NYC Celebrates Holiday Season

The famous Christmas Tree above the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink is a hallmark of the holidays in New York © Karen Rubin/goingplacefarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The arrival of Santa on his sleigh to close out the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ushers in the beginning of or the holiday season throughout New York City and the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center means festivities are well underway. 

As one of the most iconic holiday destinations, NYC once again hosts a potpourri of festive experiences, attractions and events across dining, shopping, culture and entertainment throughout the city. Here are highlights:

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES

A New York City holiday staple: Radio City Rockettes performing Christmas Spectacular Wooden Soldiers © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
  • DREAM BIG: Big Apple Circus Returns to Lincoln Center for 45th Anniversary, Nov. 9–Jan. 1. For eight weeks, Big Top at Lincoln Center will be home to astonishing wonders and daring acrobatics, setting imaginations soaring to the most astounding, awe-inspiring heights.
  • Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, Nov. 18–Jan. 2 has dazzled audiences of all ages for nearly a century with incredible costumes, festive songs, synchronized high kicks, new acts and several shows daily.
  • A Christmas Carola one-man show on Broadway, Nov. 21–Jan. 1. In this astonishing Broadway adaptation, Tony Award–winning actor Jefferson Mays tackles more than 50 roles in this season’s limited run of A Christmas Carol at the Nederlander Theatre. The beloved Dickens story featuring notable characters—Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the four ghosts—is making its return for the first time since 2019 and will enchant theatergoers with its redemptive story.
  • George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Presented by New York City Ballet, Nov. 25–Dec. 31 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center returns for its annual performance featuring exquisite costumes, magnificent sets and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score that transports audiences to a land of twirling snowflakes, leaping candy canes, waltzing flowers and more. On November 27, TDF Autism Friendly Performances will present the first-ever Autism-Friendly Performance of New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center, Nov. 30–Dec. 24, returns to New York City Center for a season that has become a joyous winter tradition. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will move audiences with world and company premieres by Kyle Abraham, Jamar Roberts, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp. In addition to repertory favorites, founder Alvin Ailey’s choreography is spotlighted with a new production of Survivors and the staging of over a half dozen classic works, including the must-see American masterpiece Revelations.
  • The Magic Flute Holiday Presentation at The Met Opera, Dec. 16–Jan. 6. The Met Opera’s abridged, English-language version of Mozart’s magical fairy tale is a classic holiday treat for audiences of all ages, bringing the charming story and enchanting music to life. This year’s series features Maestro Duncan Ward, making his company debut conducting Julie Taymor’s irresistible production.

CULTURAL EVENTS

The NY Phil annual tradition returns Dec. 16-17 with the holiday Brass and former Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith as host, conductor, and trumpet (Photo by Jennifer Taylor)

HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Amaze Light Festival is the newest holiday attraction in New York City © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
  • Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards, throughout the holidays, Hudson Yards, Manhattan. Featuring over 2 million twinkling lights, Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards, presented by Wells Fargo, adorns the neighborhood with 115-miles of string lights, 725 evergreen trees dressed and 16-foot-tall illuminated set pieces in the shape of hot air balloons arranged through the Public Square and Gardens with a 32-foot hot air balloon centerpiece suspended in The Great Room of The Shops and Restaurants.
  • Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Nov. 16–Jan. 8, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Explore the garden after dark at the illuminated Lightscape, celebrating the beauty of nature with an enchanting one-mile trail through BBG’s 52-acre landscape. Sold out in its first season, this year’s after-dark, illuminated spectacular features new works of art alongside returning favorites. Enjoy the Winter Cathedral tunnel, Fire Garden and Sea of Light, as well as new site-specific light works by local artists, accompanied by a curated soundtrack.
  • Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights, Nov. 18–Jan. 8, Bronx Park, The Bronx. With more than 360 lanterns representing nearly 90 animal and plant species, Bronx Zoo’s family-centric holiday lights festival will connect visitors with real wildlife and wild places. During the evenings, the park comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns (with some life-size, some larger-than-life-size) and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. The celebration is complete with seasonal treats, classic holiday music and other festive entertainment. The beloved tradition is sure to enchant visitors of all ages, making it the perfect way to kick off the holidays this year.
  • NYBG GLOW, Select dates from November 18–January 14, Bedford Park, The Bronx. Discover the beauty of New York Botanical Garden through NYBG GLOW, which will illuminate the garden’s landmark landscape and historic buildings after dark with a newly expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience. Building upon sold-out evenings the past two years, the event is expanded across more of the garden’s collections.
  • Amaze Light Festival at Citi Field, Select dates from Nov. 20–Jan. 8, Flushing, Queens. Guests are greeted by the lovable characters Zing and Sparky from the Amaze storybook, who bring the stage dancers, singers and light show to life with their magic powers. Visit the holiday market and grab a treat at Sparky’s Sweet Spot. Enjoy culinary treats, specialty drinks and cocktails. Zip down Zing’s icy Thrill Hill, take in the wonder on a train ride, and write a letter to Santa.
  • NYC Winter Lantern Festival: Journey to the East, Oct. 21–Jan. 8, St. George, Staten Island. The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is back for its fourth year to transform a new venue, SIUH Community Park in Staten Island, into an immersive world of light. Enjoy over eight acres of luminescence, live DJ, projection mapping, food vendors.
  • NYC Winter Lantern Festival: Illuminate the Farm at Queens County Farm Museum, Nov. 11–Jan. 8, Glen Oaks, Queens. Back for its second year, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival transforms Queens County Farm into an immersive and radiant oasis with festive lights and handmade lanterns in the shape of flowers, tractors, farm animals.
  • Christmas Lights Tour of Dyker Heights from A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, Dec. 1–31 (except 24 & 25), Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Experience the extravagant Christmas light displays in Dyker Heights, also known as “Dyker Lights.” This guided bus tour, departing from Manhattan, offers visitors a special experience to view the uniquely decorated homes, learn about the history and stories of the neighborhood tradition.

ICE-SKATING, OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:

Holidays in New York City: Ice skating at Bryant Park © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
  • The Rink at Rockefeller Center, Nov. 5 throughout the holidays. Skate under the iconic Christmas tree, a quintessential NYC experience on the world-famous rink. In collaboration with Coach, Rockefeller Center will unveil this year’s activations, including a bespoke holiday gift shop, custom hospitality cart serving special treats, and live onsite patch customization for a curated line of Coach products. Santa will join visitors on the ice in December.
  • The Rink at Bryant Park, Oct. 28 throughout the holidays, Midtown Manhattan. Enjoy NYC’s free 17,000-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Visitors can also enjoy the Holiday Shops, free shows, events, activities, and eats and drinks at The Lodge.
  • Wollman Rink in Central Park, Oct. 23–throughout the holidays, Midtown Manhattan. Enjoy skating in Central Park with the picturesque Manhattan skyline in the background. This year, Wollman Rink is partnering with Culture Pass.
  •  Classic Harbor Line Holiday-Themed Cruises, throughout the holidays, Manhattan. Enjoy four-course holiday brunch cruises, a Cocoa and Carols cruise and more holiday themes, while sailing across the East and Hudson Rivers with views of the NYC skyline and Lady Liberty.
  • City Cruises Holiday-Themed Cruises, throughout the holidays, Manhattan. Enjoy a NYC dining cruise (available Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s) featuring festive decor, meals and stunning views of the City while sailing across the East and Hudson Rivers from the glass-enclosed deck.

FESTIVE HOLIDAY SHOPPING

  • Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, Oct. 28 throughout the holiday season, Bryant Park, Manhattan.
  • Shop at Grand Central Terminal, Nov. 14–Dec. 24, Midtown Manhattan. Grand Central Terminal welcomes back its famous indoor Holiday Fair to the splendor of Vanderbilt Hall after a two-year hiatus. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is one of New York City’s most coveted attractions, welcoming thousands of locals, commuters and visitors for a curated holiday shopping and gifting experience. This year’s event features 36 vendors, including Ekologic, Garden of Silver and Rebel Designs.
  • Union Square Holiday Market, Nov. 17–Dec. 24, Union Square, Manhattan. Urbanspace’s longest running holiday market returns with over 160 vendors featuring unique gifts created by local craftsmen, artists and entrepreneurs.
  • Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market, Sundays, Nov. 24–Dec. 24, Dumbo, Brooklyn. Come to Pearl Street for Dumbo’s iconic Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market. One of the borough’s most popular attractions, shoppers support local vendors and cross off holiday shopping with vintage and antique items, crafts and gourmet food stands.
  • Grand Holiday Bazaar, Sundays, Nov. 27–Dec. 18, Upper West Side, Manhattan. Find one-of-a-kind handmade holiday decoration and giftable items: candles, skincare, fashion, handbags, vintage accessories and collectibles, handmade jewelry and furniture, rare antique silver and glassware, and of course delicious artisanal treats and foods. Annually, the market provides 1,000 independent local merchants with much-needed affordable retail space.
  • Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Nov. 28–Dec. 24, Upper West Side, Manhattan. Internationally known as one of the most elegant places for holiday shopping, visitors will lose themselves in aisles of art, jewelry, home goods and delicious eats from local artisans and designers, with the backdrop of NYC’s iconic Central Park.

NEW YEAR’S  

New Year’s Eve in Times Square, NYC
  • New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop, Dec. 31–Jan. 1, Times Square, Manhattan: The Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will sparkle in Times Square all season, but watching its descent in person on New Year’s Eve is a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime way to ring in the New Year. Guests can also stop by the New Year’s Eve Confetti Wishing Wall from December 1 on to submit (in person and online herefor nye wishing wall) a wish for the New Year on a piece of official NYE confetti that will be dropped at midnight as the ball drops. 
  •  NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park, Dec 31–Jan. 1, Midtown Manhattan: Start the new year off on the right—and left—foot at the NYRR Midnight Run. Join the fun and celebrate as 2022 comes to a close; the countdown to 2023 begins at 11:59pm, and at the stroke of midnight, a fireworks display will light up the night sky and kick off the start of the 4-mile race.
  • Coney Island Polar Plunge, January 1, Coney Island, Brooklyn: Each year on January 1, members of the Polar Bear Club and anyone else brave enough to participate venture into the frigid waters at Coney Island. Watch hundreds of daring souls plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, where the temperature of the water hovers right above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature can be well below freezing. The event is free, but in lieu of admission, participants are encouraged to donate to community organizations.

For additional holiday celebrations and itineraries, visit nycgo.com/holidays.

For the official source on all there is to see and do in New York City, go to nycgo.com

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© 2022 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Visit instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near and instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/ Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Photo Highlights: Holiday Season Officially Underway, With Arrival of Santa at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 96th edition of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® got underway with more than 5,000 volunteers, 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and 10 performance groups, plus a host of musical stars and celebrities, climaxed with the arrival of the one-and-only Santa Claus on his grand sleigh © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® returned to full strength on Thursday, November 24 to usher in the holiday season. The 96th edition of Macy’s iconic spectacle got underway with the cheer 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Let’s Have A Parade During the course of the parade, hundreds of thousands of onlookers thrilled to see more than 5,000 volunteers, 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and 10 performance groups, plus a host of musical stars and celebrities, climaxed with the arrival of the one-and-only Santa Claus on his grand sleigh.

Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, cuts the ribbon to launch the  96th edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

 “Since its first march in 1924 and through the decades, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has served to bring joy to the millions who gather nationwide each year to experience it with friends and family,” said Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, who cut the ribbon to launch the parade. “This November, as we once again set the stage for the start of the holiday season, we are thrilled to showcase another spectacle full of magic and wonder that will help create everlasting memories with loved ones during this special time of year.”

 
Mario Lopez and family ride in the iconic turkey float that leads the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade down Central Park West to 34th Street  © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Stars on 34th Street

Arriving at 34st Street by float were Paula Abdul; Big Time Rush; Cam; Jordan Davis; Blue’s Clues & You! host Josh Dela Cruz; Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan; Jimmy Fallon & The Roots; Fitz and the Tantrums; Kirk Franklin; Mario Lopez and family; Ziggy Marley; Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles; the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street®; Sean Paul; the cast of Peacock’s Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg); Joss Stone; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Jordin Sparks; Dionne Warwick; Betty Who; and Santa Claus.

Mario Lopez and family ride in the iconic turkey float that leads the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade down Central Park West to 34th Street  © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Ballooning Icons

Conceived during the Parade’s infancy, the giant character balloons have become a signature of the annual celebration. Since 1927, the world’s most popular characters have been transformed into high-flying art in the sky. Originally inspired by marionettes, the Parade’s balloons first debuted as upside down puppets filled with air, which were carried down the Parade route on sticks. The design later evolved to include helium, making them high-flying giants. Over time Macy’s artists innovated creating several types of inflatables including balloonheads (inflated heads sitting atop of a costumed participant), balloonicles (hybrid inflatables with vehicles inside) and most recently, trycaloons (tandem tricycles with an inflated balloon character).

Diary of A Wimpy Kid® by Abrams Books © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
New giants joining the line-up this year included Bluey by BBC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
DINO and Baby DINO by Sinclair Oil © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Stuart the Minion from Illumination © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New giants joining the line-up this year included Bluey by BBC; Diary of A Wimpy Kid®by Abrams Books; DINO and Baby DINO by Sinclair Oil; and Stuart the Minion from Illumination.

A Funko Pop!-inspired Grogu™ by Funko and in partnership with Lucasfilm © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The classic Pillsbury Doughboy by Pillsbury © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Boss Baby from DreamWorks Animation © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Making return appearances to the skies above New York City were giant balloon favorites including Ada TwistScientist by Netflix; Astronaut Snoopy by PEANUTS Worldwide; The Boss Baby from DreamWorks Animation; Goku by Toei Animation; a Funko Pop!-inspired Grogu™ by Funko and in partnership with Lucasfilm;Chase from PAW Patrol®by Nickelodeon; Pillsbury Doughboyby PillsburyRed Titan from “Ryan’s World” by Sunlight Entertainment and pocket.watch; Ronald McDonald®by McDonald’s®USA; Papa Smurf from The Smurfsby Nickelodeon; Pikachu& Eevee™ by The Pokémon Company International; and SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary by Nickelodeon.

Ada TwistScientist by Netflix © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is famous for its giant balloons, a signature of the event since 1927 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Goku by Toei Animation © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary by Nickelodeon © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Smokey Bear by the USDA Forest Service © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Ronald McDonald® by McDonald’s®USA © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Astronaut Snoopy by PEANUTS Worldwide © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Papa Smurf from The Smurfsby Nickelodeon
Red Titan from “Ryan’s World” by Sunlight Entertainment and pocket.watch;

The inflatable lineup also included a new balloonicle of Striker, the U.S. Soccer Star by FOX Sports. Returning inflatables include Sinclair’s Baby DINOs, the Go Bowlingballoonicles; Hot Air Dolly by Universal Orlando Resort, Smokey Bear by the USDA Forest Service; and Macy’s very own special reindeer Tiptoe and Toni the Bandleader Bear.

The inflatable lineup also included a new balloonicle of Striker, the U.S. Soccer Star by FOX Sports, in honor of the US Mens Team playing at the World Cup in Qatar © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The inflatable lineup also included a new balloonicle of Striker, the U.S. Soccer Star by FOX Sports, in honor of the US Mens Team playing at the World Cup in Qatar © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Floating Fantasy

The Parade’s signature floats transported spectators to magical worlds. Conceived and crafted by the incredible artisans of Macy’s Parade Studio – a design and production facility that includes carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, balloon technicians, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers – this year’s line-up of floats showcased the animated theatricality that the Macy’s Parade has become world-famous for.

