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Chairman Donald Trumpresistance to $ 900 billion coronavirus Aid package overwhelmingly passed by U.S. lawmakers late Monday puts the first significant at risk climate change legislation to win congressional approval in a decade.
Trump has threatened to veto the stimulus proposal, which includes $ 600 direct control for individuals and $ 35 billion in funding for clean energy projects and plans to reduce the use of chemicals heated on the planet.
The climate terms of the agreement come after the Trump administration dismantled more than 80 important environmental regulations over four years, and shortly before the election of President-elect Joe Biden.
Biden plans to join the Paris climate deal and use executive orders to expose many of Trump’s environmental returns. He is also pushing for a $ 2 trillion plan to be approved by Congress to move the country from fossil fuels to clean energy and green jobs. Trump officially withdrew the country from the Paris Agreement in November.
Though Biden’s legislation is likely to face huge obstacles If the GOP controls the Senate, which will be decided in January with two crucial runoffs in Georgia, policy experts and environmental groups say the two-party-backed climate measures in the stimulus bill signal that Biden could make significant progress in the fight against global warming. It is also a sign that the United States will participate in a broader global effort to reduce planetary heating of fossil fuels.
“The spending bill just passed by Congress, passed with the support of both Democrats and Republicans, points the way forward,” said Michael Mann, a climatologist and professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University. “It’s a positive sign that 2020 may be the year we turn the corner on climate action in the United States.”
The stimulus bill will phase out US production and consumption of planetary warming hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs by 85% over 15 years.
The ozone depleting chemicals are commonly found in air conditioners and refrigerators. While accounting for a lower percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, hydrofluorocarbons pack 1,000 times the heat capacity of carbon dioxide.
HFCs are being targeted by nations around the world in an effort to curb global warming. A landmark agreement was reached in October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, by delegates from 197 nations around the world to phase out HFCs.
So far, 72 countries have ratified the Kigali Agreement. Despite support from U.S. manufacturers and chemical companies, the Trump administration has not taken up the pact and has instead proposed resetting Obama-era standards to reduce the use of HFCs.
The stimulation package also includes two-party legislation on renewable energy, which will draw approx. $ 35 billion of public funds for clean energy projects.
“This bill is the most significant action we have taken for the climate at this Congress, and its passage is strong evidence that there is bipartisan support for working together on climate solutions and investing in advanced energy technologies, while taking care of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, “Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., said in a statement earlier this week.
The legislation includes tax deductions for solar and wind power, which will accelerate Biden’s plan to have a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035. The broader bill also includes investments in more sustainable transport and approves a program that provides financing for low-income housing. to upgrade appliances, heat pumps and other household items to clean energy products.
The incentive package also includes measures for the capture and storage of carbon produced by production and power plants, the reduction of diesel emissions from some vehicles and the financing of oil recovery projects.
“Congress made an unprecedented payout to tackle climate change with this legislation by agreeing to phase out powerful HFCs, invest in renewable energy and expand a much-needed tax incentive for wind and solar,” said Grant Carlisle, a senior policy adviser at the Resources Defense Council .
“But this is just a start,” Carlisle said. “To tackle the climate crisis, we need the federal government to speed up its efforts to transfer our economy to clean energy and away from dirty fossil fuels.”