COVID-19 Relief Bill Aligns U.S. with International Climate Goals
The last four years have been a disaster for the U.S. environment, with the Trump administration rolling back vital environmental protections and promoting fossil fuel industries that have no viable business future.
Yet tucked into the sprawling COVID-19 relief bill that was signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020, is legislation that brings the U.S. in line with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Kigali amendment aims to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—potent greenhouse gases used as refrigerants and in foam insulation—by 80%–85% by 2047.
The bipartisan support for the HFC drawdown portion of the bill comes from businesses and environmentalists alike. Industry groups were especially concerned about the mix of state and federal regulations that have created a hodgepodge of standards across the U.S. (see New Blowing Agents Revolutionize XPS Industry). While the U.S. is not officially signing on to the Kigali Amendment yet—that needs approval by two-thirds of the Senate—the new law adheres to the same requirements. The EPA will administer the new law.
The COVID relief bill also earmarks $35 billion for renewables, other low-carbon energy sources, energy storage, tax cuts for renewables, and more.
Ehrlich, B. (2021, January 20). COVID-19 Relief Bill Aligns U.S. with International Climate Goals . Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/covid-19-relief-bill-aligns-us-international-climate-goals