After Joe Manchin tanked Biden's major clean-energy plan, the president still wants to spend $555 billion to fight the climate crisis

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After Joe Manchin tanked Biden's major clean-energy plan, the president still wants to spend $555 billion to fight the climate crisis
© Provided by Business Insider President Joe Biden. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

  • Biden unveiled a $555 billion climate investment for Democrats’ social-spending bill on Thursday.
  • This reduced investment would not be too far off from Democrats’ initial proposal.
  • Biden had said the “prestige” of the US was at stake after Manchin opposed a major clean-energy provision.

President Joe Biden unveiled a $555 billion investment for the climate in a $1.75 trillion framework for Democrats’ social-spending bill on Tuesday.

People familiar with the matter first told Axios on Tuesday that the climate portion of Democrats’ social-sending bill was “mostly settled” and would have a price tag of $500 billion to $555 billion, which isn’t too far off from the $600 billion proposal Democrats first proposed under their initial $3.5 trillion package.

This is the biggest investment in Biden’s framework, while other progressive policies, like free community college and paid leave, were dropped from the bill.

Biden had previously expressed concern that the bill would not meet the urgency of the climate crisis after Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia – a centrist Democratic holdout on the bill – opposed the inclusion of the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would have allowed for Biden to reach his goal to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030.

“This will be, just as a matter of fact, the biggest climate bill in human history,” Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii told Axios. “At least a half a trillion dollars. That’s a pretty good story to tell at the Conference of Parties,” he added, referring to the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, next week. Biden, too, is looking ahead to the UN summit, saying the “prestige” of the US is at stake on the world stage without a significant climate plan.

Insider reported on Tuesday that ahead of the climate summit, the UN skewered world leaders over their handling of the climate crisis, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres saying countries were “utterly failing” to meet climate goals and world leaders needed to work to avoid a “climate catastrophe.”

Still, Biden’s announcement of this framework does not mean every Democrat is on board, including Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Progressives like Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal are still holding firm that they need to see the bill text before signing off on the framework, and will not vote for an infrastructure bill until the social-spending bill meets their priorities.

As the UN has made clear, this climate investment cannot come soon enough. The Paris agreement set a goal to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, but a recent UN report found that unless action was taken quickly, temperatures could rise to about 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

And after a UN report in August saying some of global warming’s effects would be “irreversible for centuries to millennia,” pressure is ramping up on Biden and other countries to meet the urgency of the climate crisis.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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