As the dust settles on Democrats’ $1.75 trillion economic framework, climate has emerged as a big winner.
The framework crafted by President Joe Biden and congressional leaders includes $555 billion for climate and clean energy provisions. If passed, it would be the largest legislative investment on climate in US history, and a significant step forward for a Congress that has punted on climate action for decades — all while global temperatures have risen at an alarming rate.
“We’re spending over five times what we spent in the  Recovery Act, and it’s a lot broader,” Josh Freed, founder of the Climate and Energy Program at the center-left think tank Third Way, told CNN, referencing the $90 billion spent on clean energy during the Obama administration. “The Biden administration and congressional Democrats learned a big lesson, which is these kinds of investments can have a huge positive impact on sectors, technology, and the economy.”
In the end, climate measures made up the largest policy line in Biden’s framework. White House officials say it will cut a billion metric tons of US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The White House is also confident the legislation will put the US track to meet Biden’s Paris Agreement goal: a 50-52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by the end of the decade. At the start of negotiations, environmental groups were asking for as much as $700 billion in clean energy investments in clean energy. The bill’s final number is close to what was originally imagined — no small feat considering the bill’s topline was slashed from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion.