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US climate bill keeps hope alive for halting warming at 1.5°C

The big legislative package worth USD 430bn has now passed through the US House of Representatives, and while also containing plenty of support for fossil energy, the bill’s provisions for renewables and energy infrastructure keep a sliver of hope alive for keeping global heating somewhat in check.

Photo: ELIZABETH FRANTZ/REUTERS / X06757

With climate legislation passed through Congress on Friday, the US is on the brink of reviving a long-shot global hope: to limit warming temperatures to 1.5° Celsius.

The 1.5°C warming limit was enshrined into the Paris Agreement in 2015 as a shared goal of world governments. It’s a crucial threshold beyond which heat waves, rain, drought, flooding and sea level rise become increasingly intolerable. But it’s a goal that has become seriously imperiled over the past seven years — in no small part due to the limited efforts of the US, one of the largest single sources of greenhouse gas.

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