Paula Abdul arrives by Big Turkey Spectacular by Jennie-O float © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Geoffrey’s Dazzling Dance Party by Toys“R”Us with Jordin Sparks © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

This year five new floats debuted in the Turkey Day celebration, carrying performers: Baby Shark by Pinkfong and Nickelodeon (Ziggy Marley); Geoffrey’s Dazzling Dance Party by Toys“R”Us (Jordin Sparks); People of First Light by Macy’s; Supersized Slumber by Netflix (Ballet Hispánico); and The Wondership by Wonder (Cam).

The cast and Muppets of Sesame Street® © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The Brick-changer by The LEGO® Group carries Fitz and the Tantrums © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Big City Cheer by Spirit of America Productions float carries Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
People of First Light by Macy’s © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Colossal Wave of Wonder by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions carries Sean Paul © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s® © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Blue’s Clues & You! host Josh Dela Cruz© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Birds of a Feather Stream Together by Peacock® © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree (Macy’s Choir) © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The returning float roster and its scheduled performers included 1-2-3 Sesame Street®by Sesame Workshop™ (The cast and Muppets of Sesame Street); Big City Cheer by Spirit of America Productions (Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles); Big Turkey Spectacular by Jennie-O (Paula Abdul); Birds of a Feather Stream Together by Peacock® (Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg); Blue’s Clues & You! by Nickelodeon (Josh Dela Cruz); The Brick-changer by The LEGO® Group (Fitz and the Tantrums); Celebration Gator by the Louisiana Office of Tourism (Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue); Christmas in Town Square by Lifetime® (Kirk Franklin); Colossal Wave of Wonder by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (Sean Paul); Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan); Elf Pets®by The Lumistella Company®Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s®Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder™ (Big Time Rush); Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Jordan Davis); Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (Joss Stone); Her Future is STEM-Sational by Olay (Betty Who); Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree (Macy’s Choir); Magic Meets the Sea by Disney Cruise Line (Captain Minnie Mouse and Friends); Santa’s Sleigh (Santa Claus); Snoopy’s Doghouse by PEANUTS Worldwide; Tom Turkey (Mario Lopez and family); Toy House of Marvelous Milestones by New York Life (Dionne Warwick); and Winter Wonderland in Central Park (Jimmy Fallon & The Roots).

Dionne Warwick on Toy House of Marvelous Milestones by New York Life © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Sean Paul © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Ziggy Marley © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Trombone Shorty © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Jimmy Fallon & The Roots © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Strike Up the Band

Bringing the beat to the holiday revelry were some of the most gifted marching ensembles in the country:  Benedict College (Columbia, SC), Bourbon County High School (Paris, KY), Carmel High School (Carmel, IN), Clovis North Educational Center (Fresno, CA), Delfines Marching Band (Veracruz, Mexico), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), The Queer Big Apple Corps (New York, NY), South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD), Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, FL), University of Missouri (Columbia, MO), and Vandegrift High School (Austin, TX).

University of Missouri Marching Mizzou © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Queer Big Apple Marching Band © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
 Clovis North Educational Center (Fresno, CA) © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD) © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Performance Spotlight

This year’s lineup of performance groups featured the dazzling dancers of Ballet Hispánico, the hilarious Big Apple Circus, the rhythmic movement of Boss Kids, the artistry of the Fusion Winter Guard, two-steps and high kicks from the Kilgore Rangerettes, the puppeteering skills of Phantom Limb, the iconic stepping of The Sigma Gamma Rho Centennial Steppers, the energetic moves of the St. John’s Dance Team, and the exuberance of Spirit of America Cheer and Spirit of America Dance Stars.

Ballet Hispánico © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Spirit of America Cheer © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Big Apple Circus performers © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

More than 700 clowns add to the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

More than 700 clowns add to the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 700 clowns add to the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 700 clowns add to the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 700 clowns add to the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
More than 700 clowns add to the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Spectators lined the parade route from its traditional starting line at 77th Street and Central Park West, down its signature 2.5-mile route from Central Park West to Columbus Circle, turning onto Central Park South and then marching down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade made its final turn west to end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

The crowds erupted with delight as Santa Claus came to town.

Santa Claus comes to town on his sleigh at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Santa Claus comes to town on his sleigh at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Spectators line the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® route from the start at 79th Street down Central Park West to 34th Street © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
The crowd erupts with cheers and delight at the sight of Santa Claus on his sleigh to close out the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

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© 2022 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Visit instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near and instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/ Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Travel Companies Go Big with Black Friday, Cyber Monday Deals to Put Bucket List Experiences Within Reach

Take advantage of Xanterra Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at iconic hotels in national parks like Yellowstone © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

Travel companies are going big for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and no doubt are weighing both the massive outpouring of pent-up demand for travel against potential travelers’ concerns for tightened budgets. Here is a snapshot of offerings – it can be a discount on the package price, or upgrade, or special features added on. Take advantage because not only are the deals limited, but space is booking up.

Xanterra’s “Thankful for Travel Sale” Nov. 22-29

Xanterra’s “Thankful for Travel Sale” is lasting a full week, from Tuesday, Nov. 22 – Tuesday, Nov. 29 for value and money-saving deals on lodges in Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier, Death Valley and Grand Canyon South Rim; Windstar Cruises, the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, The Oasis at Death Valley, Holiday Vacations, Country Walkers and VBT Bicycling Tours; the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs and Sea Island Resort in Georgia are also participating in the sale. Highlights include:

Get 30% off hotel stays at the luxury Inn at Death Valley with Xanterra’s Black Friday deal © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Oasis at Death Valley – 30% off hotel stays at the beautifully renovated historic AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley and newly revitalized, family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley, including new, cozy cottages, spring fed pools and the lowest elevation golf course. Valid for select overnight stays between Dec. 1, 2022 and Feb. 9, 2023.

Historic Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel – 30% off roundtrip train tickets on an entertaining journey in fully restored historic train cars to the Grand Canyon’s fabled South Rim when booking a two-night Getaway Package over select dates between Jan. 2, 2022 and March 5, 2023.

Grand Canyon South Rim – Save 30% on in-park lodging at newly built Maswik Lodge, Kachina Lodge, and Bright Angel Lodge and 20% at the historic El Tovar Hotel. All lodges are in the Historic Grand Canyon Village within walking distance of the rim of the Grand Canyon, Lookout Studio and Hopi House. Take advantage of the Secret Season at Grand Canyon and enjoy the park without the crowds.

The historic El Tovar Hotel on the Grand Canyon South Rim and Grand Canyon Railway are participating in Xanterra’s “Thankful for Travel Sale” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Grand Hotel – 30% off at the only AAA Three-Diamond hotel near the Grand Canyon in Tusayan (just one mile from the South Rim entrance) on select dates between Dec. 1, 2022 and March 9, 2023.

Zion National Park – 30% off overnight stays inside the park at Zion National Park Lodge on select dates between Dec. 4, 2022 and Feb. 28, 2023.

Cedar Creek Lodge, at the gateway to Glacier National Park – Save 30% on Rooms (for select dates Dec. 2022-April 2023)

Yellowstone – Save 25% on daily rates for specific stay dates in deluxe rooms at Canyon Lodge, deluxe and standard rooms at Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and deluxe rooms at Grant Village. Offer available for new reservations booked between Nov. 22 and 29, 2022. Stay dates for Canyon Lodge: May 19 – 25, 2023; May 30 – June 17, 2023. Lake Yellowstone Hotel: May 12 & 25, 2023; May 30- June 17, 2023; Grant Village: May 30 and June 17, 2023

The Broadmoor – Rates as low as $259 for select dates and suites available at 25% off published rates; 20% off all-inclusive Wilderness Properties for select dates during 2023.

Sea Island – Receive a $100 resort credit per night of stay in December, January, February at The Cloister or Lodge. Minimum 2-night stay on the standard rate. Offer valid Nov. 22 – 29, 2023.

Bicycling Tours – Book any departure of the 2023 France: The Burgundy Wine Region & Dijon Guided Biking Tour and get the Post-Trip Extension to Paris free which includes a 2-night stay at the Hotel Château Frontenac or La Demeure Montaigne (both centrally located in the 8th Arrondissement in Paris), daily breakfast, airport car service for departure and a city information packet.

Walking Adventures – Book any departure of the 2023 Italy: Tuscany & Umbria Guided Walking Tour and get the Post-Tour Extension to Rome free which includes a 2-night stay at the Hotel Dei Mellini in the center of Rome (between the Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Basilica), daily breakfast, airport car service for departure and a city information packet.

Holiday Vacations – Book a Timeless France with Burgundy & Provence River Cruise from April 24 – May 4, 2023 and receive $200 off exploring Paris and French waterways with included airfare, 7-day river cruise, accommodations, most meals, and attractions.

Windstar Cruises – Select one Perk on your upcoming cruise. Perk offerings vary depending on cruise length and room category. Perks include a free upgrade to an All-Inclusive Fare or one Easy Stays hotel night or up to $1,000 in Onboard Credit. Enjoy reduced deposits of only 5% during one week sale only.

Looking for an unparalleled gift of discovery and wanderlust? Xanterra Travel Collection Gift Cards  are redeemable across all Xanterra Travel Collection destinations for accommodations, experiences, dining, retail purchases and more. The recipient can choose their adventure with this gift of A World of Unforgettable Experiences. Learn more at Xanterra.com/GiftCard.

For a complete list and to take advantage of Xanterra and its affiliates’ “Thankful for Travel” offers, visit xanterra.com/thankful-for-travel-sale.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Tours Sales

EF Go Ahead Tours’ Black Friday Sale started early this year! Week 3 deals are running until November 17th with a variety of tours discounted to Scotland, France, Italy, and Ireland. Week 4 deals start Nov. 18 and feature more deep discounts on bucket list trips to destinations like Australia, Costa Rica, Portugal. (https://www.goaheadtours.com/travel-deals/black-friday)

Contiki  is offering its Cyber Sale from Nov 23-Dec 1 (see https://www.contiki.com/en-us/activity/black-friday

Trafalgar is offering 15% off worldwide trips for Black Friday; book before December 5 for limited time savings (https://www.trafalgar.com/en-us/deals/black-friday-travel-deals, 866-513-1995. (Plus, get a $250 per couple Travel Credit toward your first trip when you sign up to our newsletter.)

GA Adventures is offering up to 30 percent off on on a huge number of its popular adventures like Inca Discovery, Morocco, Jordan, Peru, Costa Rica, Thailand, and even Antarctica with travel by April 30, 2023.and up to 10% on select trips departing between May 1-and June 30, 2023 (https://www.gadventures.com/travel-deals/cyber-sale/, 1 888 800 4100)

GA Adventures is offering up to 30 percent off on many of its popular adventures like Inca Discover to Machu Picchu © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Travel Offers at Luxury Hotels, Resorts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday present limited-time offers that put luxury hotels and resorts from the Caribbean to Belize to Maldives to the Florida Keys, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, North Carolina, New York City, to West Hollywood, in reach. Here are a sampling of offers for travelers to snag the steepest travel deals of the year and enjoy unforgettable experiences at reduced rates:

Club Med, the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, is offering its best discount of the year with its Black Friday sale. Travelers can receive up to 60% off their upcoming winter, spring or summer getaways at Club Med’s spacious all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada – like family-friendly Club Med Punta Cana, the five star eco-chic Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, or the new Club Med Québec, opened December 2021 offering four-season mountain escapes. Additional participating resorts include Club Med Caravelle, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean, Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique, French Caribbean, Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico, and Club Med Columbus, Bahamas. The deal includes 60% off Deluxe and Suite Rooms and 55% off Superior Rooms. Additional perks include free cancellations and free stays for kids under 4. Book between November 16-27, 2022 for travel November 26, 2022 to June 30, 2023 (check out on July 1, 2023).  Perks include: kids under 4 stay free and no single supplement. Book at https://www.clubmed.us/o/black-friday.

Coco Collection, Maldives: Comprised of two different boutique island resorts, Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, each create a unique and authentic Maldivian experience ranging from luxe amenities to eco-forward initiatives for travelers to begin indulging in as soon as they arrive. This Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Coco Collection is offering a 50 percent off total booking.  The first 5 bookings within this timeframe at both resorts will receive 70 percent off their booking. Offer valid from Friday, Nov. 25 – Monday, Nov. 28 for stays from Nov. 26 through Dec. 25, 2022 and May 1, through Oct. 31, 2023.

Casa Kimberly, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Formerly Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s home (it was his gift to her for her 32nd birthday, in 1962), this luxurious nine-suite boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Puerto Vallarta and has stunning views of Banderas Bay and the red clay rooftops that dot the Sierra Madre Mountains. From Black Friday (Nov  25) through Cyber Monday (Nov. 28), receive 50% off stays booked December 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023 (does not apply to reservations from Dec. 24-Jan. 3 and other blackout dates may apply). Use code CYBERCK to reserve at the discounted rate. Visit here to book.

At the five-star Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, no detail is overlooked © Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Mexico is a secluded coastal resort located about half an hour outside of Cancun in Puerto Morelos. The resort itself and surrounding setting allows for both active and relaxing experiences, including a bike tour, spa treatments, cooking demonstrations, a Kids Club, and more. Private airport transfers to/from the resort are included in every stay. Grand Residences is providing a 25 percent discounted rate on all-inclusive stays for all room categories for those who book their travel up through Dec. 16, 2022. (Valid on new bookings only, no minimum length of stay required; blackout dates apply.)

Hawks Cay Resort, the Florida Keys is offering guests the ultimate Florida Keys vacation experience with on-site amenities like fishing excursions, dolphin encounters, snorkel trips, and more. This Black Friday (Nov. 21-29), Hawks Cay is extending 35% off accommodations booked under promo code CYBERW, for a 2-night minimum stay at the hotel and a 3-night minimum stay at its villas. Subject to availability, blackout dates apply.

Cayo Espanto, Belize:  Located three miles off the coast of San Pedro, Belize, Cayo Espanto is home to seven villas, a helipad, private yacht, and endless opportunities to enjoy a barefoot luxury escape in a naturally beautiful setting. The private island resort is offering guests a free airfare credit (up to $750 per person) with the booking of a seven night stay this Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Travelers looking to take advantage of this offer must complete their booking online at aprivateisland.com between Friday, Nov. 25 – Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. A booking code is not required; all reservations made during this timeframe will receive airfare credit with confirmation. Offer valid on new bookings only and may not be combined with any other offers. Blackout dates apply and reservations are based on availability.

The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort, Panama, one of Panama’s leading family-friendly luxury hotels,  is extending a Flight Cash Back promotion that travelers in pursuit of a discounted luxury vacation will love! The new promotion extends $400 cash back upon check out; complimentary breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years; and complimentary use of bicycle, tennis and volleyball courts. The offer is valid until Dec. 31, and a 5-night minimum booking applies.

Atlantis Paradise Island is offering a Cyber Week Sale for stays between December 1, 2022 – November 1, 2023 in The Coral, The Royal, The Cove and The Reef Towers. The Cyber sale is Atlantis’ biggest sale of the year. Atlantis Paradise Island newsletter subscribers get early access from November 17 – 22 (sign up via the website here to receive the invite to this exclusive offer. Guests booking 5+ nights for stays during December 1, 2022 – November 1, 2023, save 20% on accommodations plus $500 Resort Credit or more at The Coral, The Cove, The Royal and The Reef. Those booking from November 23 – December 1, 2022,  get 20% savings on 5+ nights at The Coral, The Royal, and The Reef  PLUS receive a $250 Resort for stays during June – September.

  • Direct Offers include:
    • The Coral: 25% Savings on 2+ nights when booking Air + Hotel compared to rates of $500 during peak season and $200 throughout the year
    • The Cove: $500 Resort Credit per stay with BAR 5+ nights compared to rates of $2,000 during peak season and $500 throughout the year
    • The Royal: $50 daily Resort Credit on 2-4 nights for travel June-Sept 2023 compared to rates of $900 during peak season and $279 throughout the year
    • The Reef: 20% savings + $300 Resort Credit per stay of 6+ nights compared to rates of $1,500 during peak season and $350 throughout the year

Travelers will also have the option to book their reservation with flexible payment and cancellation policies. To book, visit: www.atlantisbahamas.com or call 1800-ATLANTIS. Blackout dates include December 27, 2022 – January 1, 2023. 

