For the septuagenarian lawmakers who wrote the historic climate bill that Congress passed on Friday, and the president who is about to sign it into law, the measure is a victory.

Climate activists want more. They look at the bill as a down payment and worry that voters will think Washington has solved climate change when in reality it has only taken the first steps.

"This bill is not the bill that my generation deserves and needs to fully avert climate catastrophe, but it is the one that we can pass, given how much power we have at this moment."

Ms. Ramirez said that it took so long because the Congress and Senate didn't look like the Americans. Most of the young people will be affected by the climate crisis. By the time we face the consequences of their actions, most of them will be dead.

Sign up for the Climate Forward newsletter, for Times subscribers only.  Your must-read guide to the climate crisis.

Ms. Ramirez and about 50 other youth leaders wrote a letter to members of Congress.

The Inflation Reduction Act was approved by the House of Representatives on Friday. The bill was passed by Democrats in the Senate without a single Republican vote. The legislation will provide $370 billion over a decade for investments in wind, solar, clean hydrogen, energy storage and other measures to shift the American economy away from the fossil fuels that have underpinned it for more than a century.

The new law will bring down the United States' carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by the end of this decade, on top of another 20 percent cut that will come as a result of market forces already in place, according to analysts. It would be enough to meet Mr. Biden's pledge to cut emissions by half by the end of the century.

The legislation was hailed as a once-in-a- generation bill to meaningfully address the real threats of climate change by several of his colleagues.

ImageA young woman in a fluorescent magenta coat speaks into a cordless microphone against a black background.
“This bill is not the bill that my generation deserves and needs to fully avert climate catastrophe,” said Varshini Prakash, a co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, “but it is the one that we can pass.”Credit...Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
A young woman in a fluorescent magenta coat speaks into a cordless microphone against a black background.

Scientists think the US needs to do more. The bill won't be able to stop carbon dioxide from being added to the atmosphere. Scientists say that all major economies need to meet that target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The likelihood of disasters increases beyond that threshold. The world has warmed by an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius.

The president of Rapidan Energy Group said it was like losing 20 pounds when you needed to lose 100. This won't bring you there.

Card 1 of 8

The auto industry is large. There was a limit on the number of cars that could be eligible for tax credits for buying an electric vehicle. The tax credit will be extended until 2032, and used cars will be able to get a credit of up to $4,000.

The energy industry is important to us. Billions of dollars in rebates would be given to Americans who purchase energy efficient and electric appliances. Tax credits would be given to companies for building emissions-free electricity. $60 billion is set aside to encourage clean energy manufacturing and penalties for methane emissions that exceed federal limits.

It's health care. Medicare would be able to negotiate with drugmakers on the price of some prescription drugs. The subsidies available under theAffordable Care Act would be extended for three more years under the bill.

There is a tax code The minimum corporate minimum tax would apply to companies that report more than $1 billion in annual income but are able to use credits, deductions and other tax treatments to reduce their tax rates. The legislation would give the I.R.S. an investment of about 80 billion dollars.

Communities with low incomes. The package supports low-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately affected by climate change. Grants for zero-emissions technology and money to mitigate the negative effects of highways are included.

The industry is made of fossil fuels. The legislation would require the federal government to auction off more public space for oil drilling and expand tax credits for coal and gas burning plants that use carbon capture technology. These provisions were added in order to get the support of Senator Joe Manchin III.

West Virginia is located in the United States. The law is expected to benefit Mr. Manchin's state, which is the nation's second largest producer of coal, making permanent a federal trust fund to support miners with black lung disease and offering new incentives to build wind and solar farms in areas where coal mines or coal are located

He said that after the champagne is drunk there will be a moment of rest. What do you do to close the rest of the gap?

New regulations on emissions from power plants, vehicle tailpipes, and methane leaks from oil and gas wells are needed to reach Mr. Biden's goal. The adoption of electric cars, wind and solar powered electricity, and energy efficient buildings would have to be mandated by the state and local governments.

