Category Archives: Climate Change

Biden in SOTU to Highlight Clean Energy Manufacturing and Deployment Investments that Cut Consumer Costs, Strengthen US Energy Sector and Create Good-Paying Jobs

President Joe Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi at his Speech to the Nation in 2021. This year’s SOTU, the President’s first, will be mask-optional, evidence of the Administration’s progress in ending the worst ravages of the coronavirus pandemic  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via msnbc.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine likely to take up a large measure of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, he is unlikely to have enough time or space to detail his accomplishments and his agenda going forward. Here are more details from the White House about what the President will say about clean energy manufacturing, strengthening the US energy sector, and cutting consumer costs and creating good-paying jobs:

President Biden campaigned on a bold vision of tackling the climate crisis with the urgency that science demands by seizing the opportunity to build a strong domestic energy sector that can manufacture and deploy clean energy for the benefit of all Americans—with lower costs for families, good-paying jobs for workers, and healthier air and cleaner water for communities.

Since Day One, he has delivered. After rejoining the Paris Agreement, restoring scientific integrity, and reinvigorating U.S. leadership on the world stage, President Biden mobilized every federal agency to achieve groundbreaking goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, and delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The President formed the first-ever National Climate Task Force, bringing together Cabinet leaders to drive decisive action toward those goals.

Alongside historic executive actions, President Biden also made climate action and environmental justice a centerpiece of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—which includes the largest federal investments ever in upgrading the power grid, improving public transit and investing in zero-emission transit and school buses, installing a nationwide EV charging network, cleaning up legacy pollution, delivering clean water and replacing lead pipes, demonstrating innovative climate technologies, and increasing climate resilience to safeguard against extreme weather, which last year caused more than $145 billion in damages from the biggest 20 disasters alone.

CALLING ON CONGRESS TO DELIVER

President Biden knows that we need to move even faster to combat climate change—and that to meet the moment and fully seize the economic opportunity in front of us, Congress must act. In his first State of the Union address, the President will call on Congress to deliver on a legislative agenda for clean energy and climate action that has overwhelming support from the American people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Specifically, the President will lift up the benefits we can secure for American consumers, companies, and communities by enacting critical investments and tax credits for domestic clean energy manufacturing and deployment. He will also highlight how the investments and tax credits would cut energy costs for American families an average of $500 per year.

As part of the President’s unwavering support for climate solutions, these investments will reduce emissions, lower costs for families, create good-paying jobs for workers, and advance environmental justice.

BOLD ACTIONS TWO MONTHS INTO 2022

As the President works with Congress to deliver on this legislative agenda, he will continue taking decisive and bold action—building on the surge of momentum he has spearheaded to tackle the climate crisis. During just the first two months of 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration:

  • Announced actions from seven agencies on clean energy deployment, including new investments and partnerships to advance offshore wind; steps to fast-track solar, onshore wind, and geothermal energy on public lands; and the “Building a Better Grid” initiative to build out long-distance transmission lines and unlock clean energy resources.
     
  • Launched the Building Performance Standards Coalition with more than 30 state and local governments to reduce emissions, create good-paying union jobs in energy efficiency and electrification, and lower energy bills, with federal assistance for policy design and implementation.
     
  • Built on the Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan by announcing an initial $1.15 billion to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells, $725 million to reclaim abandoned mine lands, a new interagency initiative on measurement and monitoring of methane and other greenhouse emissions, enforcement efforts to minimize methane emissions from pipeline systems, and more. 
     
  • Advanced America’s electric vehicle future, standing with CEOs to announce new manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles, batteries, and chargers and issuing state allocations and guidance for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
     
  • Convened a roundtable of electric utility CEOs to discuss their support for Congressional investments in clean energy to reduce costs for families, make the power grid more resilient and reliable, and advance American innovation, job creation, and economic competitiveness.
     
  • Took major steps to reduce industrial emissions and advance clean manufacturing, including clean hydrogen investments, the first Buy Clean Task Force for federal purchasing of low-carbon construction materials, progress on carbon-based trade policies to reward clean steel and aluminum manufacturing, guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration technologies, and new initiatives to ensure that industrial innovation benefits American workers and communities.
     
