In 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration pledged to reduce U.S. GHG emissions by 50% in 2030. Many say that this is unattainable.
So, where has progress been made and what is the U.S. doing to ensure these aren’t empty promises?
Let’s break it down and take a closer look at the most recent and reforming policy that Biden has introduced.
Since being in office, Biden has introduced 54 new environmental policies, approximately 40 of these being relevant to clean energy and climate change. However, the first truly groundbreaking bill was passed by the Senate on August 7th, 2022. This major spending bill, named The Inflation Reduction Act, will allow for $370 billion dollars to be invested in energy and climate reform, making it the largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history and a win for the environmental movement. It is already being suggested that this bill greatly increases The United States’ chances of meeting its 2030 GHG reduction goal, which was said to have been rendered impossible upon the Supreme Court’s recent ruling restricting the EPA’s authority.
The Solar Energy Industries Association has stated, “Today is a monumental day for America’s clean energy progress and global climate leadership.”
According to its summary, the Act will:
- Lower the Cost of Energy for Americans: Relief from high energy costs will be provided through incentives to buy efficient appliances, solar, electric vehicles, and grants geared disadvantaged communities for home energy efficiency.
- Increase Energy Security for Americans: With internal investments being made in the clean energy sector, it will create jobs for Americans while decreasing reliance on China.
- Decarbonize the Economy: The emissions of multiple sectors, including agriculture, buildings, transit, and manufacturing, will be reduced through tax credits and grants.
- Enact Environmental Justice: $60 billion of the $370 bill in the bill go to work towards environmental justice through investing in lower income households and disadvantaged communities to ensure that they are carried through the transition to a clean economy.
- Support Rural Communities: Investments in forest restoration, climate-smart agriculture, and land conservation will help rural communities enact climate solutions and increase their resiliency.
The Senate passing this act is long overdue, but shows that the Biden-Harris administration is moving in a positive direction to meet the ambitious goal of a 50% emission reduction in the next 8 years. If this is to be met, a well rounded, whole-of-society approach is vital. Substantial action must be taken by entities large and small, cities and states, and stakeholders across the country.
Upcoming Programs: The Certified Sustainability (ESG) Practitioner Program Advanced Edition on Sept. 22-23 &26.
Location: Digital Date: Sept. 22, 23 & 26[email protected]
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