Seventh Episode: Jesse Scott & Mike Williams – the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act and its transatlantic implications
Welcome to the second season of “The Climate Bridge Podcast”, adelphi’s and Polis180’s podcast series. This podcast, like the Transatlantic Climate Bridge initiative behind it, focuses on climate change and climate policy in Germany, the United States and Canada. A key goal of both the initiative and this podcast is to improve climate cooperation between the three countries. In pursuit of this goal, Season 2 welcomes great guests and insightful topics on, among others, the upcoming COP28 or the transatlantic implications of US Inflation Reduction Act.
About this episode
While the last episode dealt with Germany’s road to COP28, this episode sheds a light on the US climate policy perspective and its impacts on the transatlantic sphere. Specifically, it covers the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which was signed into law in 2022 and is the most significant piece of climate legislation in US history. This episode dives into the IRA and untangles the intersection between climate, international trade, industrial policy and geopolitics.
With the support of Ole Adolphsen – Polis180 –, Mary Hellmich – adelphi – spoke with Jesse Scott (Adjunct Professor at Hertie School & Visiting Research Fellow at DIW) and Mike Williams (Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress).
Key points which were discussed include:
- The IRA’s main objective and its underlying politics. The legislation is primarily a climate investment policy that centers working people, and the politics present at the time of its passage are crucial to understanding elements of the bill that have caused the most tension with the EU.
- The EU supports the IRA as global signal but remains concerned about trade and investment competition. Remaining tensions in this area include the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and differences due to specific European policy toolkits (e.g., taxation and investment policies).
- Transatlantic partnerships are still needed. The IRA is an opportunity for transatlantic discussions through a possible linkage between two strong climate laws whilst building good allies, e.g. to BRICS countries.
- More potential for a circular economy agenda between G7 and the “global south”.
During the episode’s final section, Ole and Mary share their impressions and main take-aways of the interview, while Ole also reveals his German climate-related word.
Side note: If you’re also interested in understanding the environmental and climate justice measures in the IRA, listen to episode 4 that welcomed Dr. Robert Bullard and Nora Löhle interviewed by Mary Hellmich (adelphi) and Kira Schrödel (Polis180).
Guest: Jesse Scott & Mike Williams
Hosts: Mary Hellmich
Producers: Mary Hellmich, Ole Adolphsen, Melisa Özcelik, Mona Hilliges, Hannah Dieterle, Kira Schrödel, Tina Bayer
Mixing and post-production: Franz Classe
Music: Maximilian Below