After over a year of negotiations, United States Senate Democrats passed a tax, climate and health bill formerly called The Inflation Reduction Act. The $739 billion bill seeks to raise corporate taxes whilst lowering healthcare costs and combatting climate change. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote in favour of the bill which was facing resistance from the Republican side.
The bill includes the largest climate package America has ever seen to reduce fossil fuel demand and slow global warming. The US government will allocate nearly $370 billion to invest in renewable energy, electric vehicles and influencing consumer behaviour towards more sustainable options.
A step in the right direction
At COP26, the Biden administration pledged to halving greenhouse gas emissions in the US by 2030. Experts have estimated that the climate package of the bill will reduce their emissions by forty per cent by the end of this decade.
Whilst the bill will not deliver the target Biden set out, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer describes it as ‘the boldest climate package in US history’ and dedicated it to the ‘tens of millions of young Americans who spent years marching, rallying and demanding that Congress act on climate change’.
Ray of hope
The US not only has the largest economy in the world, it is the second most polluting country. Therefore, passing such legislation as the tax, climate and health bill gives much needed hope to those of us worried about the climate crisis.
Schumer’s comment shines light on the importance of collective action to drive climate legislation through government. OnePlanet is working to support UK Local Governments to achieve their net zero targets effectively whilst simultaneously addressing social, economic and environmental issues. To find out more, click here or get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.