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Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

We now know more about the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan — and Democrats' tactical approach to the advancing package that has a suite of climate-related provisions.

Catch up fast: The Senate voted 67-32 to move the $1.2 trillion plan toward debate last night. Per a White House release it includes...

  • $73 billion in grid-related spending, including major transmission investments.
  • $7.5 billion to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • $39 billion in public transit spending, and $7.5 billion for zero- and low-emission buses and ferries.
  • $50 billion-plus for hardening infrastructure against climate change and cyberattacks.

The intrigue: OK, we still don't have bill text, but summaries in circulation — like the one posted here via Politico and this one via Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) — describe climate- and energy-related measures funded or at least authorized. For instance...

  • $8 billion worth of new tax credits for clean energy-related manufacturing.
  • Authorization of a $3.5 billion program to create four regional "hubs" for direct air capture projects.
  • Josh Freed of the think tank Third Way has a helpful Twitter thread here.

The big picture: The bipartisan agreement comes as Democrats are hoping to move much, much larger climate provisions in a budget reconciliation package on a party-line vote.

  • Comments late Wednesday from climate-focused Democrats and activists show they're walking a fine line — greeting the plan with limited praise while trying to keep the pressure on for much more aggressive measures.
  • For instance, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a statement that "while this package contains valuable provisions, we still have miles left to go."
  • Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce called it " an important start," but said Democrats need to go "bigger and bolder" with a plan "as large as the physical reality of the climate crisis."

Go deeper: Democrats call infrastructure bill a down payment on climate (NYT)

Go deeper

Updated Nov 3, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on COP26 as it unfolds

On Wednesday, November 3rd, Axios World editor Dave Lawler and energy reporter Ben Geman discussed the COP26 United Nations climate conference as it unfolds, featuring UN Foundation President & CEO Elizabeth Cousens and UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner.

Elizabeth Cousens highlighted environmental agreements from the conference that had stood out to her so far, how to transform climate-related conversations into tangible action, and how she would ultimately measure the success of the conference.

  • On advancements made at the conference so far: “We’ve already seen important advances in Glasgow this week...the direction of travel continues to be the right one. Everyone’s point of reference now is net zero. 90% of the global economy has made net zero pledges, that’s a critical development. Now all the focus is turning to delivery, to implementation, to how do we get to the goal of net zero as countries and others have set them.”
  • On defining successful climate action moving forward: “There are things we should have done 10, 20, 30 years ago that we didn’t do. We didn’t do them, but we can do them today, we can do them tomorrow, we can do them the next day. I think we’re going to get quite far in this COP, however far we get, we need to go farther the next day.”

Achim Steiner illustrated the environmental concerns of developing countries, how to address climate-related issues amidst the continuing pandemic, and how to improve financing processes for countries adapting to climate change.

  • On the economic barriers to investing in climate during the pandemic: “We are still in the midst of a pandemic, and for many developing countries, it’s not just the health crisis that it triggered, but it is really a social and economic crisis also...so that is an enormous constraint on them being able to invest in really making these transitions in the energy sector, in the mobility sector, in agriculture and land use.”
  • On the need to shift climate financing discussions: “International climate financing discussions have to move from this notion that this is some form of philanthropy or perhaps some short-term donations. We need to take a mindset of co-investing in one another because the vulnerability of hundreds of millions of people exposed to the risks of climate change will affect the global economy, will affect us all.”

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Biden urges lawmakers to "vote yes right now" on infrastructure, social spending bills

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden urged lawmakers to vote in favor of his $1.75 trillion social spending bill and $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, as Democratic leadership pushed for votes on both bills Friday.

What he's saying: "I'm asking every ... member of the House of Representatives to vote yes on both of these bills right now. Send the infrastructure bill to my desk. Send the Build Back Better bill to the Senate," Biden said.

Progressives roiled by Pelosi’s sudden strategy shift

Photo: Craig Hudson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House would move forward with a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Friday, despite anger and surprise from progressives in the caucus who were caught off guard by the sudden shift in strategy.

Driving the news: Pelosi changed course when she called for a vote on the infrastructure bill before a final vote on the social spending package as a way to appease moderates who want to see a CBO score.

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said progressives would not support a standalone infrastructure vote and would likewise wait for a CBO score, leaving a path forward on both bills unclear.