(PHOENIX, AZ – Aug. 3, 2022) This week the U.S. Senate is poised to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses climate change, health care and inflation. If passed, the bill would invest $369 billion in climate solutions and put the U.S. on a path to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The bill also contains measures to employ zero-emission technology, reduce air pollution, expand drought mitigation and resilience efforts, and ensure rural and low-income communities are at the forefront of climate solutions.
Chris Kuzdas, co-lead of the Water for Arizona coalition and Senior Manager, Climate Resilient Water Systems at Environmental Defense Fund, issued the following statement about the critical need to pass the legislation:
“The Southwest is grappling with the worst megadrought in 1,200 years and staring down the possibility of a major water supply collapse on the Colorado River. These severe changes are already underway with the current average global warming of 1.1 to 1.7 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels. Without meaningful action to move quickly toward a cleaner economy, we will be facing even more daunting prospects of trying to adapt water consumption to the dire reality of a world with as much as 2.5 degrees Celsius average warming.
“The Senate’s proposed Inflation Reduction Act would significantly boost the government’s ability to tackle climate change and is a necessary, major step forward if we are to reduce emissions. The bill includes funding for important conservation programs and a number of measures to advance drought mitigation and resilience efforts, such as support for Tribes, producers and others to respond to the climate crisis. All in all, the bill represents a major investment in protecting our water supplies in the Southwest.
“Climate action is mission critical if we hope to retain our ability to work toward a water secure future for all people in Arizona and beyond. The Water for Arizona Coalition is encouraged to see climate action back on the table in the U.S. Congress. We urge the Senate to move swiftly to pass the climate measures in the Inflation Reduction Act — and for the House to follow soon after — so we can keep building toward a more sustainable future.”
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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @GrowingReturns.
The Water for Arizona Coalition is a community of Arizonans who support innovative practices and smart policies to ensure a reliable water supply to meet the state’s needs. The Coalition was recently recognized as an Arizona Capitol Times “2020 Leader of the Year” for their efforts in protecting Arizona’s most valuable resource. Organizational support is provided by solution-oriented groups like American Rivers, Business for Water Stewardship, Environmental Defense Action Fund, National Audubon Society, and Western Resource Advocates that collectively have over 60,000 Arizona members, as well as hundreds of hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts across the state.