Climate change, a major focus of the infrastructure bill

The $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill currently underway in Congress and due to be voted on Thursday contains many provisions that would help the United States address the threat of climate change and work to mitigate the impacts current practices.

The bill contains nearly $ 550 million in new funding for public works projects for the next five years in addition to the current funding, reports The Weather Channel. Projects include stepping up climate research and weather forecasting, overhauling the power grid, funding low-emission vehicles (including buses), and upgrading bridges and roads.

The White House’s fact sheet on the bill includes $ 60 billion to upgrade the power grid and infrastructure with new transmission lines that will not only make the grid more resilient, but will also facilitate addition of renewable energy while adding an “Authority network deployment” to oversee updates.

Severe weather events such as floods, heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, landslides and winter storms have all taken a heavy toll on the existing electricity grid and road networks, including bridges. The bill contains funds to repair and rebuild existing bridges and roads in addition to modernizing the electricity grid. It is estimated that around 2 million jobs would be created each year over the next decade, and the bill is a fundamental part of President Biden’s platform.

The bill is currently expected to be funded by $ 210 billion in unspent COVID-19 aid as well as $ 53 billion in unused UI aid from states that have halted their programs, with the remainder coming from ‘other sources.

Other projects included in the bill include updating rail infrastructure, upgrading port and airport infrastructure (with a focus on reducing emissions), money for the US Army Corp of Engineers for construction projects focused on flood control and mitigation, a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations, money to make low-income housing more energy efficient, and other projects.

The bill also includes assistance to tribal communities as well as communities of color, which are more likely to be affected by the effects of global warming and increasingly severe weather events.

Investing in sustainability with SPDR

Climate control and the mitigation of global warming are major concerns and concerns of regulators, governments and investors. For investors looking to gain exposure to companies from an ESG perspective, State Street Global Investors offers several options.

One of these options is the ETF SPDR S&P 500 ESG (EFIV), which takes a holistic approach to ESG by focusing not only on the environmental aspect of ESG, but also on sustainability through the social and governance practices of the companies in which it invests.

The fund follows the S&P 500 ESG index, which selects the best companies meeting the ESG criteria of the S&P 500, while respecting the sector weightings of the S&P 500 index.

EFIV uses SPDJI’s ESG scores to rank companies based on their sustainability. This score is derived from analyzing a thousand data points covering a variety of topics collected from companies and then asking about 120 questions, according to the S&P Global website.

EFIV excludes companies involved in tobacco and controversial weapons, those that derive 5% or more of their income from thermal coal mining or generate electricity from coal, or score low compared to United Nations Global Compact standards.

The ETF’s top three sector allocations include 30.53% in information technology, 14.34% in consumer discretionary and 12.54% in healthcare, along with several other smaller allocations.

EFIV has an expense ratio of 0.10%, making it one of the cheapest ESG ETFs on the market.

For more news, information and strategy, visit the ESG channel.

Learn more at ETFtrends.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

About Marco C. Nichols

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