Our Climate Wins Were on Display at the State of the Union

Leah Qusba

|

March 12, 2024

rise_for_climate_sign

As President Biden stepped from the podium last night to deliver the State of the Union address, Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE) is heartened by the historic, urgent and essential levels to which climate and clean energy solutions were elevated.

From the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to cracking down on pollution impacting frontline communities—the Biden Administration has elevated climate and clean energy wins to unparalleled levels. The IRA is the boldest piece of climate legislation that has passed in U.S. history and is poised to unlock $370 billion in investments to advance utility-scale clean energy and unlock consumer benefits for tens of millions of Americans paving the way toward a clean energy future. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency is advancing ambitious initiatives to limit pollution from fossil fuel power plants—though we will continue to fight for these regulations to go even further and limit emissions from existing plants. And in an unprecedented move, the Biden Administration announced a pause on all liquified “natural” gas until climate impacts are taken into consideration in the environmental reviews. 

These are our wins–these are the wins of the climate movement and tenacious young people, of those who fearlessly demanded action with the knowledge and moral authority that today’s actions dictate tomorrow’s reality. ACE’s 1.1 million youth members made thousands of calls, signed tens of thousands of petitions, and showed up at The White House to demand action. And we stand ready to ensure that the Administration’s commitment to Justice 40 communities continue to be prioritized for investment and make certain that leaders hear loud and clear that voters want to keep these victories intact. 

Youth climate activists rallying for a climate emergency in New York City, NY

Our polling with CIRCLE at Tufts University found that only 13 percent of young people approve of the government’s action on climate change—highlighting a huge gap and opportunity to educate youth about the historic victories outlined last night. 

For ACE’s part, we are socializing, popularizing and accelerating the IRA benefits. To date, we’ve reached over 25 million people in communities across the US to 1) build broad awareness to drive consumer-level adoption of EVs to heat pumps, 2) create positivity toward the clean energy economy, and 3) increase local public support of utility-scale wind and solar farms in high potential zones across the country.

We are just getting started—this is just the beginning. These wins—while massive in historical context—are not enough to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. ACE and our 1.1 million youth members will not stop fighting until a safe, stable, livable climate future is secured. We will ensure that tens of millions of youth voices are heard from the ballot boxes to the halls of power to hold leaders accountable to meaningful climate action. 

The historic wins outlined in the State of the Union address reflect the power and tenaciousness of the youth climate movement. Youth voices are not the only voices needed—but without them, we simply cannot win. That truth was on full display at last night’s State of the Union as President Biden highlighted bold victories on climate—these are our wins and we won’t stop fighting for our future.

Onward,

Leah Qusba
Executive Director, Action for the Climate Emergency

Leah, ACE Headshot

Leah Qusba

Executive Director

Leah has been a part of ACE since 2009. She lives in Milwaukee with her family and enjoys frequent adventures on Lake Michigan.

Join our Youth Action Network

More Blog Posts

climate superfund blog

Vermont’s Climate Superfund

In a historic feat, Vermont created a new model to hold Big Oil accountable and force fossil fuel companies to …

Read More
blogheader_natural_gas_flare

Pulling the Plug on Not-so-Natural Gas

Have you ever heard the term “natural gas”? For decades, Big Oil has been trying to pull one over on …

Read More
Windmills And Solar Farm

Climate Wins Roundup

Today, the Biden Administration temporarily halted all pending decisions on 17 Liquefied “Natural” Gas (LNG) projects across the Gulf South.

Read More
View More