How the Inflation Reduction Act Will Help Fight a Big Worry for Arizonans—Climate Change

FILE - In this July 28, 2015, file photo, electricians, Adam Hall, right, and Steven Gabert install solar panels on a roof for Arizona Public Service company in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

By Jessica Swarner

September 1, 2022

The legislation aims to reduce emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030. 

Arizonans are worried about the effects of climate change on the state. 

In a recent poll from Courier Newsroom and Data for Progress, nearly 75% of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about extreme heat. 

Arizona’s average summer temperature is already nearly 2 degrees warmer since 1970, and it’s projected to keep going up. By 2030, the state is expected to see 133 days with a heat index over 105 degrees compared to 121 in 2000. 

RELATED: From Heat Deaths to Worsening Allergies, Climate Change Harms Health

Even more poll respondents—80%—said they were very or somewhat concerned about prolonged drought. 

Arizona is in its 27th year of prolonged drought, and getting worse. Levels at Lake Mead are the lowest they’ve been since the building of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. 

Thankfully, Congress is finally taking action. 

The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed on Aug. 16, is the country’s biggest investment in fighting climate change ever. 

The legislation aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—which produce a warming effect on the planet—to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.

The Inflation Reduction Act will help Americans continue the shift to renewable energy by providing tax credits for rooftop solar and electric vehicles, as well as rebates for energy-efficient home appliances. 

The legislation invests in large-scale renewable energy production, with the goal of having  950 million solar panels, 120,000 wind turbines, and 2,300 grid-scale battery plants by 2030. 

There’s also funding for forest conservation, wetlands protection, and habitat restoration for threatened and endangered species. 

Ramon Cruz, president of the Sierra Club, called the legislation a “historic turning point in climate action.” 
“The Inflation Reduction Act is not the end of our call for climate action,” Cruz said in a press release, “but a significant beginning of real progress toward the healthy and safe future each of us deserves.”

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  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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