Saba Rock, British Virgin Islands: Now with on-site amenities like snuba, diving, kiteboarding, island tours, beachfront spa, and more, the one-acre island recently reopened following a complete luxury rebuild after damages sustained from Hurricane Irma. Saba Rock is offering guests the opportunity to save up to 40% on a three-night or more stay, booked from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Offer valid for bookings made Nov. 26 to 29, 2022 for stays Nov. 30, 2022 through February 15, 2023. Book at www.sabarock.com using promo code BLKFRI. Blackout dates apply, 3-night minimum required.

Mount Cinnamon Resort, Grenada: Tucked away on the hillside atop Grand Anse Beach, Mount Cinnamon is an eco-luxe hideaway with an enclave of 37 luxury villas and suites. Ranked as one of the Top 40 resorts in the Caribbean Islands from the 2022 Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards  This Black Friday, save 30% on stays of 5 or more nights, daily breakfast included. Booking window: Nov. 25 – Dec. 9, 2022. Travel window: Apr. 10 – Nov. 30, 2023. Booking code: MC-BLACKFRIDAY.

Also: This Giving Tuesday, November 29, for every reservation made, Mount Cinnamon Resort will donate one bag of pet food to the Grenada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA). The GSPCA is a no-kill shelter that is committed to providing all animals that come through the doors with the best possible love, care, and attention. No code needed.

Andaz West Hollywood: Those who choose to book a stay at Andaz West Hollywood will be right on the Sunset Strip, the perfect point between Hollywood, Beverly Hills. The hotel is home to the highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles which was recently renovated and is an artist’s dream with works of art throughout the property.   

Get 20% off rates for travel booked between now and Nov. 30, valid for stays until April 30, 2023. Use the code UNLOCK.

Little Gem Resorts is a family-owned and operated boutique hospitality company with three properties located in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and St. John in the USVI. This is the brand’s first Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. This Cyber Monday, they will be offering a 25% off discount off their regular rates. The three boutique, seasonal resorts all have high demand and occupancy rates, especially during their busy seasons. Their Cyber Monday deal is the biggest sale each property has ever done.

  • Lovango Resort + Beach Club is offering a 25% off stay in one of the property’s glamping tents or luxury treehouses for a three-night minimum stay from April 30-June 15. Using the code CYBL, guests will receive $248.75 in savings on regular rates from $995 per night plus tax.
  • Winnetu Oceanside Resort is offering a 25% off stay in one of the property’s accommodations for a two-night minimum stay from May 18-June 15. Using the code CYBW, guests will receive $98.75 in savings on regular rates from $395 per night plus tax.
  • The Nantucket Hotel + Resort is offering a 25% stay off stay in one of the property’s accommodations for a two-night minimum stay from April 30-June 15. Using the code CYBN, guests will receive $73.75 in savings on regular rates from $295 per night plus tax.

NoMo SoHo soars across New York City’s downtown with its 26 stories in the heart of SoHo. The neighborhood known for its fashion, design, art, and culture is the epicenter of creative up-and-comers, in addition to housing established brands, well-known artists, and cultural icons. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of New York City and the hotel is also home to the wildly popular NoMo Kitchen, an iconic restaurant with a glass atrium and intimate outdoor patio. This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, NoMo SoHo is offering 30% off all room types for stays between November 28, 2022, and August 31, 2023. Past hotel guests and NoMo SoHo subscribers will get exclusive access to this offer. Travelers can sign up for NoMo SoHo’s newsletter by clicking here in order to receive access to book this Black Friday / Cyber Monday offer. 

Kimpton Hotel Eventi, located at the intersection of the NoMad and Chelsea neighborhoods, is inside a modern skyrise with floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning views. The property features an eclectic-chic “living room” lobby, curated art collection, technology touches everywhere and three restaurants run by Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel, Skirt Steak, L’Amico and The Vine. This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Kimpton Hotel Eventi is giving back with their Kimpton Cyber Sale launching on November 22, 2022. This offer is available on stays from November 25-April 30, 2023; must be booked by December 5. Those who book directly at Kimpton Hotel Eventi’s website (offer goes live on November 22nd) can save up to 20% off the best available rate. Each Cyber Sale booking made by IHG Rewards members will include a $5/night donation to No Kid Hungry.

The Art of Living Retreat Center located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina (2 hours from Charlotte), is participating in Black Friday/Cyber Monday for the first time, and it is their biggest sale ever created, providing $200-600 in savings, depending upon the type of retreat booked.  Book Nov. 21-28 to get  30% off December 2022 – March 2023 stays for Signature Retreats (Happiness, Stepping Into Silence, Meditation) and R+R Retreats. Book by entering the code BLACKFRIDAY (those who would like to give the gift of meditation and relaxation – to others or themselves – should use this exclusive deal.

Other hotel deals:

Book a stay at Virgin Hotels between Nov. 25, 2022 – Jan. 2, 2023, and receive 30% off the reservation, plus a chance to win a free upgrade to Richard’s Penthouse Flat. Virgin Know Members can take advantage of a pre-sale, starting Monday, Nov. 21. Reservations can be made for stays anytime between November 25, 2022 – December 31, 2023. Participating properties include; Virgin Hotels Chicago, Virgin Hotels New Orleans, Virgin Hotels Nashville, Virgin Hotels Dallas, and Virgin Hotels Edinburgh.

Hyatt Hotels is offering up to 20% off stays through April 30, 2023, when you book by November 30, 2022; choose from over 950 participating hotels; use Special Offer Code UNLOCK to book your qualifying stay. (https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/en/offers.html)

Cruise Deals

Princess Cruises’ Black Friday Sale:  from Nov. 22-30, choose from 60 sailings under $60 per day(per guest), and 100’s more sailings under $100 per day(per guest), taking travelers to Alaska, the California Coast, the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Europe. In addition, guests booking through the sale can take advantage of $1 deposits, meaning those who reserve their sailings to worldwide destinations by Nov. 30 don’t have to pay the remaining balance until 90 days before their trip, when deposits typically range between $100 – $800 at the time of booking (www.princess.com).

Take advantage of Celebrity Cruises’ biggest Black Friday Sale with early access and turn your bucket list into your book it list. Enjoy 75% off your second guest’s cruise fare, plus up to $800 savings per stateroom and up to $800 onboard credit per stateroom. On Cyber Monday, take advantage of $25 deposit and up to $500 to spend onboard (https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-deals/black-friday)

For Royal Caribbean Black Friday to Cyber Monday specials, go to https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-deals/black-friday.

For Royal Caribbean Black Friday to Cyber Monday specials, go to https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-deals/black-friday© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Rainforest Cruises has some special offers for Christmas Galapagos and Amazon cruises that are usually sold out years in advance, for bookings made by Dec. 4: Amazon: Zafiro’s 5D/4N Amazon & Marañón Dec. 22-26 departure (from $3,879pp); 50% OFF the second passenger when staying in double occupancy; FREE* domestic flights between Lima and Iquitos (*Flight value up to $250). Galapagos: Galapagos Sea Star‘s 6D/5N Southern Islands Dec 20-25 (from $6,139pp); $2000 OFF the second passenger when staying in double occupancy. Eco Galaxy‘s 6D/5N Western Islands Dec 24-29 (from $5400pp); $1500 OFF the second passenger when staying in double occupancy; No Single Supplement in select cabins, subject to availability. Alya‘s 5D/4N Northern Islands Dec 22-26 (from $4,725pp); $1000 OFF the second passenger when staying in double occupancy. The Galapagos Christmas cruises also include FREE night’s hotel stay before your cruise at the Wyndham Quito Airport hotel; PLUS your $100 Galapagos National Park entry fee; AND cover the cost of your Transit Control Card ($20)! RainforestCruises.com, 888 215 3555.

Quark Expeditions’ Black Friday 2 for 1 Sale: book a voyage by December 2 to Antarctic 22-23 or upcoming Arctic 2023 season and bring a guest for free! Solo travelers also benefit from our Black Friday Sale by only paying 50% of the regular rate for a shared cabin. Additionally, guests can get a free cabin upgrade on any voyage in Quark’s Antarctic 23-24 and Arctic 2024 seasons at in-market rate. So, if you’re traveling on the game-changing Ultramarine, you could move up from a Terrace Suite to a Penthouse Suite (https://travel.quarkexpeditions.com/black-friday/, 866-250-7034).

A great source for Black Friday/Cyber Monday cruise deals is cruisecritic.com. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022 deals are making waves, with cheap cruises and enticing bargains galore. Whether you have your heart set on cabin upgrades, free shore excursions, rock bottom fares or all sorts of onboard goodies, Black Friday and Cyber Monday cruise deals are your best bet to snag an irresistible bargain,” writes Marilyn Borth, Assistant SEO Editor. She includes Norwegian Cruise Line, Azamara, Cunard, Holland America in her roundup. (https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/6617/)

Camping/Outdoors

Sun Outdoors, a leader in outdoor hospitality offering guests unforgettable experiences outdoors, has launched their Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion, offering guests 40 percent off on select campground, RV site and vacation rental bookings from December 1, 2022 – December 21, 2023*. www.sunoutdoors.com/specials/black-friday

Sun Outdoors will kick off the season of giving by giving back 5 percent of ALL bookings made during the promotion period to charitable partner, the National Park Foundation. Donations will contribute to the NPF’s ParkVentures fund, which supports equity-focused outdoor leaders and organizations by providing grants for programs and activities that help people create and strengthen life-long relationships with national parks. (www.sunoutdoors.com)

More Deals

Tuscany wine lovers can experience the top wine-producing sub-regions with the luxury boutique hotel Borgo San Vincenzos Black Friday specials.  Sangiovese by Air, Land and Trail:5- night stay with breakfast,explore Montepulciano by e-bike, Montalcino by helicopter, and Chianti Clasico with a private driver ($10,859); and Escape to Tuscany (four-night minimum stay). Direct bookings only. Email info@borgosanvincenzo.com or call +39 0578 810 137 and reference the Black Friday/Cyber Monday Escape to Tuscany special.

LEGOLAND® California Resort, the family theme Park in Carlsbad, CA is offering huge deals to the Park, LEGOLAND® Hotel and LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel exclusively through its website, for purchases Nov. 22-Nov. 28. Save up to $100 on Annual Passes, valid for a year of admission to LEGOLAND Park, SEA LIFE aquarium and Water Park, with discounts on dining, shopping, and LEGOLAND Resort Hotels;  Save up to 50% on vacation packages at LEGOLAND Hotel or LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, which include 2-Day admission tickets to LEGOLAND California theme park (on select nights from Jan. 8 through May 26, 2023); Save 50% on LEGOLAND + SEA LIFE Hopper Tickets ($69.50 each), valid for admission to LEGOLAND Park and SEA LIFE aquarium from Jan. 1 through March 17, 2023 (plus option to add a second day for only $12.50). Sign up now at https://www.legoland.com/california/ to receive exclusive access to these deals before they become available to the general public. Each LEGOLAND California offer is limited and may sell out quickly.

SpaFinder is offering 20% off gift cards of $100+ with promo code FRIEDSGIVING for purchases through Nov. 30. Go toSpafinder.com. (https://myspafinder.spagiftcards.com/category/eGift-Cards)

Red Thread, which customizes made-to-order tailored clothes (with lifetime fit guarantee) ideal for travel is offering 40% off for its Black Friday Sale on pants, essential black dress, snap jackets. Email  hi@redthreadcollection.com, visit redthreadcollection.com, call 775-384-9681.

Travel Gear

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is also an excellent opportunity to buy the specialized gear for your traveler. Among our favorite go-to’s: EMS offering up to 75% off; REI.com (https://www.rei.com/s/gifts-for-travelers); B&H for camera/video (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/holiday-shopping/deals). Also Patagonia.com, REI.com, LLBean.com, TennisExpress.com, sunandski.com, www.basspro.com.

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$600 Million in Refunds Returned to Airline Passengers Under DOT Rules Backed by New Enforcement Actions

Frontier Airlines was one of the airlines fined by the US Department of Transportation for extreme delays in providing refunds to passengers © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced historic enforcement actions against six airlines, which collectively paid $600 million to people who were owed a refund due to a canceled or significantly changed flight. These fines are part of DOT’s ongoing work to ensure Americans receive the refunds they are owed from airlines. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, DOT has received a flood of complaints from air travelers about airlines’ failures to provide timely refunds after they had their flights canceled or significantly changed. 

“When a flight gets canceled, passengers seeking refunds should be paid back promptly. Whenever that doesn’t happen, we will act to hold airlines accountable on behalf of American travelers and get passengers their money back.” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “A flight cancellation is frustrating enough, and you shouldn’t also have to haggle or wait months to get your refund.” 

In addition to the more than $600 million in refunds airlines have paid back, the Department announced today that it is assessing more than $7.25 million in civil penalties against six airlines for extreme delays in providing refunds. With today’s fines, the Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection has assessed $8.1 million in civil penalties in 2022, the largest amount ever issued in a single year by that office. A majority of the assessed fines will be collected in the form of payments to the Treasury Department, with the remainder credited on the basis of payments to passengers beyond the legal requirement. The Department’s efforts have helped lead to hundreds of thousands of passengers being provided with more than half a billion dollars in required refunds. The Department expects to issue additional orders assessing civil penalties for consumer protection violations this calendar year. 

The fines assessed today and required refunds provided are: 

  • Frontier – $222 million in required refunds paid and a $2.2 million penalty 
  • Air India – $121.5 million in required refunds paid and a $1.4 million penalty 
  • TAP Portugal – $126.5 million in required refunds paid and a $1.1 million penalty 
  • Aeromexico – $13.6 million in required refunds paid and a $900,000 penalty 
  • El Al – $61.9 million in required refunds paid and a $900,000 penalty 
  • Avianca – $76.8 million in required refunds paid and a $750,000 penalty 

All of the consent orders are available at www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2022-0001. 

Under U.S. law, airlines and ticket agents have a legal obligation to refund consumers if the airline cancels or significantly changes a flight to, from and within the United States, and the passenger does not wish to accept the alternative offered. It is unlawful for an airline to refuse refunds and instead provide vouchers to such consumers.  

The fines announced today are one of the many steps the Department is taking to protect consumers. Below are additional actions DOT has taken: 

  • During the summer, the Department rolled out a new airline customer service dashboard to help consumers determine what they are owed when a flight is cancelled or delayed because of an airline issue. Previously, none of the 10 largest U.S. airlines guaranteed meals or hotels when a delay or cancellation was within the airlines’ control, and only one offered free rebooking. However, after Secretary Buttigieg called on airlines to improve their service and created this dashboard, nine airlines now guarantee meals and hotels when an airline issue causes a cancellation or delay and all 10 guarantee free rebooking. The Department will continue to work to increase transparency so Americans know exactly what the airlines are providing when they have a cancellation or delay. 
     
  • The Department’s proposed rule on Airline Ticket Refunds, if adopted, would: 1) require airlines to proactively inform passengers that they have a right to receive a refund when a flight is canceled or significantly changed, and 2) define a significant change and cancellation that would entitle a consumer to a refund. The rule would also 3) require airlines to provide non-expiring vouchers or travel credits when people can’t travel because they have COVID-19 or other communicable diseases; and 4) require airlines that receive significant government assistance in the future related to a pandemic to issue refunds instead of non-expiring travel credits or vouchers when passengers are unable or advised not to travel because of a serious communicable disease. The Department invites the public to submit comment on this rulemaking by December 16, 2022. The Department’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee will publicly deliberate on the Department’s proposed rule on Airline Ticket Refunds and decide on recommendations to make to the Department at a virtual meeting on December 9, 2022. To register and attend this virtual meeting, please use the link: https://usdot.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_V2zwVF3RQfuoOkyYFVqvdA
     
  • The Department has proposed a rule that would significantly strengthen protections for consumers by ensuring that they have access to certain fee information before they purchase their airline tickets. Under the proposed rule, airlines and travel search websites would have to disclose upfront – the first time an airfare is displayed – any fees charged to sit with your child, for changing or cancelling your flight, and for checked or carry-on baggage. The proposal seeks to provide customers the information they need to choose the best deal. Otherwise, surprise fees can add up quickly and overcome what may look at first to be a cheap fare. DOT encourages members of the public and interested parties to submit comments by December 19, 2022. 

