Climate Action at the State Level: Increased Ambition in Michigan and New Jersey

It has been clear for some time that efforts at the state level will play a crucial role in getting the United States to its goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030. 

Now, however, provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) specifically targeted toward investments at the state level are posed to super-charge these efforts. Among these provisions are the following:

– $27 billion for states and other entities to deploy zero-emission technologies and reduce climate pollution in disadvantaged communities through a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

– $8.6 billion for state energy offices to help consumers retrofit their homes through High-Efficiency Electric Homes Rebates (HEEHRA) and a Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole-House Rebates (HOMES) program.

– $5 billion for states, municipalities, and tribal governments to develop and implement plans to reduce climate pollution through Climate Pollution Reduction Grants.

– $2.2 billion for state and private forestry conservation programs to plant trees and undertake land acquisition projects.

– $1 billion for state and local governments to adopt building energy codes, including $670 billion for zero energy codes.

– $5 million for states to adopt and implement clean vehicle standards.

In addition to these state-specific provisions, states will benefit from other provisions of the IRA, such as the tax credits for wind and solar installations and electric vehicles (EVs) that bring construction and maintenance jobs. The domestic content requirements associated with this latter set of credits should also spur significant growth in domestic mining, battery and vehicle manufacturing, iron and steel production, and wind turbine and solar panel manufacturing. All of these provisions will and in fact have already begun to benefit states across the political spectrum, but they are likely to have the biggest impact in states where Democrats hold power and climate action is popular, particularly those with pre-existing climate targets. This report analyzes two of the biggest states catalyzing climate action, Michigan and New Jersey, to illustrate this dynamic as well as to give some sense of what is possible at the local level and how states can help to meet the U.S. 2030 target with help from the IRA.


This briefing was prepared under the Transatlantic Climate Bridge project, which is supported by the German Federal Government. The briefing is the independent work and sole responsibility of adelphi (coordinator of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge Program Office) and Climate Advisers and was neither commissioned by nor necessarily reflects the views of the Federal Government.