Energy & Environment — COP27 stretches into overtime

COP27 climate negotiators go past their scheduled ending date. Meanwhile, Republicans are expected to nix the House Select Climate Crisis Committee when they take over the lower chamber early next year.

This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Someone forward you this newsletter? 

Climate negotiators yet to reach a deal in Egypt

The global COP27 climate summit is running into overtime as negotiators failed to reach a deal by its slated end on Friday.

On Friday, new draft text of a potential overarching decision was released, but key details were missing on a contentious issue known as “loss and damage.”

  • Developing countries have called for compensation for the “loss and damage” they have suffered. It’s been among the biggest issues discussed at the conference.
  • However, reflecting that countries have not yet agreed on key details, the draft decision listed a “placeholder” instead.
  • As a final deal has not been reached, negotiators are expected to continue their efforts into the weekend.

President Biden addressed the conference last Friday, touting U.S. efforts to rein in emissions.

What we’re watching: It’s not clear how closely the rest of the draft released Friday will mirror what’s eventually agreed upon, given COP decisions require agreement from every country.

The draft calls for “continued efforts to accelerate measures towards the phase down of unabated coal power.” It also calls for countries to “phase out and rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, in line with national circumstances.”

It is similar to previous negotiating text. The calls for the phase down of unabated coal and phaseout of “inefficient” subsidies were also included in last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact.

Stay with this weekend for any updates from the conference.


U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has tested positive for COVID-19 while attending the United Nations COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, his office confirmed Friday. 

“Secretary Kerry is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. He is fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing mild symptoms,” a Kerry spokesperson said.

“He is working with his negotiations team and foreign counterparts by phone to ensure a successful outcome of COP27.” 

Read more here.

House GOP poised to scrap climate crisis panel

Republicans are expected to eliminate the House’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis when they retake power in the lower chamber next year. 

“We don’t see a scenario where the ‘Climate Crisis Committee,’ a creature of Pelosi, will continue to exist,” the office of Rep. Garret Graves (La.), the top Republican on the panel, said in a statement to The Hill, referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

  • “Garret is committed to delivering on the energy components of the Commitment to America and will be intimately involved in making sure that happens,” the statement continued, referring to a GOP policy plan.
  • That plan includes bolstering oil and gas, mining and hydropower.  

Graves told Bloomberg, which first reported on the committee’s likely demise, “The climate crisis committee will not exist.” 

“I don’t think that’s really consistent with what we are going to be focused on,” he added.

Current chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) released a statement criticizing her Republican counterparts.  

“House Republicans ignore the climate crisis to the detriment of America,” Castor said. “Republicans seem eager to go down a path of increasing sweltering hot days, gutting clean air protections, padding the profits of Big Oil, and refusing to take a serious look at the cost-cutting potential of clean energy.”

Some history:  

  • Pelosi instituted the panel when Democrats took power in 2019. Previously, Democrats created a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which was also disbanded by Republicans in 2011.
  • The select climate committee has held a series of hearings on climate-related issues, but major climate legislation has instead come from other committees such as Energy and Commerce.  

The Hill has reached out to the office of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif). 

Read more here. 

White House announces $13B for grid resilience

The Biden administration on Friday morning announced $13 billion in funds to modernize the U.S. power grid using allocations from the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

The funds will include $10.5 billion in competitive grants and another $2.5 billion through the Transmission Facilitation Program; they represent the biggest federal investment in transmission and distribution in U.S. history, White House senior adviser and infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu told reporters on a press call Thursday. 

Department of Energy Grid Deployment Office Director Maria Robinson said the grant program will likely open to submissions with a deadline of February. 

White House national climate adviser Ali Zaidi noted that the administration has also issued approvals for several interstate transmission lines that will span Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and California and unlock capacity of about six gigawatts. 

Read more about the funds here.  


  • Pipeline’s path through the Jefferson National Forest to get another look (The Roanoke Times) 
  • Fashion brands grapple with greenwashing: ‘It’s not a human right to say something is sustainable’ (The Guardian
  • U.S. aims for zero-emissions heavy-duty vehicles by 2040 (Reuters) Extreme Heat Will Change Us (The New York Times
  • Regional grids ‘rolling the dice’ on weather — watchdog (E&E News

🚀 Lighter clickThe Hill’s Photos of the Week

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week!  

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