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  • Ryan Wittler

The U.S. Is Set to More Than Triple Its Climate Spending

Updated: Oct 24, 2022


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A new analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a clean energy think tank, shows the passage of three new laws by Congress will increase the government’s annual spending on climate and clean energy technology to at least $80 billion over the next decade, 3.5 times the spending from 2009 to 2017 (the Obama administration) and 15 times the spending in the 90s and early 2000s (the George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations).


Analysis highlights:


The analysis focuses on three new laws passed by Congress since last year: the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • Taken together, the analysis found the three laws will put over $500 billion toward the research, development, demonstration, and early commercialization of climate technologies; four key phases the RMI says private companies are unlikely to invest in.


While the sheer volume of spending will be historic, the analysis shows the strategic application of the three laws is what makes the investments potentially “transformative.”

  • The analysis describes the CHIPS Act as the “brains of the operation,” dedicating billions to the research and development needed to accelerate emerging clean energy technologies.

  • It likens the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to the “backbone,” providing the infrastructure necessary to bring the technologies to life.

  • Finally, the Inflation Reduction Act acts as the “engine,” driving investment growth to ensure the technologies reach market maturity.


Why it matters:


The analysis shows the three laws are expected to mobilize some $3.5 trillion in total new capital investments and put the U.S. on track to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.


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