If you watch the news or follow politics, you’ll have heard about the Inflation Reduction
Act. For those who aren’t as familiar, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on August 16,
2022 by President Joe Biden isn’t just about inflation; it has other parts to it as well. One of the
more notable parts of this act is the climate provisions. With $369 billion dedicated to reducing
and slowing the harm done by climate change, it has become the largest climate investment in
United States history. This is a great step forward for climate policy in the United States,
which had been moving backwards since the country’s formal withdrawal from the Paris
Climate Agreement in 2020.

The United States is the single-largest contributor to climate change (accounting for
about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions). With this knowledge, President Biden rejoined the
Paris Climate Agreement in February 2021 and also announced at the 2021 Leaders’ Summit on
Climate that “we will achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net
greenhouse gas pollution in 2030.” With the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act into law, that
reduction is almost attainable with experts predicting roughly 40% emissions reductions by

How the Inflation Reduction Act Invests in Climate:

This $369 billion investment will go towards clean technology and energy, protecting
forestry, focusing on environmental justice for disenfranchised communities, and decarbonizing
all parts of the United States economy. Clean energy technologies, such as solar panels and
clean vehicles, will be more affordable and accessible due to extensions of tax credits. The Act
also has several provisions for construction and government vehicles such as investing: $60
billion for onshore clean energy manufacturing, $3 billion for electrifying the U.S. Postal Service
fleet, $1 billion in making affordable housing more energy efficient, and $1 billion for clean
school/transit buses, garbage trucks, etc. These are just some of the ways the Act invests in
clean energy and technology in all U.S. economy sectors.

The Act also aims to support environmental justice efforts for disenfranchised
communities through a range of programs and $60 billion in investments. Firstly, the Act
reinstates the Superfund Tax that makes businesses pay the bill for their pollution cleanup
instead of the public. The Act also provides grants to reduce and clean air pollution surrounding
port communities. Along with that, it designated $315.5 million for air monitoring for
communities, especially in schools, near industry sites. Finally, it puts rural communities at the
talking table for climate conversations and solutions.

The Pathway to Zero Emissions

While the United States has a long way to go with action on climate policy, these
investments and programs highlighted in the Inflation Reduction Act help take a large step
forward in the direction of positive change. This action shows that the federal government knows it needs to make changes to better protect people and the environment from climate change. There is still a long fight ahead to get to net zero emissions by 2050 (per the Paris Climate Agreement), but every new policy and law helps reach that necessary goal.