  • Released the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool for public feedback, to help agencies deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities and fulfill the President’s Justice40 commitment.
     
  • Announced major investments to secure a Made in America supply chain for critical minerals and sustainably source key inputs (including lithium and rare earth elements) for clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. This includes taking action to update outdated mining regulations and laws to ensure that extraction and production adheres to strong environmental, labor, and community and Tribal engagement standards.
     
  • Released America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition, a first-of-its-kind energy sector industrial base strategy, which includes the creation of a new Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains Office at the Department of Energy to strengthen, secure, and modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support clean energy manufacturing jobs.
     
  • Held a record-shattering offshore wind auction in the New York Bight, with winning bids for six lease areas totaling $4.37 billion, signaling the arrival of a strong American industry that’s here to stay. Innovative lease stipulations will promote projects built with union labor and Made in America materials, and these projects will generate clean electricity to power millions of homes.

HISTORIC YEAR OF PROGRESS
This wave of climate action to kick off 2022 builds on historic progress President Biden achieved during his first year in office, when he:

Established whole-of-government initiatives to: lead by example across the federal vehicle fleet, buildings, and procurement; conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030; and build resilience to extreme heatdroughtwildfiresfloods, and coastal impacts.

Biden Administration Details Ways Partnership with Nation’s Mayors Improved Lives, What Build Back Better Could Further Achieve

Since the start of his Administration, President Biden has prioritized local partnerships and has worked closely with mayors across the country who have been instrumental as trusted sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, and set up mass vaccination sites. As a result, in less than one year, over 200 million Americans have been vaccinated © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

On the occasion of President Joe Biden’s address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, January 21, the White House issued a fact sheet detailing some of the ways the Biden-Harris Administration is working with Mayors to deliver for communities across the country, and what passing the Build Back Better agenda could mean:
 
Getting Shots in Arms and Saving Lives
Since the start of his Administration, President Biden has prioritized local partnerships and has worked closely with mayors across the country who have been instrumental as trusted sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.
 
Working with local governments, the Administration has shipped over 160 million pieces of personal protective equipment – gloves, gowns, masks – to protect frontline health care workers in cities across the United States. Since first launching surge response teams on July 1st, the Administration has deployed over 3,000 personnel to 39 states and 4 U.S. territories. The Administration also recently worked with several mayors and local jurisdictions to surge federal testing support and federal test sites to several cities.
 
Over 115 mayors across the country joined the White House, HHS, and We Can Do This campaign to launch a Mayors Challenge to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations. This campaign was instrumental in increasing the adult vaccination rate through mayors sharing best practices and launching innovative efforts to boost vaccinations, including grassroots outreach, mobile and neighborhood vaccine clinics, incentives, prizes, and other efforts.

  • Richmond, VA Mayor Levar Stoney as co-lead of the Mayors Challenge, launched the #HotVaccinatedSummer campaign with the Richmond Health Department focused on taking the vaccine to residents through mobile vaccination units, pop-up vaccine sites at grocery stores, food pantries, apartment complexes, and churches, and neighborhood block parties.
     
  • Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, mayors of Louisiana’s two largest cities, launched a month-long, inter-city “New Orleans vs Baton Rouge COVID challenge” to motivate citizens to get vaccinated.
     
  • Detroit, MI Mayor Mike Duggan launched an innovative “Good Neighbor Program” where residents received gift cards for driving their neighbors to get vaccinated, as well as a door-to-door vaccination education canvassing effort.
     
  • San Antonio, TX Mayor Ron Nirenberg along with making pop-up vaccine clinics accessible, collaborated with local artists to create murals reminding residents of the importance of getting vaccinated.

Getting People Back to Work
President Biden has grown the economy faster than any first-year administration ever with 6.4 million jobs added, the most in one year on record. The unemployment rate is 3.9% – four years faster than projected because of the American Rescue Plan. The Biden-Harris agenda has provided substantial resources to state and local governments to expand and improve America’s workforce development system so that workers of all kinds from diverse communities will be prepared and successful in good-paying union jobs.
 