The Department has proposed a rule to refund passengers for services they paid for that aren’t actually provided (e.g., broken WiFi). 

For information about airline passenger rights, as well as DOT’s rules, guidance, and orders, the Department’s aviation consumer website can be found at: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Roadmap for Nature-Based Solutions to Fight Climate Change, Strengthen Communities, and Support Local Economies

The Biden-Harris Administration at COP27 in Egypt released the Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, an outline of strategic recommendations to put America on a path that will unlock the full potential of nature-based solutions to address climate change, nature loss, and inequity. This marks the first time the U.S. has developed a strategy to scale up nature-based solutions. Examples include protection or conservation of natural areas- such as Acadia National Park in Maine – reforestation, restoration of marshes or other habitats, or sustainable management of farms, fisheries, or forests. These actions can increase resilience to threats like flooding and extreme heat, and can slow climate change by capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Nature-based solutions play a critical role in the economy, national security, human health, equity, and the fight against climate change. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New actions and recommendations announced at COP27 will make nature-based solutions a go-to option for fighting climate change and boost progress towards U.S. climate goals. The White House provided this fact sheet:

The Biden-Harris Administration at COP27 in Egypt released the Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, an outline of strategic recommendations to put America on a path that will unlock the full potential of nature-based solutions to address climate change, nature loss, and inequity. This marks the first time the U.S. has developed a strategy to scale up nature-based solutions.

To demonstrate how the U.S. is already taking action, the Administration also announced new and recent interagency commitments aligned with the roadmap including: agency actions to ensure over $25 billion in infrastructure and climate funding can support nature-based solutions; a new guide for bringing the power of nature to maximize the value and resilience of military bases; and a new technical working group to better account for nature-based options in benefit cost analysis – a powerful tool for federal decisions.

Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, or restore natural or modified ecosystems as solutions to societal challenges, like fighting climate change. Examples include protection or conservation of natural areas, reforestation, restoration of marshes or other habitats, or sustainable management of farms, fisheries, or forests. These actions can increase resilience to threats like flooding and extreme heat, and can slow climate change by capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Nature-based solutions play a critical role in the economy, national security, human health, equity, and the fight against climate change.

John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, and chair of President Biden’s National Climate Task Force, unveiled the roadmap at the opening of the U.S. Center at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties (COP27). Mr. Podesta encouraged other nations to join the U.S. by taking bold action to invest in nature and its many benefits.  

On Earth Day 2022, President Biden issued Executive Order 14072, which recognizes the importance of forests and other nature-based solutions to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen communities and local economies. In the Executive Order, President Biden directed the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Climate Advisor, in consultation with agencies, to identify key opportunities for greater deployment of nature-based solutions across the Federal government. The Roadmap submitted to the National Climate Task Force today calls on expanding the use of nature-based solutions and outlines five strategic areas of focus for the federal government: (1) updating policies, (2) unlocking funding, (3) leading with federal facilities and assets, (4) training the nature-based solutions workforce, and (5) prioritizing research, innovation, knowledge, and adaptive learning that will advance nature-based solutions.

This work builds on President Biden’s climate leadership. The Administration is already advancing nature-based solutions in support of the President’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, to conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, and to increase community resilience to extreme weather and other climate impacts. The new Nature Based Solutions Roadmap will help the Administration seize additional opportunities; key recommendations and related new and recent agency commitments are below.

The Biden-Harris Administration also released a companion resource guide with examples of nature-based climate solutions and over 150 resources to spur action. The Nature-Based Solutions Resource Guide: Compendium of Federal Examples, Guidance, Resource Documents, Tools and Technical Assistance is available here.  

NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS ROADMAP: FIVE STRATEGIC AREAS FOR ACTION

  1. Update Policies to Accelerate Nature-Based Solutions

The roadmap recommends that agencies update federal policies and guidance, making it easier to consider and adopt nature-based solutions. Major areas for advancement include policies and guidance for federal planning, permitting, cost-sharing, risk management, and benefit cost analysis. Aligned Administration actions include:

  • Guidance on valuing nature: Current federal policies and guidance on accounting and analysis can under-value nature-based solutions. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing central guidance on benefit cost analysis (Circulars A-4 and A-94) to help federal agencies more fully account for the value of nature in regulatory and funding decisions. Today, the White House is standing up a new technical working group on Frontiers of Benefit Cost Analysis to support agencies in benefit cost analysis for nature-based solutions and other analysis needs. This is coupled with the developing National Strategy for a system of natural capital accounts, which will place nature on the nation’s balance sheet and allow regular tracking of the economic benefits that investments in nature-based solutions provide.
  • Nature-based solutions in floodplain management: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is revising its floodplain management requirements to require consideration of nature-based solutions as alternatives for all projects that have the potential to affect floodplains or wetlands. This action is in response to Executive Order 13690, which established the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard that requires federal agencies to amend their floodplain policies to consider the use of nature-based solutions. Interim program policies are underway.
     
  1. Unlock Funding for Nature-Based Solutions

Federal funding for domestic and international projects can provide a strong lever to increase deployment of nature-based solutions. The roadmap recommends that Federal agencies do more to prioritize nature-based solutions in funding decisions; increase and ease access to this funding; and catalyze private investment. Actions by the Administration to unlock funding include:

  • Supporting nature-based solutions in hazard mitigation: FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program already prioritizes nature-based solutions in its project scoring criteria. Last month, FEMA announced a new effort that will reduce the burden of applying for BRIC funding for disadvantaged communities, and that may make it easier for projects with nature-based solutions to access funding. This effort reduced the discount rate from 7% to 3% for these communities on some projects in FY 2022.
  • Combining solar energy and nature-based solutions: The Department of Energy Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO) is investing in combined development of ground mounted solar systems and pollinator habitat. In fiscal year 2022, SETO selected projects worth $14 million for Deploying Solar with Wildlife and Ecosystem Services Benefits, developing innovative strategies that maximize benefits and minimize impacts to wildlife and ecosystems from solar energy infrastructure.
     
  1. Lead with Federal Facilities and Assets

The roadmap recommends that federal agencies expand their use of nature-based solutions in the design, retrofitting, and management of federal facilities and embed these solutions in management of natural assets through improved planning, co-management, and co-stewardship. Given the scale of federal assets, expanding deployment of nature-based solutions would have direct climate and conservation benefits and send a strong signal to others. Administration actions include:

  • Guide on nature-based solutions for military installations: The Department of Defense is developing a guide on nature-based solutions for Military Installation natural resources management planning. The guide will provide military installation planners and managers with current and actionable information on the appropriate use of nature-based solutions; the current state of science and observed performance reliability; and other considerations regarding design, cost and benefits, implementation, and operations and maintenance. Preliminary guidance will be published in March 2023, with the full technical guide expected by March 2024.
  • Nature-based solutions for energy, the economy and national security: In October, 2022, the Department of Energy launched Sustainable Climate-Ready Sites (SCRS), a site performance rating system. The program challenges DOE sites to apply innovative nature-based solutions as they manage 2.4 million acres of land and carry out their missions. SCRS performance criteria include environmental justice and cultural resource protection, emphasizing collaboration and engagement with communities and Tribal nations. Annual leadership awards will be given to personnel at participating sites that achieve top SCRS category scores.
     
  1. Train the Nature-Based Solutions Workforce

We need a diverse, equitable workforce skilled in building nature-based solutions. To reach this goal, the roadmap recommends that agencies expand educational and workforce training offerings related to nature-based solutions to support good jobs in federal agencies and the private sector. These needs apply across a wide range of skills including engineering, law, finance, ecology, accounting, economics, community planning and maintenance for nature-based solutions. Administration actions include:

  • Growing awareness of how nature-based solutions benefit households: The Department of the Treasury’s Financial Literacy Education Commission (FLEC) is producing a series of reports entitled How Climate Challenges American Household Finances. One report in the series will address housing, and FLEC will include ways that nature-based solutions can provide benefits to households through housing and landscaping options. The report will be released in 2023.
     
  1. Prioritize Research, Innovation, Knowledge, and Adaptive Learning

As the world changes, we must continually innovate and fill gaps in our understanding. The roadmap recommends that federal agencies advance research and innovation in all sectors to fully reveal the scale of the opportunity that nature-based solutions provide, and incentivize continual learning about how and where nature-based solutions work best. Administration actions include:

  • Synthesizing what we know about nature-based solutions effectiveness: Nature-based solutions have been evaluated in different ways by different experts and sectors, making it difficult to see the big picture of what we now about where and how these solutions provide benefits. Today, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is announcing a study to synthesize this multi-disciplinary evidence base, and evaluate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions for climate mitigation, adaptation and other benefits. An initial database of evaluations will be made public in 2023 and the analysis will be available by 2024.
  • National summit on measuring nature-based solutions: The USACE will host a National Summit on Measuring What Matters at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington D.C. on November 30, 2022. At the public Summit, the USACE Engineering with Nature Program will share the results of a two-year project focused on approaches for advancing comprehensive benefit evaluation for nature-based solutions and other projects. 

 
BUILDING ON THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW AND INFLATION REDUCTION ACT
 
The roadmap and aligned actions build on major investments made through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. These laws made unprecedented investments in nature-based solutions, placing forests, agricultural lands and coastal wetlands front and center in the climate fight. For example, $20 billion is directed to farmers, ranchers, and private forest owners working to increase carbon storage and reduce emissions. Another $5 billion is for forest management actions that can reduce wildfire risk, store carbon, and cool communities. These laws also weave nature into infrastructure investments. Over $8.7 billion will build climate resilience into transportation systems from the ground up. Another $8.6 billion will restore and conserve coastal habitats, investments that will buffer communities from storms and boost local economies. Several agencies are  acting to leverage recent laws and appropriations towards nature-based solutions, including:

  • Increasing carbon stored in wetlands and grasslands: The Inflation Reduction Act provides additional funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs, including the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). In FY23, this funding will be targeted to improve climate and environmental outcomes. The programs will prioritize conservation and restoration of carbon rich wetlands and conservation of grasslands that are at risk of losing carbon and habitat through conversion to more intensive agriculture.
     
  • Promote resilient housing: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through the new Green Resilient Retrofit Program, is administering $837.5 million in grant funds and $4 billion in loan authority provided through the Inflation Reduction Act. This program provides grants that include nature-based solutions to improve energy efficiency, water efficiency, and climate resilience. HUD will ensure the program promotes nature-based solutions as effective investments to improve a properties’ climate resilience. HUD will encourage owners to implement the nature-based solution recommendations, where appropriate and feasible. Additional technical assistance will be offered with this program to aid communities in exploring nature-based solutions.
     
  • Protecting watersheds and communities with nature-based solutions: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes more than $23 billion in supplemental funds to EPA’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and nearly $1.9 billion to EPA’s place-base Geographic, National Estuary and Gulf Hypoxia programs. In its March 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law SRF Implementation Memo, EPA emphasized the importance and eligibility of nature-based infrastructure, and encouraged states and communities to make full use of the SRF Green Project Reserve, which supports nature-based solutions and other environmentally innovative activities. EPA’s implementation of its National Estuary, Geographic, and Gulf Hypoxia programs also prioritizes use of nature-based solutions, where applicable, to restore coastal and riparian ecosystems and protect the communities that depend on them.
     
  • Coordinating access to funds that reduce floods and benefit wildlife: The White House Infrastructure Implementation Task Force is advancing an effort to simplify access to new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds that aim to reduce the risk of flooding, improve habitat connectivity for fish and wildlife, and improve public safety. The Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are coordinating to facilitate access to these opportunities and ensure efficient use of federal funds.
     
  • Advancing Coastal Resilience with Natural Infrastructure Projects: Through its Climate Ready Coasts Initiative, the Department of Commerce’s NOAA is helping coastal communities by investing in high-impact natural infrastructure projects that build economic and environmental resilience, create jobs, store carbon and restore habitat. The $1.5 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will be supplemented by future Inflation Reduction Act funding opportunities.

 
DRIVING GLOBAL ACTION
 
President Biden is committed to unlocking the full potential of nature-based solutions for achieving climate goals and combatting nature loss, especially for communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental injustices. By announcing this roadmap and actions at the UNFCCC COP27, we recognize the need for global action to confront these triple crises and look forward to announcing additional actions during the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity COP15. We invite partners, communities, and other nations to join the Biden-Harris Administration in taking aggressive action to advance nature-based solutions as powerful tools that the world needs now.
 

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Rallies States, Cities and Companies to Boost Clean American Manufacturing

White House “Buy Clean” Convening Spurs New Commitments to Reduce Industrial Emissions and Support Made in America Steel, Concrete and More


American manufacturing is getting a new lease on life with the Biden Administration’s Federal Buy Clean Initiatives which leverages the Federal Government’s power as the largest purchaser in the world to advance low-carbon construction materials across its procurement and funded infrastructure projects. President Biden has ushered in an American manufacturing boom, with nearly 700,000 manufacturing jobs added during his Administration so far. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

At a White House convening, National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory joined state leaders to share knowledge and discussed opportunities to collaborate on expanding the purchase of lower-carbon materials made by American workers. Ahead of this convening, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new set of public and private sector commitments aligned with President Biden’s Federal Buy Clean Initiative, which leverages the Federal Government’s power as the largest purchaser in the world to advance low-carbon construction materials across its procurement and funded infrastructure projects.
 
President Biden has ushered in an American manufacturing boom, with nearly 700,000 manufacturing jobs added during his Administration so far. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, the President secured historic investments to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure and grow our clean energy economy. By leveraging the U.S. Government’s purchasing power, President Biden is catalyzing markets and positioning American manufacturing to compete and lead.

Partnerships between state, Tribal, regional, local and industry leaders are critical to ensure that Buy Clean investments in clean manufacturing and climate-resilient infrastructure benefit all Americans across the country. President Biden’s Action Plan to Accelerate Infrastructure recognizes that over 90% of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is delivered by non-federal agencies, underscoring the need for strong partnerships across public and private sectors. Building on recent Administration announcements through the Federal Buy Clean Initiative, today’s actions to create more good-paying manufacturing jobs while tackling the climate crisis include:  

  • New Federal Support: Federal agencies are supporting Buy Clean through new nationwide programs. The Department of Transportation is announcing that 25 states will receive the first Federal Highway Administration Climate Challenge grants to support sustainable pavements. The Department of Energy will coordinate Inflation Reduction Act funds for an Advanced Industrial Facilities Deployment Program. This will help industrial facilities retrofit, upgrade, or install industrial technologies and produce low-carbon materials.
     
  • Private Sector Commitments: Companies are also stepping up and announcing new support for Buy Clean initiatives. Major manufacturers are committing to boost the supply of clean products made in America. Across the industrial sector, 60 companies have joined the Better Climate Challenge where they’ve committed to reducing portfolio-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% by 2030. At the same time, leading businesses are using their engineering, design and purchasing power to drive the demand for low-carbon construction materials.
     
  • State and Local Action: Leaders from 20 states will join today’s White House convening to share knowledge and discuss opportunities for collaboration and alignment between State Buy Clean efforts and the Federal Buy Clean Initiative. Cities are also harnessing their purchasing power through public works projects to shift the construction industry toward a cleaner future. Through initiatives like the C40 Clean Construction Accelerator and the Clean Construction Action Coalition, cities and industry leaders are working together to achieve thriving, resilient, and healthy communities—especially for the most vulnerable and historically-marginalized neighborhoods.


