More clean energy, less dirty energy, new punishments for methane leaks and billions of dollars for communities most in need of climate-related help — those are the provisions that have environmentalists celebrating what they see as a monumental step for U.S. climate action.

Senate Democrats on Sunday passed a sweeping bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, that includes hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change.

The package calls for major spending to tackle the climate crisis, in addition to extending health care coverage and reducing the deficit. On top of tax credits to provide incentives for electric vehicles and clean energy, the bill aims to expand renewable energy production and fund the development of technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

While the climate part of the legislation was significantly pared down from the Biden administration’s original ambitions in the Build Back Better Act, experts say that if the bill is enacted, it would be the largest investment to address global warming in U.S. history and that it would reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Dan Lashof, the U.S. director of the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit research group, called the bill “transformative,” adding that it was the culmination of decades of work to enact meaningful climate legislation.

“It would be hard to overstate what a pivotal moment this was with the Senate,” he said at a news briefing Monday.

From cutting emissions to helping the U.S. economy make the transition away from fossil fuels, here are five ways the Inflation Reduction Act could actually fight climate change.

It includes huge investments in clean energy

The bill would devote $369 billion over 10 years for electric vehicle and clean energy tax breaks, a measure that Lashof said would establish clean energy as the most cost-effective option for Americans.

“If you look at the incentives across electric vehicles, electricity production from wind, solar and clean hydrogen, carbon removal — it really establishes an economic framework that makes clean energy the choice,” he said.

climate, cop26, climate change

Massive climate change, health package passed in Senate

Aug. 8, 202202:15

The tax credits, which are designed to help pivot industry and consumers to renewable energy systems, include incentives for electric appliances, heat pumps and other technologies to increase energy efficiency in homes.

Consumers would also be eligible for $7,500 tax credits for buying new electric vehicles and $4,000 credits for used electric vehicles.

The provisions would help people lower their energy costs and, over time, help the country “transform” its entire energy system, Lashof said.

It would keep climate goals within reach

Climate experts say the bill could reduce U.S. emissions by about 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, an important step toward staving off the worst consequences of global warming.

President Joe Biden had set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the country by at least 50% by the end of the decade. A preliminary estimate by the Rhodium Group, an independent research and data firm that tracks such targets, found that Biden’s goal could be achievable with the Inflation Reduction Act and other measures at the federal, state and local levels.

“If Congress passes this package, additional action from executive agencies and subnational actors can put the US’s target of cutting emissions in half by 2030 within reach,” the report said.

Biden’s targets to reduce emissions are part of the broader goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius to limit irreversible impacts on ecosystems and human health.

“It could not come soon enough,” Manish Bapna, the president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, said in a statement. “This law puts the nation’s goals for combatting climate pollution within reach, while millions are suffering through yet another summer of extreme weather disasters.”

It aims to curb methane emissions

While the bill is being hailed as a historic breakthrough, it does include some concessions that resulted from hard-fought negotiations with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Senate Democrats agreed to include new oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska.

Still, the measure would introduce a fee that would penalize fossil fuel companies for excess methane emissions from drilling oil and gas.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere when coal, oil and natural gas are mined and transported. Microbes can also emit methane in low-oxygen environments.

Emissions of methane have been responsible for about 30 percent of global warming since preindustrial times, according to the U.N. Environment Program.

It emphasizes environmental justice

The climate bill earmarks $60 billion for environmental justice initiatives in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. That includes $3 billion in grants to promote clean and accessible transportation and $1 billion for clean buses, garbage trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.

The provisions would help front-line communities deal with air pollution and other important public health issues, said Christina DeConcini, the World Resource Institute’s director of government affairs.

“Of course, it’s not enough, but it’s great that there’s a start there,” she said.

The bill also includes funding for rural communities and communities with fossil fuel-based economies to make the transition to clean energy.

It sends an important message to international partners

Experts agreed that if it is implemented, the Inflation Reduction Act would play an important role in signaling to the global community that the U.S. is serious about doing its part to fight climate change.

The measure not only would help the country catch up to aggressive climate measures introduced in places like the European Union; it could spur other countries to act.

