World Wildlife Fund’s Marcene Mitchell at SXSW: “These three acts make for $800 billion in the clean economy.”

“How do we take care of each other? What is our responsibility to the next generation? That’s why the climate crisis is hard because it affects people far away and it affects people who aren’t even born yet. Those are going to be moral choices that we are going to have to make, but money is not the bottom-line issue.
We can’t take on the whole world, but we can take on the changes within our sphere of influence. You and I can’t decide about renewable energy policy, but we could put a solar panel on our roof.
We can do the things that we can do. We can buy the car, we can influence people, we can vote, we can lobby, and we can be at that local school meeting or local city council meeting.”
- Marcene Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Climate Change, World Wildlife Fund.

Although we're in a climate crisis, we shouldn't feel hopeless. We’ve seen the passing of some historic climate action legislation such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS Act, to the recent Inflation Reduction Act, with billions of tax incentives earmarked toward climate solutions.
However, while large financial commitments toward historic climate action have made waves in the media, their immediate effects may not be felt enough to where average Americans know that their life or community is benefiting from the climate legislation.
Marcene Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Climate Change at the World Wildlife Fund, joined The Climate Hub at SXSW in the Financing the Just Transition segment to break down the historic climate legislation and explain why American households should be taking notice.
"The good news is that we know what to do. This is a problem we can solve, and we have the technology and the ability to do it. What we lack is the will," said Marcene Mitchell at The Climate Hub at SXSW.
"The good news is that we know what to do. This is a problem we can solve, and we have the technology and the ability to do it. What we lack is the will," said Marcene Mitchell at The Climate Hub at SXSW.

The Road to the Just Transition

For decades, the World Wildlife Fund has engaged with leading businesses, government leaders, and millions of Americans to prepare for inevitable change and reduce the emissions that drive climate change. WWF recognizes the influential role that the United States has in fighting the climate crisis.
Marcene shared, “We just passed three important pieces of legislation – the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS Act. Together, these three acts make for $800 billion in the clean economy. It will reduce our emissions by up to 41% by 2030.”
So what does $800 billion in the clean economy look like in your everyday life and how will it impact the community you live in?
  • Americans can now take advantage of a $7500 tax credit, making electric vehicle ownership more affordable than ever before. Given that the transportation sector is one of the leading GHG emitters in the US, it's crucial to encourage more Americans to own an electric vehicle. The adoption of electric vehicles and the decarbonization of American transportation will have significant positive impacts on reducing air pollution, mitigating climate change, and improving public health.
  • $3200 in annual tax credits exist for Americans to make their homes and buildings more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. Establishing more climate-friendly buildings and homes will be important since the heating and cooling of buildings add up to nearly 43% of all energy use in the US. Americans can tap into these tax credits by improving building energy efficiency through measures such as heat pump installation, insulation, and electrical panel upgrading.
  • Tax credits are also available for businesses that purchase solar energy systems. Alongside governments, industries are a vital part of reaching climate targets. Tax credits for businesses that use renewable energy can further reinforce the need for society to shift away from fossil fuels. The more businesses that adopt clean energy, the lesser the carbon footprint.
The $800 billion allocation towards the clean economy, tax credits, and other incentives is a great start. Yet, we must ensure that the benefits of electric vehicles and other climate incentives also are available to low and middle-income individuals and families, and not just the wealthy. Combating the climate crisis is a group effort.
Marcene Mitchell and Dr. Sweta Chakraborty discuss the levels of impact that climate financing will have on American households.
Marcene Mitchell and Dr. Sweta Chakraborty discuss the levels of impact that climate financing will have on American households.

Building a Greener Tomorrow Takes Hope

Marcene broke down the importance of the recent historic climate legislation, and how American families can expect to benefit from it, but she wanted to make sure the unwavering message of hope remains a beacon to younger generations — especially in the face of the climate crisis.
She said, “Hope is non-negotiable. Sometimes people say ‘failure is not an option’, but the reality is that failure happens all the time. Yet, losing hope is not an option for us.
Hope is for this planet – there’s no giving up on this, there’s no slowing down, there’s no stepping back and giving into depression or denial. That’s what I ask for the younger generation – is to have hope.”
A greener tomorrow starts with the hope and courage to act on climate action today. The time to act is now.

Stay in the loop with our climate action! WWF is on We Don’t Have Time, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can follow Marcene Mitchell on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Evangeline Wanjiru

    64 w

    Change begins with everyone taking initiative even in their small ways

    • Tabitha Kimani

      65 w

      Everybody should remain hopeful and take the necessary actions. Thank you Madam Mitchell.

      • Ford Brodeur

        65 w

        Thank you for explaining how the $800 billion will impact everyday Americans. It was really interesting to learn. I'm excited to follow you on We Don't Have Time!

        Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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