NEW FEDERAL SUPPORT

In September, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a major set of Buy Clean initiatives, including a policy to prioritize the Federal Government’s purchase of steel, concrete, asphalt, and flat glass that have lower embodied emissions across their lifecycle—including manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal. These construction materials account for nearly half of all GHG emissions from U.S. manufacturing.  
 
New actions from across the Biden-Harris Administration announced today include: 

  • The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is announcing grants for 25 State Departments of Transportation through the Climate Challenge to reduce GHG emissions in highway projects through the use of sustainable construction materials. It also supports the new Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) announced earlier this year that unlocks $6.4 billion in formula funding for states and localities over five years to develop carbon reduction strategies and address the climate crisis.
     
  • The Department of Energy (DOE), through the Better Climate Challenge, is partnering with organizations across the U.S. economy to set ambitious goals for reducing their carbon emissions, and to share real world strategies to decarbonize buildings and plants. Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, three new industrial firms–Metal Technologies, Inc, Intertape Polymer Group, and Bentley Mills–have joined the Better Climate Challenge. Cleveland-Cliffs is the first American steel producer to participate in the Challenge, and represents the largest industrial energy user in DOE’s Better Plants program. DOE also recently launched the Industrial Heat Shot™ to develop cost-competitive solutions for industrial heating processes, used to make everything from food to cement and steel. The effort aims to not only realize at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, but also support DOE’s Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap to reduce industrial emissions while benefitting workers and revitalizing communities.
     
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is kicking off a series of stakeholder engagement sessions to help shape $350 million in new grants, technical assistance, and tools from the Inflation Reduction Act to lower GHG emissions in construction materials. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Industrial Partnership is also helping over 800 manufacturing companies improve energy efficiency in manufacturing plants. Industrial energy efficiency can provide over 30% of the emission reductions needed from the industrial sector in 2050.
     
  • The General Services Administration (GSA) recently issued a Clean Construction Materials Request for Information to gather input from industry partners on the availability of domestically-manufactured, locally sourced, and low-carbon construction materials. This feedback will help inform $2.15 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funding for federal procurement of lower-carbon materials and products containing steel, concrete, flat glass, asphalt, and potentially other construction materials used in nationwide federal construction, modernization, and paving projects.
     
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is designing a new program supported by the Inflation Reduction Act. The Green and Resilient Retrofit Program will make funding available to support energy and water efficiency retrofits, make use of clean energy and energy storage, promote building electricity, and increase climate resilience for HUD-assisted multifamily properties. HUD has released a Request for Information to assess program design and uses for project funding and/or financing, including low-emission building materials or processes.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS
 
Concrete and steel are the most widely used construction materials in the world. Each year, more than four billion tons of cement are produced, accounting for around 8% of global GHG emissions, all of which occur well before a concrete truck arrives on a job site. Federal, state, and local governments purchase about half of concrete poured and cast in the United States; the other half is purchased by the private sector. Strong partners in the manufacturing sector are innovating and investing in scaling up production of lower-carbon materials. At the same time, design, architecture and engineering firms are integrating cleaner materials into project designs, and major corporate purchasers are sending clear demand signals. Together, we can grow clean manufacturing jobs and reach net zero emissions:

  • General Motors will join the First Movers Coalition, the public-private partnership that intends to help commercialize zero-carbon technologies by harnessing purchasing power. General Motors joins the coalition as a member of the concrete sector, with an ambitious pledge to purchase at least 10% (by volume) near-zero concrete by 2030 and beyond.
     
  • Starbucks commits to reduce carbon emissions in its direct operations and supply chain 50% by 2030, including advancing measurement and reductions in embodied and lifecycle carbon for its equipment and building materials. Through the Greener Stores program, it has launched an open-source educational series, with actions that can be taken to support reductions in carbon, water and waste—including sourcing sustainable materials.
  • Lehigh Hanson, one of North America’s leading producers of cement, concrete and aggregate construction materials, commits to transforming concrete to carbon neutral by 2050, and to generating as much as 50% of revenues from sustainable products by 2030. This will be driven with product transparency and innovation in the manufacturing process and substantial CO2 reduction in its construction products.
     
  • Central Concrete, a subsidiary of Vulcan Materials Company, the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates, is collaborating on Buy Clean by continuing to develop mixes and evaluate technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with concrete production, and to partner with local governments on the development of low-carbon building specifications. The company has a proven track record of reducing carbon in concrete by up to 50%.
     
  • National Grid commits to work with suppliers to set carbon reduction targets that support net zero, including engaging its most carbon-intensive suppliers through CDP. National Grid will advance these and other priorities within the Federal Buy Clean Initiative.
     
  • Perkins&Will, the second-largest architecture firm in the world, commits to reducing embodied and operational carbon in the buildings and places it designs. The firm uses tools like the Embodied Carbon Calculator (EC3) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to reduce embodied carbon by 30% or more.
     
  • Organizations such as Breakthrough Energy, Meta, and Baker Concrete Construction are teaming up through the NEU Center to scale low carbon concrete solutions. The Center will drive adoption of innovative materials and technologies entering the marketplace. 
     
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Structural Engineering Institute’s “SE 2050  commits to achieving net zero embodied carbon structural systems by 2050. As of today, the program has 98 structural firms signed onto the commitment across 29 states and the District of Columbia.
     
  • Through “MEP 2040” over 50 Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems engineer and designer firms commit to achieve net zero carbon in their projects: operational carbon by 2030 and embodied carbon by 2040. Signatories request EPDs in project specifications for all building systems.
     
  • Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) has launched the Decarbonizing Industrial Supply Chain Energy (DISC-e) program to harness the collective power of large consumers to accelerate the market for low-carbon industrial commodities that use carbon-free energy throughout the manufacturing supply chain. Lightsource bp is building 2.0 gigawatts of clean energy, representing more than $2.1 billion of investments across America, with a commitment to domestic content and lower embodied carbon. They are driving demand for made-in-America solar manufactured by suppliers with a lower emissions footprint. Avangrid a member of Iberdrola, will support the group’s global commitment of specifying 100% net zero steel by 2050 and 50% by 2030.
     
  • Arup, a leading global engineering and design firm, commits to lifecycle carbon assessments for all buildings projects, and will help the sector to reach net zero by 2050. 
     
  • Carbon Leadership Forum announces 20 embodied carbon Regional Hubs across 16 states. Strong collaborations with building designers and policymakers have supported their Embodied Carbon educational series and the development of a pilot national database of whole building life cycle analysis models to set ambitious carbon-reduction targets and incentivize high-impact reduction strategies.
     
  • Lendlease and Robert Bird Group join the Climate Group’s ConcreteZero initiative today, committing to specify, buy and use 100% net zero concrete by 2040 and 2050 respectively, with two ambitious interim targets of using 30% low emission concrete by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Together, these global businesses send a strong demand signal for sustainably produced concrete to the U.S. market.
     
  • SSAB Americas commits to producing steel with zero emissions in the United States as early as 2023 (in limited quantities). And today, through the installation of an onsite, renewable fuel storage and supply system, SSAB is embracing emerging technologies that help put the steel industry on the path to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

FACT SHEET: Biden Proposes Plan to Protect Federal Supply Chain from Climate-Related Risks

Proposed rule to improve efficiency and reduce financial risks from climate change

The Biden Administration is proposing the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule, which would require major Federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This is from a White House fact sheet on the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule which would require major Federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets, which President Biden outlined at COP27 .

The Biden-Harris Administration is taking historic action to address greenhouse gas emissions and protect the Federal Government’s supply chains from climate-related financial risks. In support of President Biden’s Executive Orders on Climate-Related Financial Risk and Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, the Administration is proposing the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule, which would require major Federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets.
 
President Biden highlighted this proposed action at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Through this action, the United States would become the first national government to strengthen its supply chain by requiring major suppliers to set Paris Agreement-aligned emissions reduction goals.
 
As the world’s single largest buyer of goods and services—purchasing over $630 billion in the last fiscal year alone—the Federal Government faces significant financial risks from climate change. Supply chain disruptions over the past year have impacted every sector, including the Federal Government and its critical contractors and subcontractors. The new Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule would strengthen the resilience of vulnerable Federal supply chains, resulting in greater efficiencies and reduced climate risk.
 
The proposed action is also an integral part of the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan, which set a goal to achieve net-zero emissions procurement by 2050. The Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule covers approximately 85 percent of the emissions associated with the Federal supply chain, which are estimated to be more than twice as large as the emissions from operating the Federal Government’s 300,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles combined.
 
Managing emissions builds efficiency and effectiveness, and can reduce costs for Federal suppliers. Since establishing the Federal Government’s own climate goals, energy use by buildings and vehicles has dropped 32 percent, saving taxpayers $11.8 billion annually. Suppliers understand that you cannot manage what you don’t measure—tracking emissions and setting and meeting targets can increase resilience and reduce costs.
 
The proposed rule is part of the President’s leadership to implement the first comprehensive, government-wide strategy to measure, disclose, manage, and mitigate the systemic risks that climate change poses to American families, businesses, and the economy. In addition to protecting federal supply chains, agencies are taking new actions to protect pensions and retirement plansinsurance availabilityhousehold savings and creditstate and local government programsour financial system, and the federal budget from the financial risks of climate change.
 
Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule
 
The proposed Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule provides a targeted, risk-based approach by focusing primarily on major Federal suppliers. Under the proposed rule, the largest suppliers including Federal contractors receiving more than $50 million in annual contracts would be required to publicly disclose Scope 1, Scope 2, and relevant categories of Scope 3 emissions, disclose climate-related financial risks, and set science-based emissions reduction targets. Federal contractors with more than $7.5 million but less than $50 million in annual contracts would be required to report Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. All Federal contractors with less than $7.5 million in annual contracts would be exempt from the rule. Small businesses with over $7.5 million in annual contracts would only be required to report Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions under the proposed rule.
 
This proposed rule leverages widely-adopted third party standards and systems that many Federal contractors already use when disclosing their emissions and setting emissions reduction targets, including the CDP environmental reporting system, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations, and the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) criteria.
 
Today, more than half of major Federal contractors are already disclosing climate related information. These Federal contractors are among the 18,700 companies globally—worth more than half of global market capitalization—that voluntarily disclose emissions and climate risk through CDP, including 1,800 small and medium-sized enterprises. Further, nearly 4,000 companies globally—representing one third of the global economy’s market capitalization—have voluntarily committed to setting science-based targets.
 
The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, composed of the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and chaired by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget, is issuing this proposed rulemaking, which would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement these changes, if finalized. The FAR is the primary regulation for use by all executive agencies in their acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds.
 
The Biden-Harris Administration invites public input on this proposed rulemaking. To learn more about the rulemaking, visit https://www.sustainability.gov/federalsustainabilityplan/fed-supplier-rule.html

Biden in COP27 Speech Describes Progress US has Made, Leadership Role Will Play to Address Global Climate Crisis

President Joe Biden at COP27: “The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environmental security, national security, and the very life of the planet.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via msnbc.

This is a highlighted transcript of President Joe Biden’s remarks to the 27th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 11, 2022:

Here in Egypt, the Great Pyramids and the ancient artifacts stand as testament to millennia of human ingenuity.  We see our mission to avert climate catastrophe and seize a new clean energy economy not only as an imperative for our present and future, but through the eyes of history.
 
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the past eight years have been the warmest on record.
 
In the United States, we’re seeing historic drought and wildfires in the West, devastating hurricanes and storms in the East.
 
Here in Africa — home to many nations considered most vulnerable to climate change, food insecurity [and] hunger follows four years of intense drought in the Horn of Africa.
 
Meanwhile, the Niger River in West Africa, swollen because of more intense rainfall, is wreaking havoc on fishing and farming communities.
 
In Nigeria, flooding has recently killed 600 people; 1.3 million more are displaced.
 
Seasonal livestock migration routes have been used for hundreds of years are being altered, increasing the risk of conflict between herders and local farming communities.
 
The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environmental security, national security, and the very life of the planet.
 
So today, I’d like to share with you how the United States is meeting the climate crisis with urgency and with determination to ensure a cleaner, safer, and healthier planet for all of us.  (Applause.)

From my first days in office, my administration has led with a bold agenda to address the climate crisis and increase energy security at home and around the world. 
 
We immediately rejoined the Paris Agreement.  We convened major climate summits and reestablished — (applause) — I apologize we ever pulled out of the agreement — we established Major Economies Forum to spur countries around the world to raise their climate ambitions.

Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, the United States helped deliver critical commitments that will get two thirds of the world’s GDP on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  (Applause.)
 
Over the past two years, the United States has delivered unprecedented progress at home.
 
Through a generational investment in upgrading our nation’s infrastructure, we’re making our power grid better able to transmit clean energy,
expanding public transit and rail, building a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations — over 50,000.
 
And this summer, the United States Congress passed and I signed into law my proposal for the biggest, most important climate bill in the history of our country — the Inflation Reduction Act.  (Applause.)
 
It includes less than I asked for, but a significant amount: $368 billion to support clean electricity, everything from offshore wind to distributed solar, zero-emission vehicles, and sustainable aviation fuels; more efficient electrified buildings; cleaner industrial processes and manufacturing; climate-smart agriculture and forestry; and more.
 
Look, our Department of Energy estimates that the new law will reduce emissions in the United States by about 1 billion tons in 2030 while unleashing a new era of clean-energy-powered economic growth.
 
Our investments in technology, from electric batteries to hydrogen, are going to spark a cycle of innovation that will reduce the cost and improve the performance of clean energy technology that will be available to nations worldwide, not just the United States.  (Applause.)
 
It’ll help make the transition to a low-carbon future more affordable for everyone, accelerate decarbonation beyond our borders.

In fact, the International Energy Agency recently concluded that our significant climate investment will, quote, help “turbo-charge the emerging global clean energy economy.” 

It’s going to shift the paradigm for the United States and the entire world.

We also ratified the Kigali Amendment to rally the world in phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, greenhouse gases — (applause) — that are thousands of times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

And just yesterday, the United States became the first government to require that our major federal suppliers disclose their emissions and climate risks and set targets for themselves that are aligned with the Paris Agreement.  (Applause.) 

As the world’s largest customer, with more than [$630 billion] in spending last year, the United States government is putting our money where our mouth is to strengthen accountability for climate risk and resilience.
 
These critical steps are already locking in vital investments in our infrastructure — delivering lower cost for clean energy, spurring good-paying union jobs for American workers, and advancing environmental justice in our communities.
  (Applause.) 

Folks, we are proving that good climate policy is good economic policy.  (Applause.)  It’s a strong foundation for durable, resilient, inclusive economic growth.  It’s driving progress in the private sector.  It’s driving progress around the world.

And the sum total of the actions my administration is taking puts the United States on track to achieve our Paris Agreement goal of reducing emissions 50 to 52 percent below2005 levels by 2030.  (Applause.) 

Let me just take a moment to emphasize how meaningful it is that I can say that.

I introduced the first piece of climate legislation in the United States Senate way back in 1986, 36 years ago.  My commitment to this issue has been unwavering.

And today, finally, thanks to the actions we’ve taken, I can stand here as President of the United States of America and say with confidence: The United States of America will meet our emissions targets by 2030.  (Applause.) 

We are racing forward to do our part to avert the “climate hell” that the U.N. Secretary-General so passionately warned about earlier this week.  We’re not ignoring the harbingers that are already here.

It’s true so many disasters — the climate crisis is hitting hardest those countries and communities that have the fewest resources to respond and to recover.  That’s why, last year, I committed to work with our Congress to quadruple U.S. support to climate finance and provide $11 billion annually by 2024, including $3 billion for[adaptation].

And that’s why the fund — Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience — PREPARE, we call it — to help more than half a billion people in developing countries respond to climate change.  We’ve already requested more than $2 billion for the PREPARE this year.  I am going to fight to see that this and our other climate objectives are fully funded.

