Last year, the biggest piece of climate legislation in American history was signed into law. However, it wasn’t always touted as such; even its name - “The Inflation Reduction Act” – avoided the topic of climate.
This puts it in a long line of federal climate legislation, according to climate policy experts Leah Stokes and Jeff Colgan.
As Jeff told Dan Richards in this episode of “Trending Globally,” “Lots of the progress that we make on climate change is best done when the word climate is never mentioned at all.”
Jeff is a political scientist and director of the Climate Solutions Lab at Watson. Leah is an associate professor of environmental politics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and she helped craft the climate-related provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. To understand the relationship between the science and politics of climate change in the U.S., you couldn’t ask for two better guests.
As they explain, the bill’s name is just one example of how this legislation was shaped as much by the politics of a closely divided Senate as it was by the science of climate change and decarbonization.
In this episode, Jeff and Leah talk with Dan Richards about the contents of the bill, what it took to get it passed and how it will contribute to the global effort to fight climate change. They also discuss the law’s political ramifications because, along with reshaping our electrical grid, the Inflation Reduction Act might very well also rearrange America’s political landscape.
Listen to Leah Stokes’ podcast “A Matter of Degrees”.
Explore the Climate Solutions Lab “Climate Opportunity Map”.
Learn more about the Watson Institute’s other podcasts.
Transcript coming soon to our website.