US takes on farming emissions in climate bill: On Tuesday 16 August, US president Joe Biden signed a bill into law that he described as “the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis”.
As Carbon Brief reported in an in-depth media summary, the Inflation Reduction Act contains $437bn of spending – mostly on climate and health measures – and was agreed after months of haggling with Democrat senator and coal-industry supporter Joe Manchin. The IRA devotes most of its climate spending to scaling up renewable power, including $177bn for “clean electricity”, according to an interactive breakdown of the bill in the New York Times.
However, the bill also contains nearly $17bn in “funding for agricultural practices that improve soil carbon, reduce nitrogen losses and decrease emissions”, says the paper – with almost $5bn for forest protection and restoration, and $4.6bn for drought resilience. Overall, just over 5% of the IRA’s spending is earmarked for changing farming practices, according to Vox, which added that the US food system accounts for 11% of its total greenhouse gas emissions.