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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Is the newly passed infrastructure bill just small steps on climate or a BFD? The answer to both questions could be yes.

Catch up fast: The House voted late Friday to send the $1.2 trillion bill to President Biden.

  • It has massive investments in roads, bridges, transit and other “hard infrastructure” provisions, including billions of dollars for EV charging.
  • It includes $47 billion in climate resilience measures, and, per the White House, $65 billion in clean energy and grid-related investments.

The big picture: The bill provides just "nominal" emissions cuts between now and 2030 compared to current policy, according to REPEAT Project, a group led by Princeton energy expert Jesse Jenkins, in partnership with the firm Evolved Energy Research and Dartmouth's Erin Mayfield.

  • They estimate energy and industrial CO2 emissions 30% below 2005 levels in 2030 — way off President Biden's pledge of a 50% cut in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Yes, but: "The bill contains very important innovation policy investments whose impacts are difficult to model, but enable deeper cuts in the 2030s and 2040s by helping drive improvement in key technologies like clean hydrogen, carbon capture, advanced nuclear and geothermal, and long duration storage," Jenkins told Axios via email.

  • He also flagged major investments in transmission, and CO2 networks and storage. Third Way's Ryan Fitzpatrick has a rundown.

What we're watching: All eyes are now on bigger spending and tax legislation Democrats hope to move on a party-line vote soon.

  • It's stuffed with provisions to drive the nearer-term deployment of more mature clean energy and emissions-cutting tech — enough, analysts say, to enable steep emissions cuts this decade.

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver takes steps to cut greenhouse gases from commercial buildings

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Denver is rapidly moving toward electrifying buildings and homes by eliminating gas ranges and fireplaces.

Driving the news: The Denver City Council unanimously approved an ordinance last week that will require large office and apartment buildings to use solar power and switch to electric and water heating systems by 2030.

Exclusive: Bill Gates-backed venture fund targets decarbonizing aluminum

Expand chart
Data: IEA; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The need to decarbonize heavy industries such as steel, aluminum and cement manufacturing is taking on new urgency as policymakers and financiers search for ways to speed up the transition to a low carbon future.

Driving the news: On the aluminum front, Sortera Alloys, a company that seeks to achieve 100% reuse of aluminum waste from end-of-life products, announced $10 million in funding from Bill Gates-affiliated Breakthrough Energy Ventures on Tuesday.

3 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.