Written by: Madison Mayhew, Federal Policy Manager
Happy New Year! Congress has returned this week with the hefty task of passing a federal budget. Last November, Congress passed a short term Continuing Resolution (CR) funded in two parts with deadlines on January 19th and February 2nd.
The Latest on Climate Policy
Early into the new year, Leader Schumer and Speaker Johnson announced a topline budget deal that achieves the same funding levels that were agreed to as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act last summer. As the deal stands, the agreement keeps the vital climate-related investments that were secured in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This is good news and we want to ensure it stays this way!
What we’re watching:
Speaker Johnson sent a Dear Colleague letter saying the agreement allows House Republicans to “fight for the important policy riders” in their previously proposed FY2024 bills. This is concerning because several of the “poison pill” policy riders included significant attacks on important climate programs. We’ll continue to keep an eye on any changes.
Forests are facing intense threats across the globe. In 2022, the world lost more than 16 million acres of forest. Additionally, deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, often related to the cultivation of cattle, soy, palm oil and wood products.
The FOREST Act would stop agricultural products from illegally deforested lands from entering the US, while also helping companies and governments meet their deforestation-free commitments and promote good governance and transparent and accountable global supply chains. Read more about the bill here.
The bill was recently introduced into the Senate at the end of November and referred to the committee on Finance. If your Senator(s) sit on the committee, please reach out to their offices in support of the bill! We will continue to monitor and share opportunities for action.
January 25th 4pm ET
Interfaith Power & Light’s advocacy team will provide a 2024 climate policy analysis and an update on our policy priorities going into the new year — advancing federal agency climate pollution rules, passing a Farm Bill rooted in equitable climate solutions, ensuring Congress doesn’t roll back Inflation Reduction Act climate investments, and holding GM and Toyota accountable for their EV leadership goals. 2024 is a big election year, and we’ll share our 2024 Faith Votes Campaign plans. RSVP here.
January 23rd, 3PM ET
Join us online as we discuss some of the actions and agreements that came out of COP28 in Dubai, along with the pivotal role that the faith community played in pushing for greater ambition at these climate talks. You’ll hear from faith leaders who attended the UN Climate Conference in-person, get their perspective on what happened, and hear what’s next as we continue to urge policymakers to take bold and just action on climate change.
If you aren’t able to attend, you can still register, and we will send the recording out to everyone who registered.