Today, as a down payment, we’re announcing more than $150 million in initiatives that specifically support PREPARE’s adaptation efforts throughout Africa, including Adaptation in Africa effort that Egypt and the United States launched together in June.

This includes support for expanding early warning systems to help cover Africa, broadening access to climate finance, providing disaster-risk protection, strengthening food security, mobilizing the private sector, and supporting a new training center in Egypt to accelerate adaptation across the efforts all across the continent.  (applause)

My administration has also made the United States the first-ever contributor to the Adaptation Fund last year, and this year we’re doubling our pledge to bringing our total commitment to $100 million.

We’re making sure that every dollar we deliver goes as far as possible, unlocking larger pools of finance and the trillions in private investment we know that will be needed.

Folks, we’re also supporting the Global Shield, a G7 initiative to better protect vulnerable countries everywhere from climate-related losses and quickly respond to climate-related damages.

And the G7-led Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment is working to meet the critical infrastructure needs in low- and middle-income countries with specific focus on climate.

The project we’re facilitating is built on transparency, partnership, the protections for workers and the environment.
 
One of the many projects already underway is a partnership between American firms and the government of Angola to invest $2 billion building new solar projects in Angola.

And everywhere in the world, climate adaptation in Africa is working toward an energy transition that is just.  It means creating good jobs, spurring inclusive economic growth, and leaving no one behind as we implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

Folks, now I know this has been a difficult few years.The interconnected challenges we face can feel all-consuming.  And the upheaval we’re seeing around the world, especially Russia’s brutal attack against Ukraine, is exacerbating food shortages and energy spikes in cost, increasing volatility in those energy markets, driving up global inflation.
 
Against this backdrop, it’s more urgent than ever that we double-down on our climate commitments.  Russia’s war only enhances the urgency of the need to transition the world off its dependence on fossil fuels.
 
True energy security means every nation is benefiting from a clean, diversified energy future.  No action — no action can be taken without a nation understanding that it can use energy as a weapon and hold the global economy hostage.  It must stop.
 
And so this gathering must be the moment to recommit our future and to our shared capacity to write a better story for the world. 
 
Let’s build on our global climate progress, raising above our ambitions and the speed of our efforts.

The science is devastatingly clear.  We have to make vital progress by the end of this decade.  And that’s why the United States is rallying the world around climate game-changers.

I launched one such game-changer last year with the European Commission President Von der Leyen: the Global Methane Pledge.

We started it with the EU and eight other countries.  In Glasgow, it grew to more than 100 countries.  Now more than 130 countries have signed on to covering more than half of the global methane emissions.

Methane is 80 times more potent than carbon, and it accounts for nearly half — half of the net warming we’re experiencing now.  So cutting methane by at least 30 percent by 2030 can be our best chance to keep within reach of 1.5 degrees Celsius target.  (Applause.) 

And today, we’re releasing an updated Methane Emissions Reduction Act Plan, which lays out how the United States is meeting the pledge.

We’re investing more than $20 billion in domestic methane mitigation to do things like cap orphan wells leaking methane, improving industrial equipment in the oil and gas sectors to reduce emissions.

It also lays out strong regulatory actions, including a new proposal from our Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen standards on methane across sectors, especially from super-emitters, to make — just to make sure it’s not released into communities, impacting our public health.  (Applause.) 

All told, these steps will reduce U.S. methane emissions from covered sources by 87 percent below the levels of 2005 by 2030.

Folks, another game-changer is conserving our natural environment.  Whether it’s the Congo Basin forests and peatlands here in Africa or the Amazon Basin in South America, or forests, wetlands, and grasslands in the United States, preserving nature is one of the most impactful climate solutions we have — some that Indigenous people, who have — communities have known and been the stewards of these efforts for a long time and generations.  They’ve known it.   
 
Here at COP27, we are co-chairing Forests and Climate Partnership to deliver real, rapid strides to halt deforestation.
 
The best part is we don’t have to develop any new technologies.  We just have to make clear forests are more valuable when they’re preserved than when they’re destroyed.  It’s that basic.
  (Applause.)  And those who are able should be chipping in to help those countries that, in fact, preserve those great forests.

We’re bringing together partners across the public and private sector and philanthropic sectors to put healthy ecosystems at the heart of healthy economies.  

It’s going to take all of us. 

We need to harness our capacity to tackle emissions in economic sectors like international shipping.  If the shipping sector were a standalone economy it would rank  [among the ten] largest emitters in the world. 

So, together with Norway, the United States has launched the Green Shipping Challenge.  During this COP, we’ve seen dozens of commitments from governments, as well as ports and private companies, to facilitate green shipping corridors and align the sector with the 1.5-degree goal.

If we can accelerate action on these game-changers, we can reach our goal, we can keep it within reach as well.  But to permanently bend the emissions curve, every nation needs to step up.  At this gathering, we must renew and raise our climate ambitions.

The United States is acting.  Everyone has to act.  That’s the duty and responsibility of global leadership. 

Countries that are in a position to help should be supporting developing countries so they can make decisive climate decisions, facilitating their energy transitions, building a path to prosperity and compatible with our climate imperative.

If countries can finance coal in developing countries, there is no reason why we can’t finance clean energy in developing  [countries].

And I’m pleased to announce today, alongside the European Union and Germany, a $500 million package to finance and facilitate Egypt’s transition to clean energy.  (Applause.)

This package will enable Egypt to deploy 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, while bringing offline 5 gigawatts of inefficient gas-powered facilities, reducing emissions in Egypt and power sector by 10 percent.

We also — we’ll also work with Egypt to capture nearly  [4 billion] cubic meters of natural gas, which Egypt currently flares, vents, or leaks from its oil and gas operations. 

And because of this cooperation, Egypt is elevating its climate ambition and submitting an enhanced national determined contribution.

If we’re going to win this fight, every major emitter nation needs align with the 1.5 degrees.  We can no longer plead ignorance to the consequences of our actions or continue to repeat our mistakes.  Everyone has to keep accelerating our efforts throughout this decisive decade.

My friends, I came to the presidency determined to make the transformational changes that are needed — that America needs to make and we have to do for the rest of the world to overcome decades of opposition and obstacles of progress on this issue alone; to reestablish the United States as a trustworthy, committed, global leader on climate.

As I stand here before you, we’ve taken enormous strides to achieve that. 

(Protestors in audience yell.) 

But I don’t stand here alone.  This progress is being driven by young people all across America.  Like young people around the world, they feel the urgency of climate, and they feel it deeply.  They’re committed to these issues.  They know the stakes, and that’s their world we’re creating.

This is not to stand by and allow us to fail in this responsibility.  We can’t.  That’s why, as I look out, of all the things that I’ve — we’ve accomplished, with so much more to do, I’m optimistic.

For all the work that remains to be done, we have to put down significant markers of progress.  The United States has taken enduring steps to meet our goals.  We’re delivering on our promise of leadership, and more and more of the world is standing with us.

Though determined diplomacy is necessary, we’re finding consensus, building and understanding and launching new approaches.  And the inspiring passion of young people, civil society, climate activists, Indigenous communities is literally galvanizing the world.
 
Yes, the challenges we face are great, but our capacity is greater than the challenges.  We must never doubt that.

So let’s reach out and take the future in our hands and make the world we wish to see and that we know we need — a planet preserved for generations to come; an economy powered by clean, diversified, secure energy sources; opportunities unlocked through innovation and cooperation that deliver equitable, more prosperous, and more stable, and more just world for our children.
 
That’s why we’re here.  That is what we’re working toward.  And we can do it together.  I am confident

FACT SHEET: Biden Announces New Initiatives at COP27 to Strengthen US Leadership in Tackling Climate Crisis

At the 27th U.N. Climate Conference (COP27), President Biden announced new initiatives to strengthen U.S. leadership tackling the climate crisis and galvanize global action and commitments. President Biden demonstrated that the United States is following through on its existing commitments and initiatives while also accelerating new and expanded domestic and global efforts © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via msnbc

The White House issued this fact sheet on new initiatives President Joe Biden announced at COP27 to strengthen US leadership in tackling climate change:

Today at the 27th U.N. Climate Conference (COP27), President Biden announced new initiatives to strengthen U.S. leadership tackling the climate crisis and galvanize global action and commitments. President Biden demonstrated that the United States is following through on its existing commitments and initiatives while also accelerating new and expanded domestic and global efforts. As President Biden said at last year’s COP in Glasgow, this is a decisive decade – and the United States is acting to lead a clean energy future that leverages market forces, technological innovation, and investments to tackle the climate crisis.  The initiatives the President announced today also reflect the global imperative to support vulnerable developing country partners in building resilience to a changing climate, helping them cope with a problem they did not create.
 
In less than 18 months, President Biden has renewed United States leadership in the fight against climate change.  The President is delivering on his Day One promises, positioning the United States to achieve our ambitious climate goals. President Biden has spearheaded the most significant domestic climate action in U.S. history, including passing the historic Inflation Reduction Act, signing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, spurring a new era of clean American manufacturing, enhancing energy security at home and abroad, and driving down the costs of clean energy for consumers in the U.S. and around the world.
 
These efforts reflect President Biden’s belief that climate security, energy security, food security, and water security go hand-in-hand. As Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine disrupts energy markets, strains economies with rising prices, and threatens vulnerable countries with severe food shortages, efforts to accelerate climate action, growing clean energy economies, climate smart agriculture, and global resilience have become all the more urgent.
 
The initiatives the President is announcing and that the U.S. delegation will highlight throughout COP27 include:

  • Bolstering Global Climate Resilience – including doubling the U.S. pledge to the Adaptation Fund to $100 million and announcing over $150 million in new support to accelerate the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) efforts across Africa.  These build on the over $20 million that President Biden has announced this year to accelerate PREPARE’s work in Small Island Developing States.
     
  • Accelerating Global Climate Action – including launching a new initiative to support Egypt in deploying 10 GW of new wind and solar energy while decommissioning five GW of inefficient natural gas generation, strengthening proposed domestic methane regulations in the oil and gas sector that would reduce U.S. methane from covered sources by 87 percent below 2005 levels as well as other domestic and international action to tackle methane emissions and advance the Global Methane Pledge, and announcing new actions that would make the United States the first national government to require major suppliers to set Paris Agreement-aligned emissions reduction goals – leveraging the Federal Government’s over $630 billion in annual purchasing power.
     
  • Catalyzing Investment at The Scale Required to Tackle the Climate Crisis – including launching new and innovative approaches that strategically use public finance to unlock billions in private investment, such as the “Climate Finance +” initiative that will support developing countries in issuing green bonds; launching the Sustainable Banking Alliance to deepen developing countries’ sustainable financial markets; and making strategic investments that help to mobilize billions in private finance and facilitate the export of U.S. clean technologies.
     
  • Engaging All of Society in Tackling the Climate Crisis – including launching a Climate Gender Equity Fund, an Indigenous Peoples Finance Access Facility, and new exchanges to empower youth across the world to be leaders on resilience and clean energy in their communities.

The comprehensive list of announcements by the U.S. delegation at COP27 includes:
 
BOLSTERING GLOBAL CLIMATE RESILIENCE:
 
President Biden announced additional efforts to further accelerate the implementation of his Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which aims to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change this decade.   These initiatives reflect the fact that a dollar invested in adaptation can result in $4-10 or more in benefits.  These additional efforts, as well as those announced by the United States during COP27, subject to Congressional notification and the completion of domestic procedures, include:

  • Doubling Our Pledge to the Adaptation Fund to $100 million – In Glasgow, we announced our intent to make our first-ever contribution to the Adaptation Fund through an initial pledge of $50 million.  Today, President Biden announced that the United States will double this multi-year pledge to $100 million.
     
  • Accelerating Adaptation in Africa – President Biden announced over $150 million to accelerate PREPARE’s work across the continent, in support of the Adaptation in Africa initiative he and President El-Sisi announced in June.  This includes U.S. support for:
     
    • Expanding access to early-warning systems for all of Africa – According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, better early-warning systems and adaptation can cut the number of people who need emergency assistance in half by 2030 — and from 200 million to just 10 million by 2050.  Today, President Biden announced new U.S. support to accelerate these efforts, including through a $13.6 million contribution to the Systematic Observations Financing Facility that will help fill weather, water, and climate observation gaps in Africa.  The United States will also invest $15 million to support the co-development and deployment of early-warning systems in Africa, leveraging the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s long-standing relationships with national and regional weather services across Africa.  Our scientists and emergency preparedness experts will work side by side with African partners to bring early warnings to Africa and support communities, leaders, businesses, and people in applying this information to reduce impacts and save lives. 
       
    • Building the capacity of African decision makers of today and tomorrow to accelerate adaptation across the continent for years to come – This includes contributing $10 million to support the launch of a new adaptation center in Egypt – the Cairo Center for Learning and Excellence on Adaptation and Resilience, announced by Egypt, which will build adaptation capacity across the African continent.  As part of our support for the Cairo Center, we are also working with African universities and central ministries to raise awareness of climate risk and strengthen capacity to apply adaptation solutions to manage those risks, especially when it comes to fiscal policy, budgeting and planning.  The United States is contributing an additional $2 million to the Resilience and Adaptation Mainstreaming Program to build the capacity of governments to manage climate risks and access finance.
       
    • Supporting locally-led efforts to adapt to climate impacts – This includes an additional $3.5 million in support for the Least Developed Countries Initiative for Effective Adaptation & Resilience, which is helping African countries like Uganda, Malawi, Gambia, and Burkina Faso to enhance access to adaptation finance for the most vulnerable.
       
    • Expanding access to risk-based insurance for the most vulnerable – This includes working with multilateral development banks and supporting the G7 Global Shield against Climate Risks to protect vulnerable people — in Africa as well as the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific.   In this context, the United States is enhancing its support for regional risk insurance pools, including contributing $12 million to the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program and $12 million to ARC Ltd, helping countries cope with extreme weather events, food insecurity, and other issues exacerbated by climate change.
       
    • Mobilizing the private sector for adaptation and resilience – – The United States is contributing an additional $25 million to the African Union’s flagship Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), which is hosted by the Egyptian government, to launch the AAI Food Security Accelerator, which will dramatically speed- and scale-up private sector investments in climate resilient food security in Africa. With U.S. support, the Accelerator will help identify, structure and de-risk a pipeline of transformative adaptation investments in food security, helping to unlock private capital that is already standing ready to invest in these innovative solutions, ranging from cold storage logistics to climate resilient agriculture and post harvesting processes. The United State is also launching a Call to Action to the private sector to tap into their ability to develop innovative adaptation solutions in ways that the public sector cannot, providing an additional $3.8 million to CRAFT TA Facility, and $2 million to launch an adaptation window of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance to help develop new financial instruments and mechanisms to harness private investment in adaptation.
       
    • Further supporting climate smart food systems in Africa – This includes helping countries and communities to adapt their food systems to climate impacts, through at least $100 million in adaptation funding in FY 2022.  USAID also invested more than $300 million in Resilient Food Security Activities in FY 2022 across Africa that supports agricultural development and food security.  This year, Feed the Future expanded to eight additional African countries, the new Global Food Security Strategy further elevated inclusive and climate-resilient food systems, and climate information services work was expanded.  These efforts are yielding results.  For example, in 2022 in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, climate-resilient maize varieties were planted on seven million hectares across 13 African countries.  These heat, drought, and flood resistant maize varieties provided a 25% yield advantage, benefiting more than 44 million people.
       
    • Advancing Climate Security Through Sahel-Climate Advocacy and Peacebuilding with Pastoralists – This initiative aims to reduce the risk of farmer-herder climate change-related conflict in communities spanning the border of Niger and Benin by concurrently increasing herders’ access to political participation in local and national government and improving herders’ and farmers’ access to climate forecasts of rainfall, droughts, and other environmental factors.
       
