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People, Places & Parks Thought Leadership

Climate Law Will Boost Innovation in Georgia

By Michael O’Reilly, Director of Policy & Climate Strategy, The Nature Conservancy

Addressing climate change is mistakenly portrayed by some as a sacrifice that will undermine our economy and reduce our standard of living.  The truth, of course, is that efforts that enhance our use of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are exactly what we need to ensure that our economy and communities continue to thrive in the years ahead.

Innovation is integral to the American story.  A nation once dependent on the strength of horses to transport its goods and plow its fields, we harnessed new technologies to take us into the 20th century.  Our commerce and communities benefited as a result.  

But times change, technologies evolve, and we discover better ways to sustain our progress.  Just look at Georgia’s growing importance in the rapidly expanding clean energy economy.  From electric vehicles to solar panels to battery storage – Georgia is becoming a manufacturing powerhouse for these industries.  That success supports more jobs, a stronger economy, and a rising standard of living.

The Inflation Reduction Act recently signed into law provides critical investments that will enable Georgia and all states to build on their successes in creating sustainable growth.  Some highlights of the new law include:

  • Tax credits that cover 30% of the costs to install solar panels and battery storage systems, improve home energy efficiency, or upgrade heating and cooling equipment.
  • Investments to expand U.S. manufacturing of clean energy and transportation technologies.
  • Support for climate-smart agriculture practices that help Georgia’s farmers increase their productivity and benefit the climate.
  • Tax credits to help small businesses reduce their energy bills.

The law will also enable communities to plant more trees where they are needed.  Not only are trees one of nature’s most powerful tools for reducing carbon in the atmosphere, they also directly help improve air quality, reduce ground temperatures, absorb stormwater, and supply us all with a welcome connection to nature.  

The Nature Conservancy applauds Georgia’s Members of Congress who helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act and make possible these resources that will benefit families across our state.  These investments are projected to reduce household energy costs by almost 40%, as they also reduce emissions by 40% by 2030. 

Tackling climate change remains a challenge.  These new incentives for innovation will help us meet that challenge effectively.  

 

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