C40 Executive Director Mark Watts today issued the following statement about the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act:
C40 applauds the U.S. Senate for passing the Inflation Reduction Act yesterday. This is an important step in the right direction, laying the groundwork for more concerted actions that are needed to avoid runaway climate change.
The Inflation Reduction Act would invest $369 billion in efforts to reduce energy costs, create clean energy jobs, and cut carbon pollution. The bill, if signed into law, will help Americans who are facing rising energy costs to make their homes more efficient, purchase electric vehicles, and install solar and wind energy. It would also unlock critical investments in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, and save low- and moderate-income households, most of whom are located in cities, approximately $1,800 a year in energy costs.
Mayors across the United States stand ready to deploy the investments from the Inflation Reduction Act in order to help achieve their own goals for ambitious climate action. A total of 138 U.S. mayors have already committed, through the Cities Race to Zero initiative, to taking action aligned with the Paris Agreement target of limiting global heating to 1.5ºC.
The House of Representatives should act swiftly to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. It will then be up to all actors, including cities, states, businesses and the federal government, to realise the investments made and build on them.
While this will be the single largest federal investment in efforts to address the climate crisis in U.S. history, we know that much more needs to be done to avert climate breakdown. Passage of the bill puts the U.S. on a path to cut emissions 40% by 2030 – significant progress, but still less than the country’s goal of a 50% reduction by 2030 and far from the US achieving its fair share of emissions reduction. We applaud President Biden’s commitment to using his executive authority to close the gap and, given the Inflation Reduction Act’s unfortunate inclusion of ongoing support for fossil fuels, urge political leaders to take additional steps to accelerate the transition toward a clean energy future.