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included $350 billion in state and local fiscal recovery funds that governments can use to assist workers who want and are available to work – including job training, public jobs programs, job fairs, childcare, transportation, hiring bonuses, and subsidized employment efforts). The ARP also invested $3 billion in the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist communities in their efforts to build back better from the pandemic, including $1 billion for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge and $500 million for a Good Jobs Challenge that will support sector partnerships that bring employers, unions, non-profits, community colleges, training providers, and local governments together to enhance local training and hiring efforts.

  • Building Bridges to Infrastructure Jobs:
    • Washington, DC is using ARP resources to expand the city’s Infrastructure Academy to ensure a diverse workforce is ready to fill the infrastructure jobs that will be created by the historic bipartisan infrastructure law.
    • Milwaukee, WI has dedicated ARP funds to launch a lead abatement workforce development program and an Earn and Learn program which assists young people entering manufacturing and other high-skill jobs.
    • Phoenix, AZ is using Rescue Plan funds to partner with local community colleges and the private sector on job training programs that not only will re-skill and re-employ individuals for new careers in high demand workforce areas, such as manufacturing, construction, and the region’s emerging semiconductor industry.
       
  • Supporting our Essential Education Workers:
    • Seattle, WA used ARP fiscal recovery funds to provide premium pay for local child care workers, up to $835 per worker who have been there for at least 6 months.
       
  • Bolstering our Health Care Workforce:
    • Chicago, IL is leveraging ARP funds to build a 2,200 public health workforce working as vaccine ambassadors and addressing vaccine resistance.
    • New York City is dedicating ARP funds to bolster their public health workforce through the New York City Public Health Corps program, which will focus on a range of public health needs – from vaccine access, to primary care, to mental health counseling.

Building a Better America
Since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris Administration has hit the ground running with a focus on fostering strong partnerships and working with mayors to implement the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild crumbling road and bridges, replace lead pipes, help provide high-speed internet to every family in America, and produce concrete results that change people’s lives for the better. These results will create good-paying, union jobs, support domestic manufacturing and supply chains, and position the United States to win the 21st century. As the Administration implements the law, it is following through on President Biden’s commitment to ensure investments advance equity and racial justice, reach communities all across the country – including rural communities, communities of color, and disability communities – and strengthen the nation’s resilience to climate change. Since the enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden Administration has it the ground running. Some of the key actions since the law’s passage include:

  • Understanding the importance of strong partnership with local governments to deliver results on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the White House appointed Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans and former President of the US Conference of Mayors, as Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator.
     
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $27 billion in funding to replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country over the next five years, including many locally-owned “off system” bridges.
     
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will invest more than $14 billion of funding for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories. These key projects will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change.
     
  • USDOT awarded $1 billion in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants to invest in 90 major projects across 47 states funding that will be boosted by an additional $7.5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
     
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at USDOT announced $3 billion for 3,075 airports across the country that can use investments to upgrade critical infrastructure.
     
  • The Vice President announced the Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, which includes action items focused on collaboration with local partners to accelerate the replacement of lead pipes over the next decade. As part of this plan, EPA announced $7.4 billion in funding allocations for states to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, and more.
     
  • The Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program providing broadband subsidies of up to $30/month for low-income households (up to $75/month for households on Tribal Lands) and up to $100 towards the purchase of a desktop, laptop or tablet computer.
     
  • EPA announced $1 billion in funding to clean up 49 Superfund sites across 24 states to accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country, stop toxic waste from harming communities, and create good-paying jobs.
     
  • The Department of the Interior released initial guidance for the states interested in applying for funding to cap and plug orphaned oil and gas wells that reduce methane emissions and create jobs, with 26 states expressing interest in a portion of the $4.7 billion in funding for well plugging, remediation and restoration available in infrastructure programs.
     
  • The Department of Energy launched a new Building a Better Grid initiative to accelerate the deployment of new transition lines, and it released a notice of intent to inform the design and implementation of this historic investment.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes billions of dollars in competitive funding available to cities, towns, and municipalities across dozens of new and existing programs. As local governments begin to rebuild and reinvest in their communities, the Biden-Harris Administration stands ready to support local leaders as they combine funding streams, organize around their priorities, and build local support for long overdue infrastructure projects. The White House released a fact sheet highlights 25 already available or soon-to-be-available sources of funding that local governments – particularly cities – can compete or apply for directly. The White House will also be releasing a comprehensive guidebook of all available funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in the coming weeks.
 
