On August 16, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, following the bill’s passage in the House of Representatives on August 12 and the Senate on August 7.
This legislation is the largest congressional action on climate change to date. The Inflation Reduction Act invests nearly $370 billion in climate solutions that will put the U.S. on track to reduce 40% emissions by 2030 through programs that bolster U.S. energy production and incentivize private companies to produce more renewable energy for households to transform their energy use and consumption.
On the day of the bill’s signing, President Joe Biden said:
“The bill I’m about to sign is not just about today, it’s about tomorrow. It’s about delivering progress and prosperity to American families […] This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever — ever — and it’s going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting all of my climate goals.”
Notable climate aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act include:
- Expanding access to clean energy by making clean energy tax credits more accessible and extending them by 10 years.
- Creating jobs and increasing our country’s energy security by investing $60 billion in manufacturing solar panels, batteries, and other clean energy technologies in the U.S.
- Providing funding for low-income families to electrify their homes, including $9 billion in home energy rebate programs.
- Removing barriers to community solar, an innovative solution to making solar power more accessible and affordable for the average person.
- $3 billion for community-led projects in areas experiencing the disproportionate impacts of pollution and climate change.
- $50 million to advance protections for mature and old-growth forests.
- $2.6 billion in coastal resilience grants to fund projects, including by state and tribal governments, to protect and restore coastal communities and ecosystems.
- $250 million to implement endangered species recovery plans and address climate change impacts on key habitats.
- $1 billion to ensure federal agencies can conduct robust environmental and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) reviews and public engagement on large projects using federal funds or on federal lands.
See even more ways the Inflation Reduction Act will positively impact climate on this comprehensive list compiled by Earthjustice.
This historic moment was made possible by grassroots supporters, coalition building, young activists, communities of colors, and elected climate champions who fought tirelessly for years for climate action.
There’s much more work to do to make sure our public lands are not used to further our dependence on fossil fuels, but today we celebrate this exciting tipping point for national climate action.