Washington, DC Names First-Ever Sustainability Ambassador, the Kigali Amendment Up for Congressional Vote, Biden Plans Floating Platforms to Expand Offshore Wind Power

by | Sep 23, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Washington, DC Names First-Ever Sustainability Ambassador, the Kigali Amendment Up for Congressional Vote, Biden Plans Floating Platforms to Expand Offshore Wind Power



Today, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) announced that second-year Washington Spirit soccer player Anna Heilferty will become the first-ever Ambassador for Sustainable DC, a mayoral initiative centered on environmentalism and sustainable planning.

DOEE Director Tommy Wells, said, “Anna will raise awareness of Mayor Bowser’s leadership in sustainability and help engage members of the public in greening the District. We know that Anna is a champion on the field, and we couldn’t be more pleased that off the field, she will now be a champion for equity, environmental protection, and sustainability.”

Anna Heilferty, is a Boston University alumna and a native of Falls Church, VA—a Washington, DC suburb. She joined the Washington Spirit following the 2021 NWSL College Draft.

Washington Spirit VP of Communications Jonna Valente, said, “This groundbreaking ambassadorship sets the foundation for continued collaboration between DC’s professional sports teams and environmental initiatives that serve the greater community. Anna is deeply committed to environmental advocacy, and we are honored to support her in this new role.”

By way of this partnership, Anna will have the opportunity to work with and learn from a variety of DOEE experts. Anna’s ambassadorship will be primarily focused on project development and promotional planning as she raises general awareness and response to environmental issues facing the nation’s capital as well as the rest of the world. DOEE is currently in the midst of implementing Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan.

Why does Anna Heilferty’s Sustainability Ambassadorship matter to us? If sports is viewed as the nexus of society and culture, then a pro athlete in the role of sustainability ambassador helps make climate change more palatable for those climate change skeptical sports fans.

DEEPER DIVE: Twitter, DC.gov, Sustainable DC, Washington Spirit



Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moved to take up the so-called Kigali Amendment this week. Said Schumer, “HFCs need to be dealt with as soon as possible because they are thousands — thousands — of times more damaging to our atmosphere than carbon dioxide. This is a very important opportunity for the Senate to make official America’s intention to phase these dangerous chemicals out of use.”

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol calls on nations to phase out the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, by 85 percent over 15 years. HFCs are more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide stemming from air conditioning and refrigeration appliances. 

The Obama administration supported the Kigali Amendment but during the Trump Administration, Kigali stalled in Congress.  Currently, the refrigerant and cooling industry has worked to build a coalition of support. To make the Kigali agreement U.S. law, backers must get 67 senators to agree.

Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute CEO Stephen Yurek said in a statement, “The Senate can signal that Kigali counts by ratifying the amendment. It counts for the jobs it will create; it counts for global competitive advantage it creates; it counts with the additional exports that will result and it counts for U.S. technology preeminence.”

DEEPER DIVE: E&E News, Unido.org, UN Treaties



Last week, the Biden administration announced plans to develop floating platforms in the deep ocean for wind towers which could power millions of homes and vastly expand American offshore wind power. The plan would target sites off the California and Oregon coasts, as well as in the Gulf of Maine.

President Joe Biden hopes to deploy up to 15 gigawatts of electricity through floating sites by 2035, enough to power 5 million homes. The administration has previously set a goal of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 using traditional technology that secures wind turbines to the ocean floor.

There are only a handful of floating offshore platforms in the world — all in Europe — but officials said the technology is developing and could soon establish the United States as a global leader in offshore wind.

The push for offshore wind is part of Biden’s effort to promote clean energy and address global warming. Biden has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. A climate-and-tax bill he signed last month would spend about $375 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources like hydrogen.

DEEPER DIVE: Spectrum Local News, White House Presser, Wind Power