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Kalamazoo area climate activists welcome federal legislation - as a first step

Solar Panels at Western Michigan University - file photo by WMUK

Advocates for addressing climate change say the Inflation Reduction Act is a good start

Kalamazoo area climate activists are celebrating new legislation aimed at addressing climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law Tuesday. The legislation includes the largest investment ever to combat climate change.

The bill is expected to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent while bolstering other sources of renewable energy. Mary Ann Renz with the Kalamazoo chapter of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby said it’s an important first step - something she wasn’t sure would happen.

“Just a couple of months ago, it looked like nothing was going to happen in that regard. And, and it happened. It happened. It's not the final solution. But it's a big important step forward,” said Renz.

The new legislation-includes more than $360-billion to address global warming. Paul Clements, co-founder of the Climate Change Working Group at Western Michigan University said it’s a step in the right direction.

”Overall, it is so much better than nothing. It is. Definitely," Clement said. "You know it gets the United States back into the game in a way that we just weren't without this. It's a good start, but only a start.”

While both Renz and Clements said the legislation is only a start, Renz said there needs to be a bigger limit on greenhouse gas and methane gas emissions to really address the climate change. Clements warned that the new legislation still doesn’t move fast enough to reduce carbon emissions.