More investment in biotech, supported by better regulation, could help IRA achieve its goals

The impact of carbon reduction provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on private sector construction and transportation businesses was explored in a Senate hearing today, but it is also important to understand biotech’s contribution to helping IRA achieve its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) noted.

The $369 billion IRA aims to support low-carbon businesses. It also mandates the domestic production of certain key technologies, a stipulation that recently drew fire from the European Union for being protectionist, according to POLITICO. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who is a climate action campaigner, defended the IRA, saying the EU should work “to match what the U.S. has done.”

“It’s by far the most significant climate legislation ever passed by any country and in all of history,” Gore said at POLITICO’s Sustainable Future Summit. “It took a great deal of political acumen on the part of President Joe Biden and the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate to get it done.”

Good news and bad news for biotech

The IRA contains drug price controls that are expected to kill drug innovation and hamper development of new treatments, according to BioNews.

But the legislation contains good news for biotech companies working on climate solutions—and for the health of our planet, as we have previously reported. The act includes provisions to support the development of sustainable aviation fuels, as well as biotech solutions to address the climate impact of agriculture.

What we need now is more investment in biotech to achieve the legislation’s historic goals and a regulatory system that supports the development and deployment of these tools, BIO recently told President Biden.

BIO has called for actions to introduce biobased technology and build more sustainable supply chains, but also noted that the US needs a regulatory framework that enables farmers and ranchers to quickly adopt “tools like precision plant breeding, biostimulants, microbial inoculants, and enhanced animal feed with enzymes.”

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