The Senate is on the cusp of passing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and Microsoft Corporation *MSFT co-founder Bill Gates sees it as the “most important” piece of climate legislation in American history.
Why The Bill Is Important: “It represents our best chance to build an energy future that is cleaner, cheaper, and more secure,” the billionaire wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times.
“We can’t afford to miss it.”
He credited Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and others, including business leaders and activists he got to know through Breakthrough Energy, for reaching an agreement on the bill. Breakthrough Energy is a venture Gates founded in 2015 to accelerate the clean energy transition.
Many technologies needed to reach net-zero emissions either don’t exist, or are in the early stage of development, or are very expensive to scale up, Gates said. At the same time, the deployment of more mature technologies such as solar, wind and electric vehicles, according to the billionaire, should be accelerated.
“Through new and expanded tax credits and a long-term approach, this bill would ensure that critical climate solutions have sustained support to develop into new industries,” Gates said.
What The Legislation Would Accomplish: Incentives provided by the bill will transform parts of the economy that are “hardest to decarbonize” such as manufacturing – a prerequisite for attaining net-zero emissions, Gates said.
The measures will provide affordable, abundant, and clean energy to Americans, the billionaire said. As an added incentive, the bill would “catalyze a new era of American innovation,” he added.
He also underlined the readiness of corporate America for the change, with many corporate leaders investing significant amounts in clean energy. Gates also envisages the creation of millions of jobs, as the legislation would jumpstart clean energy industries.
“Solving climate change is perhaps the hardest challenge humanity has ever faced,” he said.
This needs to be done rapidly with a “cohesive and coherent plan” if the worst effects of climate change are to be avoided, he added.
Photo: Courtesy of Greg Rubenstein on flickr
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