Addressing Supply Chain Blockages
As our economy has turned back on from the unprecedented shutdown resulting from the pandemic, our supply chains have been strained. The Administration is working closely with  mayors and local governments across the country to mitigate supply chain blockages and ensure shelves are stocked.

  • The Administration’s port envoy has held weekly meetings with city-owned ports, including the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, to identify ways to reduce congestion and move toward 24/7 operations, which reduces the emissions and traffic in communities.
     
  • The Department of Transportation awarded more than $241 million in discretionary grants to improve ports facilities and address supply chain disruptions in 19 cities, including Houston, TX; Brunswick, GA; Bay St Louis, MS; Tell City, IN; Alpena, MI; Delcambre, LA; Oakland, CA; Portsmouth, VA; Tacoma, WA; and Long Beach, CA.
     
  • The Administration is working to help schools experiencing challenges purchasing and reliably obtaining food for their meal plans. USDA has committed $1.5 billion for schools and states to purchase foods including funding to purchase local foods from historically underserved producers and announced an adjustment in school meal reimbursements that put an estimated $750 million more into school meal programs across the nation this year.

Advancing Local Climate Action
On Day One, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement, reestablished U.S. leadership, and renewed the federal government’s partnership with the states, cities, Tribes, and localities that carried forward America’s progress on climate. Since then, President Biden has deployed clean wind and solar energy across the country, jumpstarted an electric vehicle future that will be built in America, advanced environmental justice in underserved communities, and taken aggressive action to make our country more resilient to climate change and extreme weather.
 
Today, President Biden will announce how the Biden-Harris Administration is teaming up with states, cities, labor, and industry to launch the Building Performance Standards Coalition, a first-of-its-kind partnership between 33 state and local governments dedicated to delivering cleaner, healthier, and more affordable buildings. States and cities part of the coalition will design and implement building performance standards that create good paying union jobs, lower the cost of energy bills for consumers, keep residents and workers safe from harmful pollution, and cut emissions from the building sector.
 
The Administration is also empowering local leaders to advance climate solutions across other sectors—for example:

  • The Department of Energy set a new National Community Solar Partnership target of powering 5 million homes by 2025, with on-demand technical assistance available to local governments, and launched the SolarAPP+ tool to help them speed up permitting of rooftop solar installations.
     
  • The Department of Transportation announced $182 million in grants for transit agencies to deploy zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including awards to the Chicago Transit Authority; Anaheim, CA; Fort Collins, CO; Lawrence, KS; Jackson, MS; Fayetteville, NC; Lincoln, NE; Norman, OK; and more.
     
  • The EPA announced $50 million for environmental justice initiatives using ARP funds, including water infrastructure job training in Baltimore, MD; indoor air quality improvements in Fort Collins, CO; and outreach on asthma and environmental hazards in Hartford, CT. 
     
  • FEMA announced $1 billion for the FY2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, available for cities and other levels of government to proactively invest in community resilience to hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters.
     
  • In November 2021, President Biden and 15 bipartisan mayors representing communities across the country participated in COP26, where the President announced bold plans to reduce methane emissions, create clean energy jobs, and build back better with infrastructure initiatives that advance prosperity and combat the climate crisis.

Addressing Gun Violence and Crime
During the President’s first year in office, the Biden-Harris Administration has partnered with mayors across the country on actions to reduce gun violence and has provided historic levels of funding for community-oriented policing and expanding community violence interventions (CVI) – neighborhood-based programs proven to combat gun violence. The Administration has made historic levels of funding from the American Rescue Plan – including $350 billion in state and local funding – available to state and local governments for law enforcement purposes to advance community policing strategies and community violence interventions.

  • Working with 16-jurisdictions, the White House launched the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, a cohort of mayors, law enforcement, CVI experts and philanthropic organizations committed to using ARP funding to increase investment in their community violence intervention infrastructure and share best practices. 
     
