The United States House of Representatives has passed the Build Back Better Act, which includes $555 billion toward renewable energy and other sustainability goals.
The framework for the legislation was introduced by the Biden Administration at the end of October and includes the most ambitious climate and renewable energy policy and investment to date. It comes on the heels of the passage of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill earlier in November, as well as numerous other sustainability objectives to come from the administration, including a roadmap for the United States to reach net zero by 2050 and an agreement at COP26 to work with China to cut emissions.
The Build Back Better Act passed the House 220-213 and now moves to the Senate, where changes in the legislation are likely. Still, CNBC reports that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes to have it passed by Christmas.
“And on a global scale, the Build Back Better Act is a unique opportunity to fulfill our national commitment to emission reductions reaffirmed last week in Glasgow,” Alliance to Save Energy President Paula Glover says. “Energy efficiency measures alone can deliver half of the emission cuts required to get to net zero – which is why it’s so important to get these policies right and get them done.”
Of the $555 billion earmarked for climate goals in the legislation, $320 billion will go toward clean energy tax credits. That money is intended to spur clean energy creation such as wind and solar implementation, energy storage, clean energy manufacturing and use of electric vehicles.
Another $110 billion will go toward clean energy technology and supply chains and $105 billion is intended to help resiliency, including efforts to address extreme weather. Clean energy procurement is getting $20 billion under the plan.
The legislation also had elements to tackle environmental justice as well as to invest in sustainable efforts in disadvantaged communities.
“The Build Back Better package is the climate deal that leading companies and investors have long been calling for,” says Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres. “The Senate must now follow the House’s lead and pass the Build Back Better package with these urgently needed climate investments.”