President Biden announced nearly $2.9 billion in investments aimed at helping protect coastal communities and electrical grid infrastructure from the impact of climate change, in a presentation Monday in Palo Alto, California.
Addressing climate change has been a significant focus for the Biden Administration, starting with the return of the U.S. to the Paris Agreement on the President’s first day in office, though many of the administration’s initiatives have targeted climate mitigation. While the administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) include allocations of nearly $500 billion to climate-focused investments in areas including carbon-free energy, manufacturing and clean technologies, however, they also allocate more than $50 billion in climate resilience and adaptation.
In his remarks at the presentation, Biden said:
“Last year alone, natural disasters in America caused $165 billion in damage, just last year alone — $165 billion in damage. But the worsening impacts are not inevitable.
“Building on our incredible effort locally, my administration is doing all we can to help recover and build so we can be prepared to — and adapt.”
The new investments include $2.3 billion over five years, aimed at bolstering grid resilience through the Department of Eenrgy’s (DOE) Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants program. Authorized by the BIL, the program is designed to strength and modernize power grids in the U.S. against events exacerbated by climate change, such as wildfires, storms and other extreme weather events.
The administration also announced plans by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to launch a $575 million Climate Resilience Regional Challenge this week, aimed at supporting innovative coastal resilience and adaptation solutions for coastal and Great Lakes communities, including building natural infrastructure, protecting communities and ecosystems from sea level rise, hurricanes, storm surge and other severe climate impacts.
President Biden also announced plans to release a new National Climate Resilience Framework, aimed at advancing government action, in alignment with non-federal efforts, on climate resilience. The framework will be released at the White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities, planned for later this year.
“Throughout our history, we’re the only nation in the world that has come out of every crisis we’ve entered stronger than we went into it.
“We’re doing it again here on the climate crisis.”