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'We're back, baby': New bill boosts US climate change confidence

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Christina Larson and Chris Megelian

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a moment when hopes for the United States to become an international climate change leader faded, Congress passed legislation. Passed. We are poised to recognize that we can step up our efforts to restore the country's reputation and encourage other countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions more quickly.

The shocking event that sparked gleeful whiplash among Democrats and environmentalists is a reminder of how domestic politics is intertwined with global diplomacy.

Proponents feared last month's breakdown in parliamentary negotiations undermined efforts to limit the devastating effects of global warming. Now they are energized by the opportunity to advertise their unprecedented US success.

"This is saying, 'We're back, baby,'" said Jennifer, who works on international climate issues as director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. Turner said.

The law also includes provisions on taxes and prescription drugs, and about $375 billion will be spent developing clean energy over the next decade, buying electric vehicles, installing solar panels, and more. , includes financial incentives to disconnect fossil fuels from the power grid. Although the proposal was scaled back amid difficult negotiations, it is the largest investment in climate change in U.S. history and a major turnaround from years of inaction that limited Washington's influence abroad.

The Senate passed the bill on Sunday, and the House is expected to approve it on Friday. Then go to President Joe Biden for signatures.

Poor countries are concerned that rich countries like the United States are not meeting their financial commitments to help combat global warming and transition to clean energy. , Biden can still point to it as evidence that the U.S. political system can address the world's most pressing problems.

Ali Zaidi, White House Deputy National Climate Advisor “Achieving credibility on the world stage depends on our ability to perform domestically,” he said. “We are pace cars.

After President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement, Biden took office promising to rejoin the fight against global warming. He set ambitious new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and by 2030 he will reduce them by at least 50% from 2005 levels, proposing policies to get the country back on track. I started

The bill Biden plans to sign is estimated to cut emissions by 31% from his to 44%, according to an analysis by independent research firm Rhodium Group. Further regulatory action by the administration could fill the remaining gaps.

"It's good that the US is finally catching up after years of holding back on climate change, and this investment was prompted by President Trump's administration. It will go a long way in undoing some of the harm,” said Mohamed Adou, director of Powershift Africa, a think tank based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The move on the bill, known as COP27, comes just three months before the next UN climate change conference in Egypt.

"Let's hope this law will be the start of more international cooperation towards his COP27 summit where the most vulnerable will get the help they need," he said. said.

The US will still face persistent skepticism, but progress in Washington may give White House climate envoy John Kerry more momentum ahead of a November meeting.

"It puts wind into his sails and makes him more reliable," said Turner. ``This will change the whole dynamic.''

will be empowered to exert more pressure on

Scott Moore, Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, said, "This will position the United States as an influential player in international climate negotiations. Some diplomatic legitimacy would be restored.

Shayak Sengupta, a Washington-based Observer Research Foundation America Fellow at the Indian think tank, was less enthusiastic.

} "Given that the bill is overdue after years of the United States failing to address climate change, many countries may view it as a 'minimum' for the United States. It's a historical and moral responsibility to the climate," he said.

Sengupta stressed that poor countries are still looking for rich countries to meet his promise of $100 billion in financial aid to combat global warming.

The challenges are endless. If Republicans retake Congress or the White House, Biden's progress could be unraveled. Supply he chains may struggle to keep up with increased demand for equipment such as solar he panels and batteries. China's foreign ministry said on Friday it was ending direct climate talks with the United States following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

But experts said China would still pay attention if the US succeeded in becoming a clean energy powerhouse.

"For some time, China has led the world in investing in clean energy," said climate and sustainability expert at global research firm S&P Global. Mr. Xizhou Zhou said. "They will probably see this law as a competitive move," said Deborah Seligson, a Chinese politics and energy expert at Villanova University. Former US diplomat Deborah Seligson said prices could fall globally as a result.

"As long as the United States actually starts investing in solar, wind, electric vehicles, batteries, and other things that compete with major Chinese companies, Chinese companies will be interested in increasing their competitiveness. By making better products and lowering prices in these industries,

it could have a ripple effect around the world.

In developing countries, the price of renewable energy could drop and penetration could rise," Seligsohn said.

Bibhuti Garg, an energy economist who specializes in India, said that US investment in clean energy research could benefit poor countries that do not have the same resources to develop new technologies. said to be sexual.

"The United States can share technology know-how with other countries, especially the global South," she said.

Aditya Ramji, of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of California, Davis, said cooperation will be important along with financial support.

"At some point, we will need to discuss ways to provide access to intellectual property or reduce costs to countries such as India to leverage electric vehicle technology. '' he said.

Climate change activists said US legislation was just one step in a larger journey toward combating climate change. More progress is needed to keep the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

"We need to fight for other countries' political commitments," said climate change activist Louisa Neubauer. He is a key figure in the Fridays for Future activist movement.

"This is the only way to turn the year of fossil fuel backlash into the year of climate justice," she said.


Correspondents from the Associated Press, her Frank Jordans from Berlin and her Sibi Arasu from Bangalore, India, contributed to this report.


Associated Press climate and environmental coverage is supported by several private foundations. Learn more about AP's climate initiatives here. AP is solely responsible for all content.