The US Inflation Reduction Act and Continued Expansion of Renewable Energy

Climate Progress in the First Half of 2023

Rating B-

 

The Inflation Reduction Act was rolled out in early 2023 to the anticipation of many. The bill addresses many climate and environmental issues. In the bill, $90 billion will be spent on public transportation, $65 billion on power infrastructure, $21 billion on environmental projects, and $7.5 billion on electric vehicles. As noted by many, more will need to be done in the coming years, and 2023 is significant to get on track to meet promised targets.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA),  emissions from the United States in 2023 are predicted to have a marginal decrease of 3% while flattening out in 2024. They also predict that coal will decrease by 12% in 2023 as the US continues to shift to renewable energy sources. If 2023 does see a decrease in emissions, it will get the country back to roughly 2019 levels, the lowest levels the US has seen since 1992.

Considering the commitments made by The United States, and their progress in meeting those pledged, the progress in reducing emissions during the first half of 2023 can be rated as a B-. While there have been significant steps toward emission reduction with the Inflation Reduction Act, further efforts are required, and the new policy will take years to roll out fully. In addition, there will likely be obstruction from the Republican opposition in climate politics if we are to look historically (although quite a few Republicans are now trying to take credit for the Act, which they voted against).

Still, despite Republican opposition to climate innovative policies, new research published by Nature.com estimates that we, as a global society, have a 5% chance that our global temperature will be less than 2°C and a 1% chance of being at or below 1.5°C. The research model was not based on a ‘business as usual’ but on data showing the effect of emission mitigation policies. On the State level, just 24 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted specific targets to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the Inflation Reduction Act, the second central climate-related activity has been The United States’ expansion of renewable energy. In 2022, the United States generated more electricity from renewable sources than coal for the first time. The United States has witnessed a significant expansion in renewable energy capacity during the first half of 2023. According to, almost 100 new clean energy manufacturing facilities were announced between last August and th. Renewable energy projects, including solar and wind farms, have proliferated nationwide with favorable policies, such as tax incentives and streamlined permitting processes. This shift toward clean energy sources has led to a 15% reduction in emissions from the electricity generation sector since 1990. While the exact cost varies depending on individual projects, this renewable energy expansion’s long-term sustainability, and replicability are evident.

The United States has made moderate progress in reducing emissions over the first six months 2023. The Inflation Reduction Act and the adoption and expansion of renewable have played a crucial role in driving emission reductions across various sectors. While further efforts are needed to accelerate progress, these measures demonstrate the country’s commitment to combating climate change. The associated implementation costs are considerable, but these initiatives are vital for a greener and more resilient future.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard US Country Manager Dave Schroeder.

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