide Renewable Energy is Growing Faster Than Ever

The world’s capacity to generate renewable electricity is expanding faster than ever. According to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the amount of renewable energy added to grids around the world grew by 50% in 2023. This good news puts the world closer to achieving the goal set at the COP28 climate change conference in December to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030.

However, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol cautioned that success hinges on the international community’s ability to rapidly scale up financing and deployment of renewables in developing nations.

FCNL will continue to advocate for increasing U.S. international climate assistance to ensure developing countries are not left behind in the new energy economy.

John Kerry Stepping Down as Climate Envoy

By spring, John Kerry will step down as U.S. special climate envoy, where he served for three years. Kerry was key in shaping U.S. leadership in international climate politics throughout his career. His legacy includes negotiating the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015. After former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, Kerry oversaw the United States’ reentry in 2021. He also worked to increase financial support for climate action in developing nations.

One of his most significant recent accomplishments was reopening climate diplomacy with China. His work to promote cooperation between the U.S. and China–the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters—led to a new climate deal in 2023.

John Podesta, a senior White House adviser on clean energy, will replace Kerry.

Biggest Solar Energy Project in the U.S. Now Operating 

The largest combined solar and energy-storage project in the U.S. is now operating in California’s Mojave Desert. The project is located on both private land and Edwards Air Force Base. It’s the biggest public-private partnership that the U.S. Air Force has ever been involved in. 

As solar power production is increased, more battery storage is needed. We celebrate this news of large-scale renewable energy coming online and hope to see similar projects operating elsewhere in the near future.

White House Delaying Decision on Natural Gas Export Projects

The Biden administration delayed consideration of all new natural gas export projects in the United States, citing climate concerns. The Department of Energy will expand its evaluation of the projects to consider their impact on climate change, in addition to the economy and national security. 

The announcement represents a major shift in the administration’s approach to fossil fuel development. It comes as the White House was expected to approve a proposal for what would be the largest natural gas export terminal in the country in Louisiana. 

What We’re Reading:

Carla Montilla

Carla Montilla

Program Assistant for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (2023-2024)

Carla Montilla is the program assistant for sustainable energy and environment for 2023-2024.