In about four months, leaders from around the world will gather in Egypt for the U.N. Climate Change Conference to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions, implement adaptations and negotiate financing. The climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act could help send a message ahead of the meeting that the U.S. is ready to step up, said Nisha Krishnan, an expert on climate resilience at the World Resources Institute.

The bill would essentially put the U.S. in “a much better place to actually encourage these countries to stand by their existing commitments, but also to raise their ambitions,” Krishnan said.


Eastern Canada looks to clean up as storm Fiona calms

Damage caused by Fiona on the Burnt Islands in the Newfoundland and Labrador Province of Canada. Parts of eastern Canada were waking up to damage from powerful storm Fiona on Sunday, as meteorologists said the worst weather had passed. The storm tore into Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Saturday, ...

View more: Eastern Canada looks to clean up as storm Fiona calms

Taiwan's pangolins suffer surge in feral dog attacks

Pangolins, usually prized for their scales, brave a different danger in conservation-conscious Taiwan — a surging feral dog population. In most of its habitats, the heavily trafficked pangolin’s biggest threat comes from humans. But in Taiwan, the scaly mammals brave a different danger: a surging feral dog population. Veterinarian ...

View more: Taiwan's pangolins suffer surge in feral dog attacks

Where Does Consciousness Reside in the Brain? New Discovery Helps Pinpoint Its Location

The researchers used mouse “brain maps” to pinpoint consciousness. A recent study has identified brain network cores with strong bidirectional connections. Science may be getting closer to figuring out where consciousness resides in the brain. New research demonstrates the significance of certain kinds of neural connections in identifying consciousness. ...

View more: Where Does Consciousness Reside in the Brain? New Discovery Helps Pinpoint Its Location

Were your teen years exhausting? School schedules may be why

A new book traces how historical accidents left us pitting education against biology.

View more: Were your teen years exhausting? School schedules may be why

COVID-19 Linked With Substantial Increase in Type 1 Diabetes in Children – As Much as 72%

According to a new study,children who had COVID-19 are at a substantially higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes. According to a new research study that analyzed electronic health records of more than 1 million patients ages 18 and younger, children who were infected with COVID-19 show a substantially ...

View more: COVID-19 Linked With Substantial Increase in Type 1 Diabetes in Children – As Much as 72%

Italian Satellite Shares Stunning Photos of Deep Space [LOOK]

The first photos collected by LICIACube, the sole satellite taking part in NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Planetary Defense program, have been made public by the Italian Space Agency and Argotec. While the recently launched LICIACube, a small probe with cameras, won’t make it out of its mission to ...

View more: Italian Satellite Shares Stunning Photos of Deep Space [LOOK]

NASA James Webb, Hubble Space Telescopes To Attempt Monitoring DART as It Slams Into Dimorphos

(Photo : National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Wikimedia Commons) NASA DART Artist’s Illustration Three different spacecraft will be trying to watch when NASA’s DART mission slams itself into the asteroid Dimorphos. Two of these spacecraft are the James Webb Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope. (Photo : National Aeronautics and ...

View more: NASA James Webb, Hubble Space Telescopes To Attempt Monitoring DART as It Slams Into Dimorphos

Hot gas bubble swirls around the heart of the Milky Way

A still image of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, as seen by the Event Horizon Collaboration (EHT), with an artist’s illustration indicating where the modelling of the ALMA data predicts the hot spot to be and its orbit around the black hole. © EHT-Kollaboration, ESO/M. Kornmesser (Acknowledgment: M. ...

View more: Hot gas bubble swirls around the heart of the Milky Way

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Astronauts Meet Their Dragon

MIT AI Image Generator System Makes Models Like DALL-E 2 More Creative

NASA cancels Artemis I launch attempt but delays roll back decision

Not so happy bunnies: New RVC research reveals the breeds most at risk of tear duct inflammation this International Rabbit Day

Artificial intelligence chooses best treatment option in breast cancer

Webb Space Telescope Reveals Richest and Closest Star Nursery in the Solar System

Understanding reality through algorithms

Innovative MIT Passive Cooling System Works Without Electricity

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Enters Quarantine for Mission to International Space Station

Reolink camera system review: PoE cameras that cost less than Arlo

New Treatment Target Could Counter Bone Loss

Explaining the Most Baffling Quirk of COVID: Common Gene Variant Linked to Mortality


Top Car News Car News