WASHINGTON - “America is once again a strong player in the global effort against climate change with the passage of this historic bill,” said Elizabeth Gray, CEO of the National Audubon Society. “Science shows that failure to slow the rate of global temperature rise has devastating consequences for birds, and as indicator species found in nearly every habitat on Earth, that is a wake-up call for us all. The provisions in this bill are a leap forward in meeting our goals to reduce emissions.”
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a sweeping bill that provides funding for clean energy, climate resilience, agricultural and forestry conservation, environmental justice and other provisions that comprise the largest piece of U.S. federal legislation ever to address climate change. The bill will now go to President Biden, who will sign it into law.
“Birds have been telling us that we need urgent action if we are to protect ourselves and the wildlife we love from increasingly severe climate threats,” said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer at the National Audubon Society. “From the plains to the coasts, and from the most remote forests to our most populated cities, climate change affects us all. This is a significant moment for climate action.”
Among the promising provisions are:
Sweeping tax credits for renewable energy and electric vehicles
A fee on harmful methane emissions
$100 million for offshore wind and regional transmission planning
$25 billion for agricultural and forestry conservation and technical assistance
$2.6 billion for NOAA coastal conservation
$4 billion Western drought response and resilience
Investment for environmental justice efforts with an emphasis on BIPOC communities disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change
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.
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.
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