By Eleanor Hildebrandt | November 9, 2021
With the passing of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the U.S. Congress, the largest environmental spending package ever is waiting on President Joe Biden’s signature.
$47 billion is designated by the federal government to invest in climate resistance within the country, starting with helping multiple communities prepare for extreme floods, fire, natural disasters, and droughts. The bill passed with bipartisan support. According to The New York Times, the bill’s passing is an indication that at least some Republicans in the federal government believe in human-caused climate change and its economic impacts.
A second bill looking to fund climate change mitigation in the United States is still waiting on a congressional vote. The legislation would give an additional $555 billion to global warming mitigation.
The House of Representatives passed the infrastructure bill on Friday, but it has yet to be signed by the president. The portion of the legislation focusing on climate change mitigation was partially written by Republican lawmakers, including Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Louisiana will see more funding regarding hurricanes.
In 2020 alone, 22 climate disasters struck the U.S. that cost over $1 billion. This broke a 2011 and 2017 tie at 16. These events included the derecho that hit Iowa in August 2020, wildfires on the west coast, tornados across Tornado Alley, and six hurricanes hitting the southeastern coast.
The legislation also looks to reduce emissions, according to Forbes, alongside backing clean energy provisions. The bill provides more than $200 million to tribal nations who have disproportionately been impacted by climate change.