  • Cities including Milwaukee, WI; Albuquerque, NM; Syracuse, NY; and Mobile, AL responded to the President’s call by committing and deploying ARP funds for advancing community-oriented policing.
  • Mayors from cities across the country including Seattle, WA; Buffalo, NY; and Atlanta, GA have committed to deploy ARP fund for community violence interventions following a memo from Senior White House advisors on how state and local officials can implement ARP funding into CVI work.
     
  • Cities across the country including St. Louis, MO and Tucson, AZ committed to investing ARP funding in public safety strategies such as summer jobs for young adults and substance abuse and mental health services.

Prevent Housing Instability and Homelessness
During the President’s first year in office, the Biden-Harris Administration partnered with mayors across the country to keep Americans housed. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included over $21 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. These funds, together with $25 billion signed into law under the previous Administration but implemented under this Administration, enabled households to catch up on rent and avoid evictions. State and local grantees obligated over $25 billion in ERA in 2021, and these funds contributed to a historically low eviction filing rate. Also included within ARP were $5 billion in supplemental funding for HOME, which enables state and local governments to create and preserve affordable housing, and $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers to help people experiencing and at risk of homelessness secure housing.

  • In June, 46 cities joined the White House to create eviction prevention action plans as part of a first-of-its-kind summit. More than 100 eviction diversion programs were created or expanded as part of this partnership with the White House and local leaders.
     
  • Mayors from Louisville, Milwaukee, San Antonio, and Boston shared best practices in subsequent White House events including strategies to prevent evictions and distribute rental assistance to renters and landlords in need.
     
  • Dozens of mayors have signed onto House America, a federal initiative aimed at maximizing the ARP resources to address homelessness. The goal of this initiative is to cumulatively re-house 100,000 households experiencing homelessness and add 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by the end of 2022.

Building an Orderly, Fair, and Humane Immigration System
The Biden-Harris Administration is working to build a humane, orderly, and fair 21st century immigration system at the border and beyond. One that invests in smart technology and infrastructure at the border, that prioritizes our resources and values immigrants living in our country and contributing to our communities for generations, and that once again welcomes refugees and is a beacon of light for those seeking safe haven.
 
Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration took steps to undo the wrongdoings of the previous Administration, including getting rid of the Muslim ban, taking steps to protect DACA recipients, and restoring our asylum system. On day one, President Biden also sent his immigration bill to Congress – The U.S. Citizenship Act – which laid out the components needed to build an updated immigration system that reflects our values and responds to our hemisphere’s current needs.
 
Working with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and non-profit organizations in Mexico and the United States, the Administration assisted 13,000 people in the wind down of the Migrant Protection Protocol to fight their cases in the United States. The Administration also designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti, Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Burma, and expanded to El Salvador and Honduras.
 
The President tasked Vice President Harris with leading efforts to address the root causes of migration from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The Vice President announced $310 million in urgent humanitarian relief in April 2021, in addition to the President’s FY22 budget request for $861 million for Central America. The Vice President also secured $1.2 billion from the private sector to create job programs and invest in the economic stability and prosperity for our partner countries. In addition to the work the Vice President is leading, the Administration is working with countries in South America and leaders in the hemisphere to address migration as a regional issue that necessitates regional leadership and a regional response.
 
The Administration remains committed to immigration reform, to restoring asylum, and to working with partners to ensure the safety, security, and dignity of immigrants in the region:

  • Engaged mayors and cities to amplify the broad sweeping impact President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act would have on all 11 million undocumented immigrants, including farm workers and individuals with Temporary Protected Status.
  • Partnered with cities including San Diego, Long Beach, Pomona, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to stand up Emergency Influx Sites to provide temporary shelter and care for thousands of unaccompanied children.
     
  • Awarded $110 million in supplemental humanitarian funding to the National Board for Emergency Food and Shelter Program eligible to cities and services providers providing humanitarian assistance to migrants at the southern border.
     
  • Regularly engaged bipartisan border mayors to discuss and coordinate rebuilding America’s border management and asylum systems that were previously gutted by the prior administration. Additionally, engaged local elected leaders in the Rio Grande Valley, San Diego, and El Centro border sectors to protect border communities from the physical dangers resulting from the previous administration’s approach to border wall construction.

