US Decarbonization Priorities in the Wake of the Inflation Reduction Act

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The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) kicked off a new phase of decarbonization in the US. This single largest action to date to reduce US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will accelerate climate progress in the US, but on its own, it won’t be enough to get the US on track to meet its 2030 climate target of reducing emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels. Given that 2030 is only seven years away, actions taken in the next year or two will be highly consequential. But what can be done to make the most of the opportunities presented by the IRA? And what additional actions can further accelerate emission reductions and put the 2030 climate goal within reach?

In this note, we provide a framework for prioritization and examples of possible actions. We find that, first and foremost, swift implementation of the IRA with a focus on maximizing clean energy deployment is key. On top of that, there are several policy opportunities that can help to close the gap to the 2030 target. When prioritizing new decarbonization opportunities, it’s important to focus actions on emissions sources where the IRA alone doesn’t deliver a lot of reductions but does incentivize clean technologies.

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