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We’re leading an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 

The State of the Union Must Highlight Climate Victories and Chart a Bold Path Forward

In his State of the Union, President Biden must chart a clear path forward to ensure he finishes the job and delivers popular, bold climate action for the American people.

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address in 2022.

Over the last year, President Biden has done more to fight the climate crisis than any other president in U.S. history. His State of the Union address tomorrow will be an opportunity to highlight that success, and share how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will deliver for the American people with revitalized domestic manufacturing, more good jobs, and less toxic pollution. He can also highlight the law’s unique potential impact for frontline and underserved communities — the president has committed that they will receive 40 percent of the benefits of the IRA’s climate investments. This is Biden’s opportunity to claim a major victory and articulate his vision for a thriving clean energy future.

It is also incumbent on the president to chart a course for the next two years of his administration. The IRA was a starting gun, not the finish line, and the Biden administration still has a lot of work to do to deliver on its major climate commitments: reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2035 and cutting all U.S. carbon pollution by at least 50 percent by 2030. We need ambitious regulatory action; federal agencies need to ensure the IRA is implemented effectively and equitably to invest billions of dollars into communities across the country; and the White House must follow through on their Justice40 commitment and ensure full agency compliance.

In his State of the Union, President Biden must chart a clear path forward to ensure he finishes the job and delivers popular, bold climate action for the American people.

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President Joe Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 in the State Dining Room of the White House.

President Biden Should Claim this Victory

The IRA is a turning point on climate action in America and represents a commitment to a more just economy that uplifts disadvantaged communities across the country. The law is a massive leap forward in our fight against the climate crisis — models indicate that the IRA’s investments will help achieve an approximate 40 percent reduction in domestic carbon pollution and help double the amount of zero- and low-carbon energy capacity on the grid by 2030. An analysis from the BlueGreen Alliance estimates that the law could create nine million jobs over the next decade. The law will also invest at least $60 billion in programs identified as priorities by environmental justice communities and advocates, and make historic strides to limit toxic pollution in communities of color.

In his State of the Union, President Biden should highlight these successes and illustrate the far-reaching benefits of climate action. This is a critical opportunity to demonstrate that climate investments are about more than just drawing down carbon emissions, and the country stands to benefit from climate action in myriad ways.

That message will fall on fertile ground — President Biden’s climate agenda was pivotal in Democrats’ historic 2022 victories, and the IRA’s climate investments are broadly popular. Climate change tied with abortion and healthcare as a top issue for voters in 2022, and climate voters supported Democrats at a higher rate than those who prioritized any other issue. More climate voters showed up to cast ballots than in any other election in U.S. history. Despite these trends, an AP poll found that, as of October 2022, a majority of Americans knew little or nothing about the IRA. That’s why informing more voters about the law’s successes remains an important goal; when the IRA’s climate measures are described to them, a majority of voters — and four-fifths of Democrats — said the law’s climate impacts make them more supportive of it. The State of the Union is a shining opportunity for President Biden to tell more Americans about the law’s climate investments and further reap the benefits of his popular climate agenda.

Less than six months after the law’s passage, we’re already seeing this spending reshape the American economy and bolster our fight against the climate crisis. In just the three months following the IRA’s signing, clean energy companies made $40 billion of new investments, equalling the industry’s total investment in 2021. A new analysis from Climate Power found that 100,000 new green jobs have been created since the IRA passed. The administration noted that since President Biden took office and signed the IRA, there have been $92 billion of investments in America's battery supply chain alone. And White House data shows dozens of new manufacturing projects in communities across the country, driven in part by IRA incentives. This is all taking place alongside rapid progress from agencies standing up new programs to process tax credits, incentivize home electrification, and more.

As the president lays out these successes and takes a victory lap, his address must also lay out a roadmap to ensure he hits his clean energy and decarbonization targets.

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President Joe Biden talks with EPA Administrator Michael Regan aboard Air Force One on Thursday, February 17, 2022

President Biden Should Lay Out a Forward-Looking Vision

Transitioning the U.S. economy to clean energy is no small feat. The IRA is a massive leap in the right direction, but we know that the law’s investments alone will not get us to the president’s ambitious climate targets. Even as he touts the IRA’s successes, President Biden can recognize the work yet to be done — in order to reach his climate goals, secure a liveable future, and guarantee clean air and water for every American, President Biden must pursue an ambitious executive climate agenda in the latter half of his term.

First and foremost, President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must quickly advance a suite of strong rules to comprehensively tackle pollution from the power sector. EPA has already fallen behind on nine of the ten key rules necessary to mitigate toxic and climate-warming air pollution, and they need to go further faster. These rules are the linchpin for achieving President Biden’s climate and clean energy targets — when paired with IRA investments and other action, just two of the highest-impact EPA rules will get us from 39 percent clean energy today to 76 percent by 2030, safely within reach of the president’s 80 percent goal. The administration must redouble its efforts to finalize EPA’s clean air rules well before the end of President Biden’s first term.

The State of the Union should also lay out a plan for cutting carbon pollution in every sector of the economy. EPA must accelerate rulemaking to limit greenhouse gas pollution from cars and trucks. The Department of Energy (DOE) must charge ahead on appliance efficiency standards and other rules to decarbonize the buildings sector and eliminate the widespread impacts of fossil fuel appliances. To build resilience, cut pollution, and improve carbon sequestration in American farming, the U.S. Department of Agriculture must efficiently distribute the IRA’s $20 billion of funding for conservation and climate. Through Buy Clean initiatives, DOE investments, EPA standards, and more, the White House can also work to decarbonize heavy industry. Over the next two years, President Biden will have numerous tools to build on his successes and lead the transition to a clean energy economy. He must escalate the all-of-government mobilization to capitalize on those opportunities.

And in touting the successes of the IRA’s climate investments, we hope to see President Biden speak to the importance of implementing the funds equitably and effectively. Federal agencies are now responsible for distributing hundreds of billions of dollars for climate, and it is incumbent on them to build programs that will efficiently accelerate decarbonization and clean energy deployment. This is also where the rubber hits the road for President Biden’s Justice40 pledge, which would direct 40 percent of the benefits of climate investments to frontline and disadvantaged communities. In the State of the Union, the president should reaffirm his commitment to Justice40, lay out his vision for an ambitious implementation of the IRA’s climate investments, and set the country on track for a rapid and equitable transition to clean energy.

This Is a Pivotal Moment in the Biden Presidency

President Biden has already notched a world-historic victory in the fight against climate change, and his address tomorrow should reflect that achievement. It should also speak to the work left to do, and the all-of-government efforts needed for regulatory action and IRA implementation. We are at an inflection point in America’s transition to a clean energy economy — the State of the Union should recognize that by celebrating wins as it charts out a vision for a future economy run on clean energy.