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Inflation Reduction Act Makes Oldest Climate Fighting Technology Work

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With the Senate passing the Reducing Inflation Act of 2022, the most comprehensive climate law in U.S. history, our country is on track to fight climate change from all angles. How this bill will take an economy-wide approach to reduce emissions, accelerate the transition to clean energy, and help American households transition to low-carbon, eco-friendly technologies. You may have already heard about What you may not know is that this new law will use trees, the oldest climate change technology, to naturally remove carbon emissions from the air while revitalizing American communities and creating jobs. is how to strengthen

Yes, humble and friendly trees are the best existing natural carbon storage solution, and a recent Pew Research Center survey found that 90% of Americans embrace planting trees as a way to combat climate change. rice field. It’s no surprise, given that two of the most pressing climate threats to our communities, extreme heat and wildfires, both involve trees.

Climate change is taking lives

The extreme heat that has killed thousands of Americans over the past few summers has been accelerated by climate change and will continue to get worse. One of his studies at Duke University predicts that heat-related deaths in the United States, already at 12,000 per year today, could rise to nearly 100,000 per year by the end of the century. It has been. such as tree crowns.

The wildfire crisis is also fueled by climate change, which is drying and depleting forests at an unprecedented rate. Diseased and dead tree forests are like craters waiting for sparks, but climate change will also bring sparks in the form of increased thunderstorms. It’s no surprise that climate change has already doubled the number of acres burned in the western United States in the last 20 years. And it will only get worse if you don’t intervene.

We have the power to meet these climate threats, but we need to make the right investments in planting and caring for our forests. The Inflation Control Act answers this call.

borrow the power of trees

Treeless areas are not only unsightly, temperatures can rise 20 degrees or more, dramatically increasing health risks. And consider that trees in our communities have already reduced energy use for heating and cooling homes by more than 7%, saving homeowners over $7 billion annually. This means that planting trees where they need the coolest shade and improving tree care can save lives, greenhouse gas emissions and money. The Control Inflation Act addresses this challenge on a truly historic level, providing her $1.5 billion over nine years in urban and local forest protection grants to cities and their partners through the U.S. Forest Service. increase.

We can also combat wildfires through smart investments that maintain the health and resilience of local forests and communities. Climate-stressed forests can be managed in ways that reduce their vulnerability to drought, pests and wildfires. This starts with a combination of science-based selective thinning and carefully managed prescribed fires to reduce the amount of combustible fuel on the forest floor. The Inflation Reduction Act was also strengthened here, spending $2.15 billion to process his 193 million acres of national forests in the United States, focusing on the most combustible areas near communities and allowing Giant his It protects valuable virgin forests, including sequoias.

Capture carbon on every land

This landmark climate change law is historic not only because of the above investments, but because it expands the carbon storage capacity of healthy forests on both public and private lands. The Inflation Reduction Act includes $1.15 billion in grants and incentives to permanently protect private working forests from development and manage them in ways that capture and store more carbon in forests and forest products. is included.

Given that America’s forests already absorb about 17% of our annual carbon footprint and more than half of our forests are on private land, this investment has incredible potential to help slow climate change. is hidden. Providing private landowners with the financial means to transform forests into permanent natural carbon sinks is an excellent way to increase the climate-fighting power of forests. It also helps maintain all other public benefits from well-managed private forests, such as clean water.

In dollar terms, these forest investments under the Inflation Reduction Act represent the most effective way to protect America from climate change while reducing energy costs, promoting carbon storage, and creating more jobs in the process. In fact, research from the Institute for Political Economy shows that investments in the bill’s “natural infrastructure” clauses, such as forests, will create 600,000 jobs over the next decade.

The United States thanks Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Joe Manchin (D-VA), and Senator Debbie Stavenow (D-Michigan). Serving as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. We also appreciate her additional 47 yes votes from Senators (and Vice President Kamala Harris). They have duly demonstrated the urgency to reduce emissions and strengthen natural climate solutions across the board. As this historic law moves to the U.S. House of Representatives, our representatives must act quickly to add a ‘yes’ to begin providing economic and environmental solutions to the United States. .

Jad Daley american forest, the oldest conservation group in the country. Follow him on Twitter: @JadDaley.