The US Senate has approved a plan that includes the highest investment in American history for climate action: $369 billion (£305 billion).
According to the architects of the Inflation Reduction Act, the country’s carbon emissions will be reduced by 40 percent by 2030.
Some households could receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing an electric vehicle and $4,000 for a used vehicle.
The bill, a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s program, will now be forwarded to the Democratic-controlled House.
Before Mr. Biden can sign it into law, it is expected to be approved by the Senate as soon as this week.
With midterm elections less than three months away, the bill’s passing will be considered a boost for the Democrats, according to Peter Bowes, BBC’s North America correspondent.
In recent years, the United States has been plagued by fatal flooding and wildfires.
Changes in the climate enhance the likelihood that hot, dry weather may feed wildfires.
Since the beginning of the industrial age, the world has already warmed by approximately 1.1C, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments worldwide implement drastic emission reductions.
After a marathon overnight session, Democrats wept with pleasure and shook their hands in the air when the law, the result of 18 months of intensive negotiations, was enacted in the Senate.
It proposes increasing corporate taxes and reducing healthcare expenses as part of a $700 billion (£580 billion) plan, which the White House claims will pay for itself.
Democrats negotiated amongst themselves for months to secure the backing of each of their 50 senators, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote, for the bill to pass the Senate.
Nonetheless, the resultant agreement is a drastically scaled-back version of a much broader bill that many Democrats intended to pass last year.
Democratic Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer stated, “The Senate is creating history after more than a year of hard effort.
“This law is for Americans who have lost faith that Congress can accomplish great things,” he added.
The Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz reportedly shed tears of delight as he departed the chamber.
According to the New York Times, he stated, “Now I can look my child in the eye and say we’re doing something about the environment.”
Some Republicans have stated that they will attempt to stall or oppose the package, which includes $64 billion for healthcare.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, argued that the plan was out of touch since it did not assist cut prices for working people or keeping criminals in prison – “the things working people in this nation worry about.”
Congress discussed a revised version of the bill on Saturday, after two major Democratic holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, agreed to compromises on the previous, more ambitious plan.
Mr. Manchin felt that the previous law would have contributed to inflation.
Included in the bill’s industry provisions are tax credits for the development of clean energy that will assist with the high up-front expenditures. A new $27 billion “accelerator for clean energy technology” will be constructed to advance renewable technologies.
In addition, areas that have suffered the most from fossil fuel pollution would receive $60 billion.
President Biden, who has described the bill as “historic,” has vowed to restore the United States to the international climate action stage. In April of last year, he committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by at least 50 percent by 2030.
Last month, he announced $2.2 billion to assist in the construction of infrastructure that can survive severe weather and natural calamities.
This is not the climate mega-bill Joe Biden promised when he became president, but if it passes, it will be the most ambitious step the United States has ever done to prevent global warming.
And the indirect effect may be far more significant.
Senator John Kerry, the climate envoy for President Biden, has worked tirelessly to urge other nations to increase their climate change aspirations.
However, the United States faced a credibility gap.
“You can’t teach moderation from a bar stool,” stated one Democratic senator.
He implies that you can’t ask India, China, or Brazil to reduce emissions if you’re not doing the same.
That is still a fairly large request, and relations with China are extremely tense right now. As a result of senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, Beijing has ceased climate change cooperation.
The expectation is that worldwide efforts to combat global warming will be revitalized if the United States leads by example.