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Electric Vehicles

Tesla Shareholders Will Vote Again on Musk’s Pay

On CEO compensation, Climework’s next move, and Dubai floods

Tesla Shareholders Will Vote Again on Musk’s Pay
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: It was 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit in Mumbai yesterday, the warmest April day recorded in a decade • Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology declared El Niño over • It will be rainy today in Washington, D.C., where negotiators will be pushing for more climate investment at the IMF and World Bank spring meetings.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Tesla asks shareholders to re-ratify Musk pay package that judge voided

Tesla shareholders will get a second chance to approve CEO Elon Musk’s pay package at the company’s upcoming June 13 annual meeting. In January, a Delaware court voided Musk’s 2018 pay deal, which was originally approved by 73% of shareholders and could have seen Musk’s stock award soar to $55 billion based on meeting financial targets (which he subsequently met). The judge said the approval process for that package had been “deeply flawed” and rife with conflicts of interests. “The company’s board is effectively asking shareholders, now armed with all of the information that was revealed about the negotiations in court, to make the court’s ruling moot,” The New York Timesexplained, adding that the vote will no doubt raise tensions between investors and governance experts. The company also said it will let shareholders vote on the plan to move the incorporation from Delaware to Texas.

2. Climeworks to become a carbon trader

Climeworks, the Swiss startup that became the first company to launch a commercial-scale facility that sucks carbon out of the air and buries it deep underground, is getting into carbon trading with the launch of an offshoot called Climeworks Solutions, reported Heatmap’s Emily Pontecorvo. Under the new banner, Climeworks will purchase carbon removal credits from other providers, package them into portfolios that include its own direct air capture credits, and sell the bundles to buyers looking for “high quality” carbon removal. Adrian Siegrist, the company’s vice president of climate solutions, said the credits will have “the stamp of Climeworks quality.”

There are already more than half a dozen companies promising to source only the highest quality carbon removal credits for buyers, and Climeworks is relying on its name as a trusted brand to set itself apart. Siegrist said Climeworks is already in talks with more than 50 other companies interested in working with them. “But it’s unclear where all of this carbon removal is going to come from,” Pontecorvo wrote. “The company’s direct air capture credits are already sold out through 2027.”

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  • 3. White House launches task force to tackle global trade emissions

    The White House yesterday announced the creation of a new Climate and Trade Task Force aimed at reining in emissions from global trade. Speaking at the Columbia Global Energy Summit in New York, White House climate adviser John Podesta said the lack of widespread standards for tracking embodied emissions from traded goods – aka the emissions that come from their production – has led to a global “race to the bottom” to set up supply chains in countries with low emissions standards. “If the global trade of goods was its own country, it would be the second-largest carbon polluter in the world after [China],” Podesta said. The new task force will focus on developing a policy toolkit on climate and trade, measuring emissions to help inform and enforce climate-smart trade policies, and supporting producers to clean up their manufacturing processes.

    4. Dubai records 2 years worth of rain in 24 hours

    A massive storm this week dropped unprecedented amounts of rain on the United Arab Emirates, turning streets into rivers and causing widespread chaos. The government described the event as the largest amount of rainfall seen in the last 75 years. In Dubai, at least 6 inches fell over 24 hours on Tuesday, which is about two years worth of rain. Flash floods inundated highways and halted flights. In neighboring Oman, flooding has killed at least 18 people. There’s some debate over how big of a role the UAE’s cloud seeding practices (which are an attempt to induce rain by dispersing tiny particles into clouds) played in worsening the storm. Bloombergreported that the state’s National Center of Meteorology dispatched seeding planes on Monday and Tuesday.

    Christopher Pike/Getty Images

    5. Team Japan’s Paris Olympics uniforms will display carbon footprint stamp

    Team Japan unveiled its official uniforms for the upcoming Paris Olympics today, and said the clothing items would include a stamp that shows their carbon footprint. “By figuring out the carbon footprint of each item and labeling it on the products, we hope to boost transparency as well as raise awareness among athletes towards the environment,” said Makoto Ohori, manager of Asics’ apparel and equipment development. The company said it had cut the overall emissions needed to produce the uniforms by 34% since the Tokyo Games by switching to renewable energy and working with recycled and lighter material. The Paris Games aim to have half the carbon footprint of the typical Summer Olympics.

    THE KICKER

    “Finance is the golden thread through all climate action.”Rachel Kyte, professor in practice of climate policy at Oxford University

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    Jessica  Hullinger profile image

    Jessica Hullinger

    Jessica Hullinger is a freelance writer and editor who likes to think deeply about climate science and sustainability. She previously served as Global Deputy Editor for The Week, and her writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, Popular Science, and Fortune. Jessica is originally from Indiana but lives in London.

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