Stalled 'Build Back Better' package threatens U.S. climate influence

(Reuters, 31 Jan 2022) President Biden's $2 trillion climate and social spending package is struggling to advance, potentially hurting policy action abroad and at home.

ailure to push Joe Biden's signature climate legislation through Congress could jeopardize Washington's influence in the fight against global warming and open the door for China and other nations to backslide, lawmakers and activists say.

The White House is battling to salvage some $500 billion in climate funding measures contained in Biden's stalled "Build Back Better" spending bill at the start of another crucial year for international climate action.

"We essentially promised the world we were going to do this," said U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman of California. "If we go (to COP27) empty-handed, it's potentially lights out for climate action," referring to U.N. talks due to be held in November.

The legislative wrangling is being closely watched by countries including China, currently the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, climate policy analysts said.

Failure by Washington to make good on commitments to cut emissions and other promises contained in the legislation could affect climate action by Beijing despite a bilateral deal last year, they said.

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Reuters, 31 Jan 2022: Stalled 'Build Back Better' package threatens U.S. climate influence