WASHINGTON (March 2, 2022)—U.S. President Joe Biden delivered the State of the Union address to share the administration’s accomplishments and lay out priorities for the coming year. The speech highlighted the historic investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are already being deployed across the nation, including an electric vehicle charging network, more resilient infrastructure and measures to advance environmental justice. Biden called on Congress to pass a climate-smart budget package that cuts costs for average Americans and addresses rising rates of inflation, including energy efficiency tax credits, clean energy and lowering the price of electric vehicles. 

During his first year in office, Biden prioritized action to address the climate crisis. Accomplishments include setting an emissions reduction target of 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, establishing stronger regulations to address climate pollution and proposing the boldest federal legislative climate policy ever supported by a U.S. president. President Biden signed a portion of that policy into law when the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed, investing billions of dollars in climate-smart measures. 

Following is a statement from Dan Lashof, Director, WRI United States:

“Last year, President Biden bolted out of the starting gate to address the climate crisis as the emergency that it is. Rejoining the Paris Agreement, setting an ambitious 2030 climate target and signing bipartisan legislation to invest billions in climate-smart infrastructure set a promising pace. Despite Biden’s efforts, the U.S. is not on track to achieve its ambitious climate targets and avert the worst climate impacts. 

“It’s time for the U.S. Congress to catch up. Congress should heed Biden’s call to pass a climate-smart budget package to create millions of good-paying jobs in different sectors, including clean energy, electric transportation, building energy efficiency and more. These investments will cut costs for Americans and grow local economies across the nation, including in rural communities, and help address inequities that continue to plague marginalized communities and communities of color across the country.

“As the latest IPCC report makes abundantly clear, the world cannot afford for President Biden to slow down. The costs of inaction are already mounting. For all our sakes, President Biden must forge a path forward with Congress to get a budget package over the finish line that helps build a safer, fairer future for everyone.”