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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

After signing the nearly $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden has finally decided to use his position of power to make a genuine attempt at fighting the climate crisis. This bill includes landmark spending on climate issues (nearly $300 billion), as well as price capping for prescription drugs, insurance aid for Americans, and expected inflation relief according to the BBC.

There are also plans of tax incentives for businesses to invest in renewable energy, and rebates for energy-efficient home adjustments and electric car purchases. There is hope in this bill. Finally, green and clean energy is becoming more affordable. The incentives put in place for making the switch will not only encourage people but afford more citizens the opportunity to go green.

Although this is a great effort and a strong plan, it is not time to ease up on the fight for climate justice. This bill and other acts in progress are long overdue. Over the last few decades, scientists and citizens leading the fight against climate change have made it abundantly clear that we were and still are in need of proper legislation. The ignorance of past and present political leaders should not be forgotten and forgiven, simply because of this new bill.

Additionally, Biden and current leaders should not be praised for this delayed action. They have had decades of time, and a copious amount of opportunities to make the necessary change. This bill shows us that legislative change is possible (even though we’ve known that).

Recent positive climate progression does not stop at this. According to EuroNews.com, over the last few months, there has been a tremendous change! Just to name a few, in Hawaii, the last coal-fired power plant closed down, stopping the annual release of 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses. Canada has also set a luxury tax on high-end cars, planes and boats. Hearing of positive climate action being taken around the world is promising, but it also shows that we should be fighting for more to be done at the federal level in America.

There are measures that can easily be taken and more progressive bills that can be written, and I think watching other countries work so hard should be a bigger motivator. It would be extremely easy for American politicians to advocate for the proper change, simply taxing the one percent, or placing more rigid regulations on top corporations when it comes to emissions. But why would they? Why would they tax the people who line the pockets of their campaigns, and why would they care about climate change when most of them won’t be here in the next two decades?

It is not time to give up the fight yet. Though we are starting to see change, we need to demand more. We need to work harder to elect individuals who care more about our planet than they care about money or power. This bill is a starting point, but it simply should not be the final destination on our way to climate justice.

Summer Deciucis is a Journalism and Fashion Merchandising student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and an HCVCU editorial member. She has interests in pop culture, current social issues, fashion, and true crime.