Welcoming Refugees and Resettlement Efforts
The Biden-Harris Administration has taken a whole-of-America approach to safely, securely, and effectively welcome more than 76,000 Afghan allies to the United States through the Operation Allies Welcome.
 
In close coordination with Departments and Agencies across the Federal government, the Administration has worked with state and local officials; refugee resettlement organizations; veterans; faith, private sector, and non-profit leaders to ensure Afghans are set up for success in their new communities. The White House Operation Allies Welcome team provided briefings to USCM and visited resettlement sites in six states to engage with local officials and stakeholders on the frontlines of welcoming our Afghan allies. In his capacity as OAW Coordinator, Jack Markell attended the 2021 USCM Summer Meeting in Dayton, Ohio to brief mayors on their important role in the resettlement effort.

  • USCM Past President Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin led the effort for USCM’s resolution in support of Afghan resettlement and welcomed briefings from senior Administration officials to keep mayors updated on resettlement efforts
     
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner worked with local resettlement agencies to raise more than $8.5 million dollars for the Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund (HARF) to help the local resettlement agencies provide additional services for Afghan evacuees
     
  • Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt collaborated with the local resettlement agency to identify additional funding stream to for affordable housing for Afghan evacuees
     
  • Lansing Mayor Andy Schor worked with the local school district to ensure a warm welcome to arriving Afghans students and families.
     

Sacramento Mayor Darryl Steinberg coordinated with state, county, and local leaders to create a new coalition called the American Network of Services for Afghanistan Refugees (ANSAR) to assist in meeting the needs of Afghan families.

In addition to President Biden, ten members of the President’s Cabinet spoke at the USCM Winter Meeting, including Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and EPA Administrator Regan. Senior Administration officials including ARP Coordinator Gene Sperling, Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez will also speak at the event.

President Biden Shows Benefits of Federal-Local Government Partnership in Address to US Conference of Mayors

President Joe Biden addresses 200 mayors at the US Conference of Mayors: “You understand the cost if we fail to act.  We need the voice of mayors telling the stories of what your communities need, and the impact we’re making on people’s lives or not making.  If we can get this done — I believe this with every fiber of my being: If we can get this done, there’s no limit what Americans can achieve.  So, let’s continue to give working families a fighting chance.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via msnbc.

On January 21, President Biden addressed over 200 bipartisan mayors during their annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting. This was the President’s first time addressing the entire USCM since taking office. At this year’s convening, the President highlighted the strong partnership between his Administration and mayors during the past year to tackle unprecedented crises, rebuild the economy, and deliver results for working families. The President also discussed ways to further partner with cities on implementing the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the importance of passing the Build Back Better Act. 

Here is an edited transcript of President Biden’s remarks:

Mayors carry the quality of the people’s lives on your shoulders.

Everything you do every day affects their lives more than almost anything anybody else does.  And you can make or break a person’s day.  “Will the bus get me home on time?”  It sounds silly but, “Will the garbage get be picked up?”  “Will I be safe walking in the park?”

These are the bigger questions: “Can I afford to give my family a good life?”  “Will my kids have a chance to get a good job someday?”  “How will I rebuild from the fire or the storm?”

You know, all of these questions, they’re not partisan, but they’re practical.  People they look to are you…

That’s why, when I put together my Cabinet, I called on former mayors –Tom Vilsack was a governor; he was also a mayor.  Marcia Fudge, a mayor. Marty Walsh a mayor in Boston.  Pete Buttigieg was a mayor.  And I picked Mitch Landrieu to oversee the implementation of the infrastructure law, which is over a $1.2 trillion, because he knows how mayors get things done. (Applause.) .. Because mayors know the measure of success isn’t scoring partisan points, it’s did you fix the problem…

 
The infrastructure law is a perfect example of what we can achieve when we tackle problems the way mayors do.  Everybody in America knows we’ve fallen behind on infrastructure.  So we came together — Democrats and Republicans — and did something about it…