  • Accelerating Adaptation in SIDS – The United States has also announced over $20 million to accelerate PREPARE’s work in SIDS.  This includes:
     
    • Expanding early-warning systems in the Pacific SIDS – This includes $15 million to increase the capacity of developing countries to understand, anticipate and prepare for climate impacts to public health and safety, food security, water resources, and coastal areas, which President Biden announced at the historic U.S.- Pacific Island Leaders Summit.  NOAA will also provide university scholarships to five individuals from the region to communication increase the pipeline of qualified forecasters able to deliver climate-smart decision support.  Additionally, NOAA will install roughly 20 satellite units across the region ensuring these forecasts and products reach the last mile.
       
    • Supporting climate resilience and sustainable development in SIDS through the Local2030 Islands Network – This includes advancing island-led resilience through engagement and technical support through the Network, which currently includes 20 island economies representing diverse geographical regions across the globe, with the largest concentration of members currently in the Pacific and Caribbean.  NOAA will expand its support for the Network to foster peer-to-peer learning opportunities, such as communities-of-practice, and support capacity-building activities, including training, research, extension and engagement, leveraging $4.5 million in new funding.
       
    • Supporting storm surge mapping – Starting with the Federated States of Micronesia, NOAA and USAID will develop storm surge risk maps to improve understanding of storm surge flooding vulnerability from landfalling tropical cyclones, providing critical information to save lives and avoid climate impacts.
       
  • Supporting Climate Affected Vulnerable Migrants – The United States announced a contribution of $5 million to the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support climate-affected vulnerable migrants.  This program underscores our commitment to the vision of the Global Compact for Migration, including improving cooperation on international migration.  It also advances the Biden Administration’s climate strategy, reflected in the 2021 White House Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration, to address the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations across the globe.

 
ACCELERATING GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION:
 
President Biden believes that tackling the climate crisis and keeping the 1.5-degree C temperature goal within reach requires “all hands on deck” – demanding the mobilization of local, state, and national governments, the private sector, and philanthropies. At COP27, President Biden and his Administration announced new initiatives to advance this objective, including:

  • Accelerating Egypt’s Clean Energy Economy, Enhancing Climate Ambition, and Supporting Energy Security – Germany and the United States announced over $250 million in resources to unlock $10 billion in commercial investment to support Egypt’s clean energy economy.  The program will deploy 10 GW of new wind and solar energy while decommissioning five GW of inefficient natural gas generation.  This program, coordinated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will support Egypt’s Country Platform for the Nexus of Food, Water, and Energy (NWFE).  Egypt committed to enhance its Nationally Determined Contribution to incorporate a commitment to quadruple its installed renewables capacity share to 42% by 2030.  Egypt also committed to adopt an ambitious 2050 long-term strategy with a view to explore a net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target and kick-start the development of green hydrogen.  Additionally, Egypt committed to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles, sustainable public transport, and other solutions for reducing GHG emissions from transport.  The three countries committed to cooperate on reducing methane emissions from Egypt’s oil and gas sector.  These commitments will yield major climate benefits by reducing Egypt’s power sector emissions by about one fifth and cutting methane pollution.  They will also enhance energy security by freeing up over two billion cubic meters of gas.
     
  • Expanding the Global Methane Pledge to Rapidly Reduce Global Temperatures While Boosting Energy Security – Reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to lower global temperatures in the near term, avoid dangerous climate tipping points, and alleviate global adaptation burdens.  Limiting warming to 1.5°C will require dramatic reductions in global methane emissions of at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, as called for in the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) launched by the United States and European Union at COP26.  The GMP has now been endorsed by over 130 countries representing over half of global methane emissions.

    The oil and gas sector represents the fastest and deepest methane emissions reductions opportunities to achieve the GMP target.  Capturing flared and leaked gas in the oil and gas sector is also a critical near-term solution to boost global gas supplies and support energy security, as 260 billion cubic meters of gas are currently wasted every year from flaring and methane emissions within the sector.  This is why President Biden launched the GMP Energy Pathway at the Major Economies Forum in June 2022, alongside the European Union and 11 other countries, to accelerate global reductions in fossil energy methane.

    Today, President Biden announced major new U.S. actions and welcomed new international actions to rapidly reduce methane emissions, particularly in the energy sector, including:
     
    • Strengthening proposed domestic methane standards in the oil and gas sector that would reduce wasted energy and harmful emissions from covered sources by 87 percent below 2005 levels while delivering economic benefits  Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is strengthening the agency’s proposed standards to cut methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry.  If finalized, these standards will protect workers and communities, maintain and create high-quality, union-friendly jobs, and promote U.S. innovation and manufacturing of critical new, all while delivering significant economic benefits through increased recovery of wasted gas.  The new proposal also includes a ground-breaking “Super-Emitter Response Program” that would require operators to respond to credible third-party reports of high-volume methane leaks. 
       
    • Updating the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan – Building upon the first-ever U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan released at COP26, President Biden today unveiled an updated plan showcasing enhanced ambition and progress to achieve deep methane reductions in the United States, while cutting consumer costs, spurring job creation, and securing economic gains. The plan includes more than $20 billion of new investments to reduce methane emissions from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and annual appropriations.  The updated plan outlines how the Administration is taking over 50 actions to tackle methane emissions at home.
       
    • Welcoming over 130 countries which have now endorsed the Global Methane Pledge – The GMP now covers over half of global methane emissions and over two-thirds of the global economy.  In its first year, the GMP has spurred implementation including significant progress on national methane action plans and new landmark policies and initiatives across all major sectors.
       
    • Launching a Joint Declaration from Energy Importers and Exporters on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Fuels – Launched alongside the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the declaration unites major energy importers and exporters to minimize flaring, methane, and CO2 emissions across the fossil energy value chain to the fullest extent practicable.  These countries will support enhanced policy action, cooperation on methane measurement, and public and private sector engagement to achieve these goals.
       
    • Welcoming the launch of the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) – Today, the UN Environment Programs’ International Methane Emissions Observatory launched MARS, a new system to tackle methane “super-emitters” by providing countries and companies with data to enable action on major emissions sources.
       
    • Welcoming enhanced action on methane mitigation from international partners, including Nigeria, Canada, and Mexico – All of these countries are among the 20 largest emitters of methane in the oil and gas sector.  Nigeria celebrated the finalization and publication of its first-ever methane regulations in its oil and gas sector.  Canada reaffirmed its commitment to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75% by 2030 below 2012 levels through strengthened regulatory action and industry partnerships.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and PEMEX also launched cooperation to reduce methane emissions in Mexico’s oil and gas sector, tackling an emissions source that rivals the emissions from Mexico’s entire power sector.  The U.S Trade and Development Agency is also supporting partners in methane abatement by leveraging the best-in-class technical expertise of U.S. industry in this area, including by funding a series of three reverse trade missions in 2023 to familiarize partners with the latest U.S. methane abatement technologies and services.
       
  • Launching the Green Shipping Challenge – Following President Biden’s call to action at his June 2022 MEF, the United States and Norway launched the Green Shipping Challenge at COP27, with more than 40 major announcements from countries, ports, and companies on the actions they are taking to help align the shipping sector with the goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.  For our part, the United States announced initiatives including: three new bilateral workstreams focused on facilitating green shipping corridors with the Republic of Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the development of a U.S. maritime decarbonization strategy, and the launch of a Green Shipping Corridors Initiation Project with $1.5 million, subject to Congressional notification and the completion of domestic procedures, to support feasibility studies for green shipping corridors involving developing countries. These efforts build on U.S. leadership in zero-emission shipping, including $3 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act to support zero-emission port equipment, technology, and climate action plans; more than $700 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make U.S. ports more efficient and resilient; and U.S. efforts at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to advance a goal of phasing out greenhouse gas emissions from the international shipping sector to zero no later than 2050.
     
  • Accelerating Zero Emissions Solutions in Ukraine and the EU Through Advanced Nuclear:  This announcement launches two projects that showcase the use of innovative small modular reactor (SMR) technologies for powering global decarbonization efforts and providing options to achieve net-zero economies in hard-to-abate energy sectors.  These include (i) commencing a 2-year Ukraine Clean Fuels from SMRs Pilot demonstration project in Ukraine to efficiently produce clean hydrogen fuels from SMR and cutting-edge electrolysis technologies and to establish new avenues to achieve food security through production of clean ammonia for fertilizer production, and (ii) launching a new initiative, Project Phoenix, to move Europe from coal-fired plants to SMRs while retaining and retraining local jobs through U.S. support for coal-to-SMR feasibility studies and supporting activities.
     
  • Establishing an International Climate Hub for Climate-Smart Agriculture – Modeled after USDA domestic Climate Hubs, USDA intends to create an International Climate Hub to further support global science-based, climate-informed decision-making.  USDA Climate Hubs serve as the premier model for developing and delivering science-based, region-specific information and technologies to U.S. agricultural and natural resource managers that enable climate-informed decision-making.  By creating a new International Climate Hub, USDA will help support goals set out in PREPARE, the Global Methane Pledge, and the Global Fertilizer Challenge.  By sharing the best practices and research on climate-smart agriculture and forestry, including those gained from international coalitions and research consortia, we can help address climate change on a global-scale, build out new and better markets for U.S. products and make agriculture production more efficient and productive everywhere. 
     
  • Announcing New Initiatives for Governments to Lead by Example
    • Engaging U.S. Federal Government suppliers – Today, President Biden announced historic new action that would make the United States the first national government to require major suppliers to set Paris Agreement-aligned emissions reduction goals.  This action would reduce GHGs and protect the Federal Government’s supply chains from climate-related financial risks.  As the world’s single largest buyer of goods and services – with over $630 billion in spending last year alone, climate change poses significant financial risks to the Federal Government.  Through the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Proposed Rule, major Federal Government contractors would be required to publicly disclose their GHG emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets.
       
    • Launching the Net-Zero Government Initiative – This initiative leverages the catalytic role of national governments in accelerating the implementation and achievement of countries’ climate targets.   Participating countries commit to achieving net-zero emissions from national government operations by no later than 2050, developing a roadmap and interim targets by COP28 that outlines their pathway for getting there, and publishing the roadmap upon completion.  Over 15 countries will join the United States in this Initiative.
       
    • Launching the Subnational Climate Action Leaders’ Exchange – The U.S. State Department and Bloomberg Philanthropies are supporting a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Subnational Climate Action Leaders Exchange (SCALE), to help cities, states, and regions develop and implement net-zero, climate-resilient targets and roadmaps.  SCALE will empower subnational champions to drive ambition at the national and international level and will leverage action and advocacy organized around a set of high-level goals needed to keep a 1.5-aligned, climate-resilient future within reach.  In its first phase, SCALE will focus on accelerating implementation of the Global Methane Pledge and its call for a 30 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2030.
       
  • Launching the Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative – This initiative accelerates game-changing climate innovations and supercharges the public and private climate innovation ecosystem to help the United States meet President Biden’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.  To launch the initiative, the White House Climate Policy Office, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy released a new report, U.S. Innovation to Meet 2050 Climate Goals, which describes 37 game-changing R&D opportunities identified across U.S. Federal agencies. With inclusive and intentional innovation, these innovations can help propel the United States and the rest of the world towards an affordable, equitable, net-zero energy system.

 
CATALYZING INVESTMENT AT THE SCALE REQUIRED TO TACKLE THE CLIMATE CRISIS
 
The United States is committed to not only meeting President Biden’s ambitious goal to quadruple U.S. climate finance to over $11 billion a year and working with other countries to meet the goal of mobilizing $100 billion, but also to using public finance in new and innovative ways to unlock the much larger pools of capital that will be required to tackle the climate crisis.  These efforts are in direct support of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.  These efforts include:

  • Launching “Climate Finance +” – The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and USAID are collaborating to accelerate the use of innovative finance mechanisms that aim to leverage billions in new public and private investment in low and lower-middle income countries.  This Climate Finance + effort will support potential green bonds and other climate-related financing through MCC technical assistance in Indonesia, Mozambique, and Zambia and USAID support for the development of green bonds in at least five additional countries via public-private partnerships.
     
  • Investing over $2.3 billion in Innovative Financing for Climate in 2022 through the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation – The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 it invested more than $2.3 billion to combat the climate crisis through mitigation and resilience projects that have a positive developmental impact.  Recognizing the urgent need to scale up private-investment in adaptation efforts in developing countries, DFC has announced a major push to accelerate its investments in this area.  In FY 2022, more than $390 million of the agency’s investments went to projects that helped to bolster developing countries’ resilience, and an additional $200 million went to deals that will generate adaptation co-benefits.  Building on this momentum, DFC is accepting climate adaptation business proposals for financing to support resilience in developing countries, with an emphasis on four sectors: agriculture, water, built environment, and health.  DFC’s investments also helped support clean energy solutions that provide reliable, affordable energy to help developing countries meet rising demand and support economic development. 
     
  • Unlocking Billions in Finance and Facilitating U.S. Clean Technology Exports Through Strategic Investments by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and U.S. Export-Import Bank – In April 2021, President Biden announced the launch of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s (USTDA) Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure to connect U.S. industry to major clean energy and transportation infrastructure projects in emerging economies.  At COP27, USTDA announced that it has already funded more than 50 activities through the Partnership that will help its partners in developing and middle-income countries achieve their energy and transportation sector climate mitigation and adaptation goals.  These activities are designed to help unlock more than $65 billion in climate finance and support more than $15 billion in U.S. exports.  Additionally, the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced that it has provided over $175 million in financing to support U.S. exports of climate friendly technologies, its highest volume of authorizations for clean technology exports in years.
     
  • Launching the Sustainable Banking Alliance –USAID will help deepen the sustainable financial sectors in developing countries by partnering with community financial institutions and banking associations across the globe to develop tools and capacity focused on climate financing, climate risk, and carbon accounting and will encourage climate finance target-setting for community banks.  The activity will be launched with two pilot countries, Colombia and Rwanda, with an initial total budget of just over $1 million.  The Alliance supports USAID’s Action Plan for Climate and SDG Investment.

 
ENGAGING ALL OF SOCIETY IN TACKLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS:
 
President Biden believes that tackling the climate crisis must take an inclusive approach, engaging all members of society.  At COP27, the United States announced new initiatives to advance this objective, including:

  • Launching the Climate Gender Equity Fund – With initial seed funding of $6 million, USAID is co-launching a new Climate Gender Equity Fund in, partnership with Amazon, which will leverage private sector contributions to help provide women climate leaders with technical skills, networks, and capital to develop and scale climate solutions.  The Fund is enabled by USAID’s commitment to gender-responsive climate action, including its allocating more than $21 million from the Gender Equity and Equality Action (GEEA) Fund, surpassing its $14 million COP26 commitment.
     
  • Investing in Climate Leadership for Egyptian Women – USAID is spurring climate action by investing in education and skills building for women and youth.  USAID has made a $23 million initial investment in a new nine-year program that aims to build a more inclusive Egyptian workforce, with an emphasis on sectors with the potential to contribute to climate goals such as environment and energy.  
     
  • Launching the Indigenous Peoples Finance Access Facility – This Facility will enable the continued climate stewardship by Indigenous peoples and local communities improving their access to climate finance.  This three-year, $2 million-dollar program, implemented by Indigenous peoples within Conservation International, will provide trainings, tools, and workshops to build long-term capacity and enhance access to climate finance.
     
  • Empowering Youth as Resilience and Clean Energy Leaders – The U.S. State Department is launching two three-week, in-person On-Demand Youth Leadership Program exchanges for approximately 40 high school-aged youth and adult mentors from the United States and countries across Africa to develop a deeper understanding among young leaders about climate adaptation and clean energy and to foster their ability to provide solutions to the climate crisis in their home communities. The exchanges are scheduled for spring 2023.

