Historic Climate Legislation Would Put the U.S. Back on Track to Meet Energy Goals

The Senate has an opportunity to take a major step in reducing emissions and creating a cleaner future for birds and communities.

WASHINGTON (July 28, 2022) – “Birds are telling us we need immediate, meaningful action on climate to drastically reduce emissions and protect the places they need to survive. Simply put, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 represents a critical step forward and is one of the most significant pieces of climate legislation to ever come before Congress, “ said Marshall Johnson, Chief Conservation Officer at the National Audubon Society. “While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is not a perfect climate bill, it is a critical step forward to meeting our climate goals.” 


The Senate will soon vote on a bill providing $370 billion in tax credits and other funding for clean energy, agriculture and forestry, environmental justice, and many other provisions to create a more sustainable future. While there are some troubling provisions that benefit the fossil fuel industry, overall the bill would be a historic step forward in combatting the causes of climate change and would build on the successful investments of last year’s infrastructure bill.


Among the promising provisions are 

  • Sweeping tax credits for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies 

  • A fee on harmful methane emissions  

  • $100 million for offshore wind and regional transmission planning  

  • $25 billion for forestry and agricultural conservation  

  • $2.6 billion for coastal resilience and restoration

  • Investment for environmental justice efforts with emphasis on communities disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change 


The bill does have some drawbacks, including provisions to open up additional fossil fuel leasing opportunities. While the funding for environmental justice is laudable, building a more just and equitable climate future for all will require further investment beyond what is included here.  


“The critical progress represented in this legislation does not negate the fact that there is still much more work to do to truly achieve our climate goals in a just and equitable manner,” said Johnson. “We will continue to work with changemakers at all levels of government and community engagement to realize those goals, and to ensure the reforms implemented in this and related legislation are done in an equitable way. In the meantime, we urge Congress to pass this bill as soon as possible to re-establish momentum in responding and adapting to our changing climate.” 


A 2019 Audubon report found that two-thirds of North American bird species will be vulnerable to extinction unless global temperature rise is slowed. A survey of public and private lands showed significant overlap between the places that are important for birds’ survival and the ability to naturally store carbon, provided these places are restored and maintained. 


About Audubon  
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety. 


 Media Contact: Robyn Shepherd, robyn.shepherd@audubon.org