And, by the way, I want to thank you all.  More than 360 of you signed a letter that was sent to me when we were trying to get this legislation passed.  Three hundred and sixty of you.  You lobbied Congress to get it done, and it’s the reason it got done…  

And now, after years of dead-ends and broken promises, not only has “Infrastructure Week” finally arrived — (applause) — but we can literally, because of you, look forward to an “Infrastructure Decade.”…

We’ve announced billions of dollars for highways, ports, airports, water and sewage systems, high-speed Internet; funding to clean up the rivers in Ohio, chemical plants and sites in Florida, polluted lakes in Michigan and dozens of other sites; a new program to cap and plug orphaned oil and gas wells spewing methane into the air, cleaning up the communities that, in fact, they’re affecting, while [creating] good-paying jobs…

A new initiative to bolster our energy grid with stronger transmission lines and towers to keep the power flowing more reliably and, consequentially, more secure energy supply…

You know, more forest, homes, buildings, and businesses have been burned to the ground than make up — if you’re taking the square miles — than the entire state of New Jersey, from New York all the way down to Cape Henlopen.  That’s how much has burned to the ground.  A lot of it because of the lack of resilience in those towers that get blown over and the wires snap…


Last week, we rolled out a historic investments in our nation’s bridges, like the one I visited in New Hampshire, where restrictions forced school buses and fire trucks to go 10 miles out of their way just to get across a small river…

We’re going to upgrade thousands of bridges, creating good-paying jobs, cutting commute times, ensuring that as we build back, no community gets left behind.

Folks, that mayor’s view of problem-solving is exactly what we brought to the American Rescue Plan.  It’s designed so that you’d be able to have the resources and the flexibility to take both the short-term and long-term challenges created by this pandemic. A major part of the Rescue Plan was the $350 billion we allocated to state and local budgets.  And again, because of you, over $100 billion of that went directly to cities and counties, not through anybody.  (Applause.)  A hundred billion.

It was not easy to get done, but it was important to get done because you know it’s needed.  You didn’t have to go through your state legislature — or your governor – to get the money.

Today, communities are still putting those funds to work — keeping people on the job, connecting people to better jobs…

Use your funds to cover childcare costs or temporary paid leave to help certain workers dealing with Omicron; to build pathways to better jobs through union-based apprenticeships and on-the-job training; to give people in every ZIP code a chance to deal for themselves and deal them into this booming economy.

That also means building more affordable housing so people can have safe places closer to their jobs.

Funding proven programs to help fight violent crime.  We shouldn’t be cutting funding for police departments.  I proposed increasing funding… 


The truth is we have an incredible opportunity ahead of us this year.  We still have a lot of work to do to defeat COVID, to bring down costs for families.

But just look at what we’ve accomplished together so far, even in the face of those headwinds.

In 2021, more jobs are created in America than ever in a single year in American history.  More jobs — over 6 million.  The unemployment rate dropped more than any year in American history.  (Applause.)   

Income — incomes for folks working frontline jobs in service industries rose more than any year in history — the folks at the bottom of the economic rung.

We lowered child poverty in this country by nearly 40 percent — more than any time in U.S. history.  (Applause.)  

You all know this: Business applications grew by nearly 30 percent last year — more than any year in history.  If they’re saying everything is so bad, why are people fighting to open businesses?

More Americans gained health insurance than any year in history.

These are facts. 

To confront the climate crisis, we deployed more solar wind, batteries, and electric vehicles than ever, ever before.

And we’re teaming up with mayors, labor, and industry to save families and businesses money by improving energy efficiency in our buildings.

And in the battle against the deadly virus, we’ve gone from putting 2 million shots — vaccinations – in people’s arms to 210 million Americans fully vaccinated. (Applause.)

And you mayors have been critical partners…

And we still face tremendous challenges, though.  But together, we’ve proven that we can get big things done in this country.

Last year, with your help, we laid the groundwork.  This year, we have to build it.  The biggest weapon in our arsenal is the Build Back Better Act. Nothing is going to do more to ease pressure on families…

Every mayor knows if people can’t find and afford childcare, they can’t work.  (Applause.)  Some of your cities, it’s 14-, 15,000 bucks a year for childcare.  That’s why we have nearly 1.2 million extremely qualified women who haven’t been able to return to the workforce.

