US President Joe Biden has announced a $6 billion investment package that aims to “make communities across the country more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”
The comprehensive initiative targets key areas like electric grid infrastructure, flood risk reduction, drought resistance advancement, and the deployment of clean energy at the community level, with a particular focus on climate justice.
In the official statement announcing the move, the White House emphasizes that the Biden Administration has consistently prioritized addressing climate change, beginning with the rejoining of the Paris Agreement on the President’s inaugural day in office.
Since then, the administration has “delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history – signing into law the largest investment in climate action ever,” the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the White House reminds us.
“Today’s announcements build on the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented commitment to tackling the climate crisis, strengthening America’s resilience, and delivering for underserved and overburdened communities,” the White House says.
Biden’s New Climate Investments: Where will the money go?
Around $3.9 billion, sourced from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will go into “strengthening and modernizing America’s electric grid.”
As the White House explains, this funding opportunity “focuses on projects that will modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts from extreme weather and natural disasters, increase capacity and unlock renewable energy resources, mitigate faults that lead to wildfires or other system disturbances, and deploy advanced technologies such as distributed energy resources and battery systems to provide essential grid services.”
Further, $2 billion will soon be made available, through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants, for “community-driven projects that deploy clean energy, strengthen climate resilience, and build community capacity to respond to environmental and climate justice challenges.”
This initiative is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and will “invest in multi-year partnerships between community-based organizations, local governments, institutes of higher education, and federally- recognized Tribes.”
The White House adds that the EPA will provide an additional $200 million in “technical assistance and capacity building.”
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The investment package also includes a $300 million commitment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through the Swift Current Initiative, to “help communities that have been impacted by catastrophic flooding during the 2022-2023 flood season become more resilient to future flood events.”
Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Swift Current Initiative aims to provide mitigation aid to those most affected by floods.
Additionally, the Department of the Interior (DOI) will allocate $100 million, also funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, for water infrastructure upgrades geared towards advancing drought resilience in the American West.
The unveiling of these investments coincides with the release of the US’s Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), a comprehensive report detailing the state of climate science and communicating the impacts of climate change across the nation.
President Biden, commenting on the assessment that he referred to as the “most comprehensive assessment on [the] state [of] climate change in the history of America,” highlighted the urgent need for continued action in the face of clear scientific evidence of the widespread impacts of climate change:
“This assessment shows us in clear scientific terms that climate change is impacting all regions, all sectors of the United States. It shows that communities across America are taking more action than ever to reduce climate risk. It warns that more action is still badly needed. We can’t be complacent.”
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: US President Joe Biden. Featured Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.