On Monday, President Joe Biden traveled to the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center in Palo Alto, California, to announce new efforts to mitigate climate change across the U.S.
The Biden Administration will be investing $575 million through the new Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, an effort spearheaded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to fund programs for climate disaster relief. Along with this program, Biden also announced a $2 billion investment to modernize and develop the nationwide electrical grid.
As part of these efforts, Biden announced, “Starting tomorrow [June 20], the Department of Commerce will launch the first and largest competitive Climate Resilience Regional Challenge to provide $600 million to coastal and Great Lake communities that are building projects to protect against the impacts of climate change from sea-level rise, flooding, and storm surge.”
The White House will also be holding the first White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities later this year to “bring together state, local, Tribal, and Territorial leaders” to outline a climate relief framework for future use.
More than $67 million will be invested in electric grid and relief efforts just in California, which has long been a hotspot of both climate disaster and renewable energy efforts. At the press conference, California governor Gavin Newsom said, “California has produced roughly one out of every four clean energy jobs in America—27%. And we’re proving we can do it and grow our economy.” Additionally, coastal communities across the country will receive resources such as flood infrastructure, relocation plans, and natural resource protection.
This announcement comes only a few weeks after wildfire smoke engulfed the east coast and as much of the country is currently experiencing the hottest June in decades. Biden proclaimed that “funding can help ensure our electric grid is stronger, that the lights and air conditioning and internet stay on during heat waves and storms and other climate events, so the lights can stay on in hospital operating rooms, nursing homes and so many other critical care facilities.” While this program will not necessarily do much to mitigate climate change itself, it will likely help people in vulnerable communities in dealing with its effects.