Signed on August 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is one of the largest bills to be passed, shining light on issues occurring in the country focusing on three main areas: health care, taxes, and clean energy. This bill is a huge stepping stone that will help the United States move forward in reaching crucial climate goals. But just how many green jobs will the IRA create?
What Climate Goals will the IRA Accomplish?
The United States has set several goals related to the fight against climate change, including the following:
- Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030
- Reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035
- Achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050
- Delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities
The IRA will move the United States in the direction of accomplishing these goals.
One of the main goals of the IRA is to cut down on carbon emissions. The burning of fossil fuels and the constant release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is speeding up climate change leading to the rise in temperatures. The warming of oceans will lead to catastrophic consequences that will become difficult to reverse, including the melting of ice, algae blooms, ocean acidification, and sea level rise. The IRA aims for roughly 40% of carbon emissions to be reduced with the help of the government funding these projects by 2030. Certain projects that would come out of this bill include the implementation of solar, wind, and other clean energy resources that will help lower the effects of climate change. Additionally, the government will make it more affordable to make the transition to clean energy for companies and consumers.
The IRA shows that the government recognizes climate change and is acting swiftly on the issue.
The IRA will also add many green jobs to the economy. But first, what defines a green job? Well, green jobs are professions that work towards sustainability and projects that relate to clean energy. Individuals that work in recycling, solar panel installations, or even environmental research are people that have green jobs. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will be creating more green jobs, giving individuals more job opportunities. A Blue Green Alliance study from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that the IRA is likely to create over 9 million good jobs over the next decade!
In recent years, solar energy has become a popular source of energy. People have the opportunity to put solar panels on the roof of their homes, absorbing the energy directly from the sun. Alternatively, solar fields have also become a topic of conversation as energy companies have started “farming” solar energy by laying out hundreds of thousands of solar panels on fields which then collect the solar energy and distribute it to those who opt to use it.
Next, the use of electric and hybrid transportation has taken the world by storm. People have been trading in their gas-powered automobiles for a more environmentally friendly source of transportation. Individuals that work towards making and developing electric and hybrid transportation, whether that is personal or public, is also a very important green job that is currently in demand.
Additionally, researchers and engineers that are responsible for finding cleaner alternatives for harmful pollutants such as fossil fuels and oil, are crucial to making a full transition to a sustainable society. Those who run facilities that power any sort of energy are also important, as they are the ones helping communities have light and running water and make it as safe and environmental as possible.
The IRA will not only benefit our environment, but it will also provide millions of jobs to individuals who might need it.
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