The historic bill just passed by a razor-thin majority would not be enough for Congress to eliminate the nation's fossil fuel emissions in the next two decades.

It would be difficult for Congress to tax, ban or phase out coal, oil and gas pollution that is driving global warming.

Dallas Burtraw is an energy policy expert at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan energy and environment research organization located in Washington, D.C.

The new law gives congress some time to act. He said that it doesn't need to happen right now or in the future. It must happen before the end of the decade.

ImageChuck Schumer pumps his fists from a lectern outside the White House bearing the presidential seal while Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, to Mr. Schumer’s his right and left, respectively, smile.
From left, President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats muscled climate legislation past uniform opposition from Republicans. Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times
Chuck Schumer pumps his fists from a lectern outside the White House bearing the presidential seal while Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, to Mr. Schumer’s his right and left, respectively, smile.

In addition to deeper cuts in emissions, young and racially diverse climate advocates want new provisions that protect low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, which are disproportionately affected by climate impacts.

She said that they talked about jobs, justice and decarbonization.

After the bill is signed, Democrats and activists need to get back to work, according to Representative Sean Casten.

The explosion of solar, wind and other renewable energy promised by the new law will require Congress to make it easier to build transmission lines and other facilities.

Mr. Casten wants Congress to eliminate tax breaks and other subsidies for the oil, gas and coal industries.

He said that legislators would not be judged on their votes on the bill. If the CO2 in the atmosphere is higher 10 years from now, we will be judged on that.

Polls show that the American electorate is divided along partisan lines about the scale of the problem and what to do about it, even as scientific evidence links climate change to extreme weather.

A majority of Republicans and Independents who lean Republican, as well as a majority of Democrats and those who lean left, think Biden's climate policies are hurting the country.

Republicans between the ages of 18 and 29 were more likely to say the federal government needs to act on climate change than older adults were. Younger Americans of both parties are more likely to be politically engaged on climate change than older generations.

ImageA young man on an outdoor stage speaks from a lectern that has a sign that reads, “American Conservative Climate Rally.” Behind him, in large white letters, “A.C.C.”
Benji Backer, president of the American Conservation Coalition, and a supporter of the Inflation Reduction Act, spoke during a conservative climate rally last year.Credit...Saul Martinez for The New York Times
A young man on an outdoor stage speaks from a lectern that has a sign that reads, “American Conservative Climate Rally.” Behind him, in large white letters, “A.C.C.”

The political support for a carbon tax could grow as younger voters enter office, according to a Democratic strategist.

The Boomer voters will be outnumbered by the younger generation in 2024. It makes them work harder. The electorate will shift towards people who want to save the planet in the next two decades.

Five of the 22 climate bills she wrote were part of the package. None got a vote in the Republican-led legislature. Ms. Neubauer thinks the number of former activists turning to politics is encouraging.

Ms. Neubauer said that when Trump was elected, everyone had to look at the failures of the movement. She said that many of her fellow former activists have recently joined political campaigns or considered running for office themselves.

The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Democrats would be lucky to keep the new provisions.

If you have a unanimous Republican position against it, they will have to fight to keep what they have. They will have to fight to keep the incentives. Unless Republicans feel like they are free to convert, Republicans will try to claw it back.

The founder of the American Conservation Coalition, a conservative climate action group, wants Republicans to address climate change if they regain control of the House or Senate.

Incentives for nuclear power and other Republican priorities are included in the climate and tax bill.

In the next Congress, Republicans can either support the first-ever bipartisan climate bill or stay where they are. If they don't lead from the front, they'll be disappointed.

The director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think tank, and an architect of the Green New Deal, is worried that a sense of complacence will settle in after the climate bill is passed.

There will be extreme weather events over the next seven or eight years and we need to keep pointing out the cause of those: carbon emissions. Is that from where? She mentioned fossil fuels.

Activists who have been fighting for decades to see a president sign major climate legislation will be tired. She warned that the US has a history of taking a lot of first steps and then not taking the second, third or fourth step.