(The Center Square) – On a tour today of the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center and Preserve in Palo Alto in Northern California, President Joe Biden announced his administration’s plans to launch the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, modernize the electric grid and a first-in-history climate resilience summit, to be hosted by the White House.
“I’m here today to announce that we are putting our critical climate investment to work. … First, starting tomorrow 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. We are investing in people and places that have been hit the hardest, but we are also on the front lines of leading us forward,” Biden said.
The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with a $575 million competitive grant in programs addressing coastal resilience and adaptation for climate change.
“The second thing that we’re doing — the Department of Energy is going to announce that it’s investing more than $2 billion to modernize our electric grid to be more climate resilient, including more than $67 million starting off in California. That funding can help ensure our electric grid is stronger, that the lights and air-conditioning and internet stay on during heatwaves 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,” Biden continued.
Last year California experienced rolling blackouts amid record-breaking heat waves, causing authorities to make urgent pleas to residents to voluntarily reduce energy consumption.
“Third, later this year we are hosting a first-ever White House summit that convenes local, state, tribal and territorial leaders focused on climate resilience. It’s going to include a road map for how these historic climate actions are going to build more climate-resilient communities all across America, saving lives and homes and providing peace of mind. This is how we’re going to meet the moment,” Biden proclaimed.
The president recounted that natural disasters in America last year caused $165 billion dollars in damage, but his Invest in America Agenda, which started with the most significant climate investment in the “history of the world,” is addressing climate concerns and rebuilding with an investment of $369 billion in clean energy development, environmental justice and conservation, and a goal to cut 1 billion tons of carbon emissions annually.
Biden is in California for three days to attend four fundraisers for his presidential bid next year, and used his visit to the wetlands as an opportunity to unveil his latest climate initiatives.
“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,” the president stated.