Activist countries

Comment: The United States finally passed a huge climate bill. Other countries must follow

America had to wait over a decade for the next opportunity. The weekend vote was close, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the decider.

What was lost in the years that followed was more than time. Over the past decade, climate impacts have become more frequent and deadlier. Just ask the flood victims of Lismore in New South Wales or the citizens of Mallacoota in Victoria after the bushfires.

Most of Europe is now in drought. Stories of unprecedented heat waves and floods are coming in every week from China, India, the Middle East and South America. The western United States is in a mega-drought, the worst in at least 1,200 years, with reservoirs at dangerous levels.

WHAT DOES THE INVOICE REALLY CONTAIN?

When climate action is deliberately blocked by political parties, the price is paid by communities, families and the natural world.

This is why the American bill is crucial. Senate approval of spending will directly advance clean energy. This includes billions of dollars in tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and geothermal power plants, among other technologies.

That translates to roughly $9 billion in rebates for Americans to electrify their homes, $7,500 tax credits to electrify their cars, and billions more to establish a “green bank,” target agricultural emissions and help underprivileged communities.

Even better, these billions of public money will attract private investment, accelerating the rate at which the US economy can decarbonize.