The Inflation Reduction Act contains billions in direct investments to decarbonize U.S. industrial manufacturing and pilot procurement of low-carbon steel, concrete, and other widely used construction materials across key federal agencies under the umbrella of Buy Clean: an ambitious Biden administration strategy to use the purchasing power of the government to reduce the climate footprint of infrastructure projects and strengthen U.S. industry. The new climate law tasks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with developing first-ever climate performance standards for Buy Clean across priority materials categories, defining what constitutes as “clean” for federally funded public works projects.
To be effective, Buy Clean programs must encourage near-term emissions reductions while creating a longer-term pathway to deep decarbonization (emissions cuts of 70 percent or greater, all the way to zero-emission or near-zero-emission industrial manufacturing) across key domestic industrial manufacturing sectors. This is especially critical in the steel sector, where carbon intensity varies significantly based on the method of steel production.
The above excerpt was originally published in NRDC.
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