FACT SHEET: Biden’s Leadership on Tackling Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad Galvanizes Unprecedented Momentum at Start of UN Climate Conference (COP27)

One of President Biden’s challenges is persuading nations not to abandon climate change goals because of the strain on fossil fuel supplies and prices created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rather, the crisis should incentivize the transition to locally available clean, renewable energy. Here, Antwerp shows an “all-of-the-above” source of fuel, wind, nuclear and fossil © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In less than two years since taking office, President Biden’s leadership to tackle the climate crisis has boosted U.S. manufacturing and deployment of cost-cutting clean energy technologies, put the country on a durable path aligned with limiting warming to 1.5 °C, and galvanized global action by partners and the private sector – building unprecedented momentum towards achieving critical climate goals and strengthening global resilience. As more than a hundred countries gather for the 27th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the United States will work with partners to enhance global ambition to accelerate growth of the clean energy economy, avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, and help lower- and middle- income countries build resilience to climate impacts. In fact, the President has pledged to work with Congress to increase U.S. international climate finance to over $11 billion a year – which would make the United States the single largest contributor of climate finance. These actions are key to strengthening global security – including energy, water, food, and health security – which has been made all the more urgent following Russia’s war against Ukraine that has disrupted energy markets, strained economies with rising prices, and threatened vulnerable countries with severe food shortages.

At COP27 and beyond, the United States will encourage countries – particularly major economies – and the private sector to not only implement existing commitments and goals, but to also enhance commitments and goals to help close the gap between current pledges and what the latest science tells us is urgently needed.  And the United States will also encourage the international community to accelerate vulnerable countries’ ability to implement adaptation efforts. Through the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, PREPARE, the United States is rapidly increasing its support of adaptation and resilience programming to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change.

On November 11, President Biden will be at COP27 to build on efforts by the United States to accelerate growth of an equitable clean energy economy that will cut consumer energy costs, reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, advance the global climate fight, and help the most vulnerable build resilience to climate impacts. The United States is leading by example at home and abroad:

  • Leading at Home by Taking the Most Ambitious Climate Actions in U.S. History.  The President is delivering on his day one promise by positioning the United States to achieve our ambitious goals of reducing emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030 and to net-zero by 2050 through a series of unprecedented climate actions.  These actions will not only reduce emissions, but will bolster energy security, help families save money on their energy bills, create good-paying jobs for workers and spur a new era of clean American manufacturing, advance environmental justice, and ensure healthier air and cleaner water for communities.  Key actions include passing the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, tackling super-pollutants like methane, leveraging the purchasing power of the federal government, advancing decarbonization across all sectors, ensuring the clean energy transition benefits disadvantaged communities, and spurring innovation and supporting a new era of clean American manufacturing.
     
  • Supporting Vulnerable Countries in Building Resilience to Current and Future Climate Impacts by implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). PREPARE aims to accelerate the ability of developing countries to adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change by preparing knowledge, plans, programs, finance, and private capital for adaptation and resilience efforts. Nineteen U.S. Federal agencies and departments are committed to working with partner countries to help them build resilience to climate impacts on food systems, water, infrastructure, health, and the economy.
     
  • Leading Global Efforts to Keep the 1.5 °C Goal within Reach. We are implementing the President’s major initiatives and priorities to accelerate global climate action.  This includes the Plan to Conserve Global Forests, mobilizing climate finance through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), advancing implementation of the Global Methane Pledge (GMP), decarbonizing transportation (e.g., zero emissions vehicles, shipping, and aviation), accelerating innovation in and deployment of clean energy technologies, and enhancing food security.

LEADING AT HOME BY TAKING THE MOST AMBITIOUS CLIMATE ACTIONS IN U.S. HISTORY

  • The Inflation Reduction Act is by far the most ambitious climate and clean energy legislation in U.S. history, with $370 billion for building a clean energy economy, cutting consumer energy costs, combating the climate crisis, advancing environmental justice, and enhancing climate resilience.  The Inflation Reduction Act is expected to more than double U.S. clean energy production (e.g., solar, wind, battery storage, and more), save families hundreds of dollars per year on energy costs, and create millions of good-paying jobs, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 gigaton in 2030 – 10 times more climate impact than any other U.S. legislation ever enacted. This law also leans in on ensuring communities are prepared for climate impacts already here, by funding coastal resilience, drought, and tools to help communities make science-backed decisions.
     
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) delivers record support for upgrading the power grid to transmit more clean energy and withstand extreme weather, building a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers, expanding public transit and passenger rail, investing in drought and wildfire preparedness, and cleaning up legacy pollution.
     
  • Bipartisan Senate Ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and helping to phase down global production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), super-polluting chemicals that are hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide while also spurring growth in domestic manufacturing jobs in making HFC alternatives, where American companies are already leading the way.  As more countries join the United States in ratifying this amendment, we can prevent up to half a degree Celsius of warming this century.
     
  • Tackling super-pollutants like methane through implementation of the comprehensive U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan and measures in the Inflation Reduction Act and BIL covering the oil and gas industry, agriculture, buildings and addressing abandoned mine lands, and orphan oil and gas wells – a source of toxic pollution and methane emissions.
     
  • Leading by example through the Federal Sustainability Plan to reduce emissions across 300,000 buildings, 600,000 vehicles, and $650 billion in annual purchasing power, and launching new initiatives like the Federal Buy Clean Initiative to spur private-sector commitments to reduce industrial emissions and the White House-HHS Health Care Sector Climate Pledge, which has secured aligned commitments from more than 100 health systems and industry organizations committed to resilience and decarbonization.
     
  • Addressing Climate Related Financial Risk to the federal government, real economy, and financial system by refining approaches and tools to assess fiscal risk in the President’s budget, conducting sensitivity analysis to federal programs, and undertaking macroeconomic risk analysis as well as through leadership from U.S. independent financial regulators improving their understanding and management of these risks, for example through the proposed climate disclosure rule by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the OCC’s and FDIC’s proposed principles on climate-related financial risk management for large banks.
     
  • Taking decisive action to decarbonize all key sectors – including power, transportation, buildings, industry, and lands and waters:
     
    • Power Sector Deployment – securing historic clean power investments that will more than double wind, solar, and battery storage deployment; jumpstart the American offshore wind industry; support hydrogen infrastructure; fast-track the process for permitting and deploying clean energy and transmission projects.
       
    • Clean Energy Research – through the recently launched Net Zero Gamechangers Initiative, driving the major innovation breakthroughs that we know the world needs to solve the climate crisis by addressing the toughest remaining technological challenges and cost hurdles in key sectors, and rapidly advance solutions to help achieve our climate and economic competitiveness goals. Billions of dollars have been committed to coordinate research so far on six key areas:  hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, carbon dioxide removal technologies, floating off-shore wind, advanced geothermal, and industrial heat.
       
    • Transportation – securing the largest investments ever in public transportation, passenger rail, an electric vehicle (EV) charging network, hydrogen infrastructure, and battery supply chains; rallying automakers and autoworkers around an electric transportation future, by setting a national target of 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030, spurring more than $85 billion of investment in American manufacturing of EVs, batteries, and chargers, and launching the American Battery Materials Initiative; finalized strongest passenger vehicle standards in American history to increase average fuel economy to 49 miles per gallon – reducing emissions and savings drivers money at the pump; and advancing cleaner transit, shipping, and aviation; launching the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) grand challenge to achieve a minimum of a 50% reduction in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel and supply sufficient SAF to meet 100% of aviation fuel demand by 2050.
       
    • Buildings – making historic investments in energy efficient homes and decarbonization, with more than $1 billion to expand weatherization and incentivize electrification, with more than $1 billion to expand weatherization and incentivize electric appliance and efficiency upgrades that will lower energy bills and emissions; updated energy-saving appliance and equipment standards to save households an average of $100 a year; accelerate next-generation clean building technologies.
       
    • Industrial – launched a breakthrough “Buy Clean” initiative leveraging federal standard setting and procurement and secured historic investments to reduce industrial emissions, including support for clean hydrogen, carbon capture, and cleaner industrial facilities for steel, iron, cement and other energy-intensive materials; and advanced manufacturing processes.
       
    • Lands and Waters – secured historic investments to enlist nature-based solutions in the fight against climate change with over $20 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act to support climate-smart farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners and the BIL support for climate resilience and ecosystem restoration; launched new initiatives to support conservation and carbon sequestration, including the America the Beautiful initiative to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030; and issued an Executive Order on strengthening America’s forests.
       
  • Ensuring the clean energy transition benefits disadvantaged communities by implementing the Justice40 Initiative to deliver 40% of overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.
     
  • Investing in economic revitalization of coal communities by creating the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, chaired by the White House and including eleven federal agencies, dedicated to increasing federal investment in land remediation and reclamation, economic diversification, and workforce training strategies for displaced fossil energy workers in diverse communities across the U.S.; and by directing significant new resources to fossil energy communities through the BIL and Inflation Reduction Act. 
     
  • Spurring innovation and supporting a new era of clean American manufacturing by passing the CHIPS and Science Act, using trade policy and Buy Clean actions to incentivize low-carbon production of key materials like steel, and invoking the Defense Production Act for five critical clean energy technologies.

LEADING GLOBAL EFFORTS TO SUPPORT VULNERABLE COUNTRIES IN BUILDING RESILIENCE TO CURRENT AND FUTURE CLIMATE IMPACTS

  • Scaling up U.S. public finance for climate adaptation and resilience by advancing President Biden’s commitment to work with Congress to increase U.S. international climate adaptation finance to $3 billion a year by 2024, a six-fold increase from the highest historical funded level. 
  • Helping more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change through ambitious efforts outlined in a whole-of-government PREPARE Action Plan by:
     
    • Responding to the UN Secretary-General’s call to ensure “Early Warning for All” by 2027 and increasing co-production and use of climate information;
       
    • Equipping the decision-makers of today and tomorrow with the skills, knowledge, networks, and outlook needed to adapt to climate impacts;
       
    • Building capacity to mainstream adaptation into policies, programs, and budgets and to support locally led adaptation;
       
    • Improving partner governments’ ability to assess, plan for, and implement programs that increase resilience to the impacts of climate change on food security, water, health, and infrastructure;
       
    • Increasing the amount and quality of finance that accelerates climate adaptation and resilience and supports gender-responsive, locally-led adaptation;
       
    • Assisting partner governments to assess, plan, and budget for adaptation costs, and scale up financing in all sectors;
       
    • Facilitating increased investment from the philanthropic and private sectors to advance adaptation and resilience in climate-vulnerable partner countries; and
       
    • Increasing and enhancing the use and effectiveness of disaster risk financing tools to support climate resilience.

LEADING GLOBAL EFFORTS TO KEEP THE 1.5 DEGREE GOAL WITHIN REACH

  • Executing the President’s Plan to Conserve Global Forests by working to help drive progress forward in each of the Plan’s four key objectives since President Biden launched the Plan at COP26, including building a whole-of-government approach to deliver on this ambitious, decade-long plan to support global efforts to halt and reverse deforestation by leveraging a range of diplomatic, policy, and financing tools.  The United States will continue this leadership through Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s co-Chairing of the Forest Climate Leaders Partnership, working alongside over 20 governments who are committed to advancing key actions and initiatives and acting to halt and reverse global deforestation by 2030.
     
  • Rapidly innovating and deploying clean energy solutions by bringing together the global community for the first-ever Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh last September, anchored by the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI).  Together, 34 countries and stakeholders from the entire energy ecosystem of government, businesses, innovators, civil society, and youth around the world gathered to take action on the clean energy transition and enhance investment including the launch of the Zero-Emissions Government Fleet Declaration, regional hydrogen hubs, and new funding in carbon management programs.
     
  • Scaling up climate finance by advancing President Biden’s commitment at the 2021 UN General Assembly to work with Congress to increase U.S. international climate finance to over $11 billion a year by requesting the funds and authorities necessary to achieve this goal in his Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request.  Recognizing that catalyzing private investment will be critical to reaching the scale of resources that will be required, the United States is also focused on using our finance in innovative ways, including to unlock the much larger sums of private finance that will be needed.  These efforts are integral to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, which has climate and energy security as one of its central pillars.  For instance, the United States recently made a $950 million loan contribution to the Clean Technology Fund which will support MDB efforts to help key emerging market countries accelerate coal transition, which is expected to catalyze billions in private finance.  The multilateral development banks (MDBs) are also a key part of our strategy for scaling up climate finance to support climate action in developing countries. The United States is leading the charge in encouraging the MDBs to both increase their climate finance and make it more accessible to recipients.  These actions would help the MDBs build on their all-time-high of $66 billion in climate finance provided in 2020, with $38 billion going to low- and middle-income economies. USAID is also engaging directly with private sector partners to mobilize finance at scale using our grants and technical assistance to provide risk-sharing for investment in critical climate solutions, as well as building the pipeline for bankable projects.
     
  • Advancing the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) by building a coalition that now includes over 130 countries committed to reduce global anthropogenic methane emissions at least 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030, as called for in the Global Methane Pledge that President Biden and European Commission President Von der Leyen launched at COP26.  To achieve the fastest and deepest methane reductions, President Biden announced a new GMP Energy Pathway focusing on fossil energy methane emissions at the June 2022 Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), alongside the European Union and 11 other countries.  The Energy Pathway mobilizes new policies, projects, technical assistance, and investment resources to dramatically reducing flaring, venting, and leakage of methane from fossil energy operations.  Achieving the full methane mitigation potential in this sector could avoid 0.1°C warming by midcentury and would boost global energy security by preventing the waste of 260 billion cubic meters of gas per year—equivalent to over one-third of Russia’s annual gas production.
     
  • Accelerating Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment by building a growing coalition of countries committed to a collective 2030 goal of ZEVs comprising 50% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2030, to include battery electric, fuel cell electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.  In addition to the United States, the coalition includes Canada, Chile, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
     
  • Advancing Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), launched at COP26 by the United States and the United Arab Emirates. AIM for Climate and its growing network of over 275 partners seek to drive more rapid and transformative climate action by increasing investment and support for climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation. AIM for Climate achieved its goal of doubling the total increased investment mobilized by its partners from $4 billion announced at COP26 to over $8 billion at COP27, which includes over $1 billion from 30 partner-led innovation sprints.  The United States has also announced plans to host the AIM for Climate Summit on May 8-10, 2023 in Washington, DC.
     
  • Expanding the First Movers Coalition launched by President Biden and the World Economic Forum at COP26. The First Movers Coalition is the flagship U.S. public-private partnership to commercialize clean technologies through advance purchase commitments. Its corporate members have pledged $10 billion, the world’s strongest demand signal, for bringing emerging innovations to scale. On its first anniversary, the First Movers Coalition has grown to more than 60 companies, representing more than 10% of the global Fortune 2000 by market value, as well as ten governments. Each member company has made unprecedented purchasing commitments by the end of this decade in order to drive investment in next-generation clean steel, aluminum, and cement; near-zero carbon aviation fuels; zero-emission trucking and shipping; and carbon dioxide removal.  These commitments will drive down the green premium of emerging technologies and bring competitive technologies to market this decade that are needed to decarbonize so-called “hard-to-abate” sectors of the global economy that produce a third of global emissions.
     
  • Demonstrating Clean Energy Technologies by rallying sixteen partner countries to collectively mobilize $94 billion in public funding to build commercial-scale demonstration projects that the IEA says are needed this decade to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 – meeting a challenge that President Biden issued to other world leaders at his June MEF. Partners that joined the President in announcing contributions earlier this year included Australia, Canada, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
     
  • Bolstering Climate & Food Security, including through President Biden’s September 2022 announcement at UNGA of over $2.9 billion in new U.S. assistance to address global food insecurity stemming from climate change, COVID-19, and Russia’s unprovoked and ongoing war against Ukraine, which builds on the $6.9 billion in U.S. government assistance to support global food security already committed this year.  The United States is providing additional funding to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, the African Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development that will promote climate resilient food systems. Following President Biden’s call to action at the June 2022 Major Economies Forum, at COP27 the United States and partners will announce funding commitments to the Global Fertilizer Challenge to advance fertilizer efficiency and reduce the impact of shortages on food security.