Biden announces $6 billion for climate resilience as report warns of ‘inadequate’ adaptation

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Diving brief:

  • The White House today It released its landmark report on climate change. the Fifth National Climate Assessment It finds that although annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are declining 12% between 2005 and 2019Extreme weather events fueled by climate change are Rapid intensificationbecoming more expensive and disproportionately harming disadvantaged and overburdened communities.
  • In conjunction with the report, the Biden administration announced more than $6 billion for climate resilience programsincluding those related to reducing flood risks, strengthening the electrical grid and meeting the environmental justice needs of communities.
  • Climate assessment for the first time includes a Chapter on the economic impacts of climate change and climate action opportunities Chapter on social systems and justice. The report includes Online map an offer State and county climate forecastsThe White House plans to release insights from… 13 recent roundtable discussions He stuck to climate resilience.

Insight Diving:

The term “climate resilience” has come to describe how local communities can survive after experiencing increasing damage from floods, droughts, wildfires, storms and heat waves.

National Climate Assessment Cost estimates Extreme weather events do not take into account deaths, healthcare-related costs, or ecosystem damage, but the annual cost still amounts to at least $150 billion. Nation He now sees a disaster Which costs at least a billion dollars every three weeks. In the 1980s, such events occurred every four months.

Despite the progress the country has made in reducing climate pollution, it is also… Not on the right track The report warns against fulfilling its national and international obligations. To do this, the United States would have to reduce annual emissions by more than 6% per year on average until reaching net-zero emissions in 2050. This is a significant increase from the less than 1% per year at which the country reduced greenhouse gas emissions between 2010 and 2019. 2005 and 2019.

In other words, the race is on for societies to prepare for increasing climate change, driven primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. The National Climate Assessment found that since 2018, the number of city and state climate adaptation plans and actions has declined 32% increase. But as with mitigation efforts, these adaptation efforts not enough The report warns against keeping pace with future climate changes.

Most of the country’s adaptation measures are what the report calls “Incremental” rather than “transformational.”For example, people use more air conditioning during heat waves instead of redesigning cities and buildings to handle higher temperatures. Communities may consume less water during droughts rather than matching water-intensive industries to expected rainfall patterns. Transformative change means directing new housing developments to areas less vulnerable to flooding, rather than raising homes above floodwaters, The report says.

The report says transformative adaptation is most effective when it takes into account variations in how and why people are affected by climate change. “Examples include Understand how different levels of access to disaster assistance constrain recovery outcomes or how disaster damage exacerbates long-term wealth inequality.

the The report’s authors also say Adaptation measures with the greatest potential to deliver long-term benefits are those developed through comprehensive, participatory planning combined with coordinated management and financing. They point to states like California and Florida that have informal regional collaborations.

The funding announced by Biden today includes:

  • $2 billion for local environmental justice projects Through EPA’s Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant Program.
  • $300 million to combat floods Through FEMA’s Swift Current Initiative.
  • $3.9 billion to support the country’s electrical grid Through the Network Resilience and Innovation Partnerships programme.
  • $100 million to develop water infrastructure In the West to enhance resilience to drought.

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