Climate bill is step forward, but ‘a lot of work remains to be done’

If enacted, the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed the Senate on Sunday, would be the United States’ first comprehensive climate law. With new incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, it could lower U.S. carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to their 2005 peak, a step forward at a time when scientists say urgent action is needed to avoid climate change’s worst impacts.

The bill’s strategy – embracing incentives over taxes on carbon pollution – helped end decades of inaction by Congress, according to faculty from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. However, the U.S. will need to leverage other legal options if it truly wants to meet its goals and become a climate leader, they said. Below, environmental law experts weigh in on what the bill accomplishes and possible next steps.David Dana

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