Activists celebrate the milestone while continue with the pressure to fight the lobby of the fossil fuel industry
Boston, Massachusetts — Last Thursday, the US Senate reached agreement on a climate bill that, among other things, increases tax credits for green energy projects to ensure the wind and solar industry’s steady growth, provides incentives for consumers to buy electric vehicles, and installs heat pumps to make more widespread use of green energy. Civil society groups argue that, even with its shortcomings, the project represents a victory for the climate movement.
May Boeve, Executive Director at 350.org, says:
“The climate bill moving through the US Senate, even with its shortcomings, represents a movement victory. The bill is no Green New Deal, but its investments in equitable clean energy and a high tax on big business demonstrate key values that we all fought for. Of course fossil fuel investments don’t belong in a climate bill, but movements will fight those on the ground and we expect President Biden to have their backs.
A US commitment to reducing its emissions has the opportunity to influence climate policy globally and locally for countries, states, and cities who want to invest in a transition to renewable energy. National action alone enables momentum at both the global and local levels. The US should work to fulfill its commitment under the Paris agreement, and in so doing engage its global allies with humility.
The surprise bill arrives amidst record breaking climate disasters around the world. Millions of people have already died from the impacts of fossil fuel extraction. Even while we act with urgency to respond, movements will stay vigilant to ensure that the strongest version of this bill is what we will celebrate upon final approval. We greet this bill as evidence that movements have and will continue to improve political outcomes.”
Masada Disenhouse, Executive Director at SanDiego350, says:
“We are pleased that this bill will advance a national U.S. commitment to reducing carbon emissions, invest substantially in renewable energy and green jobs, and address environmental injustice in our hardest hit communities. While we will continue to push for a climate emergency declaration and stripping out the handouts to the fossil fuel industry, this bill is a testament to the persistence and efforts of the grassroots climate justice movement.”
John Greenler, Executive Director at 350 Wisconsin, says:
“While this proposed bill is definitely a mixed bag, we are pleased to see meaningful forward movement with advancing clean energy production and related (solar, wind, EVs…) here in the United States. This proposal also provides leadership on the international arena that will hopefully bring an outsized global impact on addressing climate change.
At the same time, we need to not turn our backs on the fact that there are significant concessions to the fossil fuel industry in this proposal. These cannot be left unaddressed, and we will continue to pursue a no new fossil fuels infrastructure approach, as was committed to by President Biden.”