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Analysis Backs Inflation Reduction Act’s Emissions Reduction Target

Inflation Reduction Act Emissions
(Credit: Pixabay)

A significant piece of the recently proposed Inflation Reduction Act, which includes expansive energy goals, was to cut emissions in the United States by 40% through 2030 and several studies have backed up that number.

Princeton University’s REPEAT Project has the bill reducing emissions by 42% based on 2005 levels, the Rhodium Group says the emissions drop will be between 31% and 44%, and Energy Innovation found the number to be between 37% and 41%. The legislation calls for more than $369 billion in energy and climate programs over the next decade.

Those numbers include impacts from the infrastructure package that was passed in November 2021 and without any additional policy or other work toward emissions reduction during that period. The US overall has a goal of reducing emissions by 50% through 2030 and being net zero by 2050.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes incentives and financing to increase the domestic production of renewable energy, electric vehicles, and renovated and new manufacturing plants for both. There are also initiatives for improved energy and clean transportation infrastructure, carbon capture, biofuels, and sustainable agriculture.

The REPEAT Project says the legislation could get the US to within 500,000 metric tons of emissions reduction needed for its 2030 policy and cut cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by 6.3 billion metric tons overall through 2032. Nearly half of the emissions cuts would come from power (24%) and transportation (19%).

Energy Innovation estimates emissions reductions to be between 870 million metric tons and 1.15 billion metric tons through 2030 if the legislation passes. Both Energy Innovation and the Rhodium Group say with additional national and state action the US can realistically meet its targets set by the Paris Agreement to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030.

The Inflation Reduction Act was announced at the end of July 2022 by several top Democrats, including West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin who opposed the Build Back Better Act, essentially killing that legislation’s $555 billion toward energy programs. With the current support, it is expected the new initiative will become law, making it the largest investment in energy and climate policy by Congress.

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