We can cut the cost of childcare in half and fix that problem.

Health insurance: We can reduce the cost for families — and we’ve done for $600 per year.

On climate: Extreme weather disasters cost communities $145 billion last year.  That’s how much we spent because of weather-related crises.  $145 billion.  By investing in resilience and clean energy technology, we can do something about that.

To give relief to families, in the American Rescue Plan we had the Childcare Tax Credit.  That did reduce child poverty by 40 percent.  There’s no reason it shouldn’t continue.  (Applause.)

And on education — on education: Today, about half of the three- and four-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education…

We can do this and more on healthcare, nutrition, and a host of other issues.

And, folks, here’s the point: We can do it without increasing inflation or the deficit.

Seventeen Nobel laureates in economics wrote a letter to me recently, affirming that this bill would reduce inflationary pressures on the economy, not increase — reduce it.  (Applause.)

And by the way — by the way, it’s entirely paid for.  (Applause.)  Every single penny.  (Applause.)  And not a single person making less than $400,000 a year will pay a single additional penny in federal taxes.  Not a single penny.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, I’m a capitalist.  I’m not a socialist.  If you can make $1 billion or $10 million, good for you.  Just begin to pay your fair share.  Pay a little bit.  (Applause.)

We can pay for all this by just making sure that the wealthy — making sure that the wealthy and the biggest corporations pay their fair share…

Look, we can tackle all these challenges just like we did with the Rescue Plan, the infrastructure law, and the fight against COVID, but we can’t do it without you… 

You understand the cost if we fail to act.  We need the voice of mayors telling the stories of what your communities need, and the impact we’re making on people’s lives or not making.  If we can get this done — I believe this with every fiber of my being: If we can get this done, there’s no limit what Americans can achieve.  So, let’s continue to give working families a fighting chance. 

Biden Administration Makes Historic Investment to Strengthen Port, Waterway Supply Chains, Bolster Climate Resilience

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Invest $14 Billion from President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Other Appropriations to Strengthen Port and Waterway Supply Chains and Bolster Climate Resilience
 

The Biden Administration issued a fact sheet detailing its historic $14 billion investment in the nation’s ports and waterways – funding in fiscal 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories that will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Biden Administration issued a fact sheet detailing its historic $14 billion investment in the nation’s ports and waterways – funding in fiscal 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories that will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change, and address a source of inflation while creating jobs:

Modern and resilient infrastructure strengthens our supply chains, supports U.S. competitiveness and economic growth, and protects communities from the accelerating impacts of climate change. Yet, decades of under-investment and neglect have left our nation’s infrastructure – from ports and waterways to levees and dams to the aquatic ecosystems that supply our water and energy – vulnerable to climate change and struggling to keep up with our strong economic recovery from the pandemic.
 
Recognizing the vital role of modern, resilient infrastructure in reducing costs for American families and businesses, President Biden secured unprecedented investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase climate resilience and make long overdue improvements at ports and waterways, as well as additional funds through supplemental appropriations to help impacted states and Tribes recover and become more resilient to natural disasters. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing that it will invest more than $14 billion of this funding in fiscal year 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories. These key projects will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change, including through:

  • The largest single investment ever to restore and revitalize the Everglades in Florida.
  • Expanding capacity at some of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing ports, including the Port of Long Beach.
  • Commitments to help underserved coastal communities build back more resilient from extreme weather.

A full list of projects receiving funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations can be found HERE.
 
The investments announced today further advance the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate and clean energy investments flow to historically marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities to build their economies. The investments also underscore how President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering results to communities across America, advancing racial equity, combatting climate change, and creating job opportunities for American workers.
 
In just over two months since the President signed the historic legislation into law, the Administration has already mobilized resources to connect Tribal Nations to reliable, high-speed internet, replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country, upgrade critical infrastructure at 3,075 airports, update America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, stop toxic waste from harming communities, and more. With these additional investments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will initiate projects in fiscal year 2022 that:

STRENGTHEN DOMESTIC SUPPLY CHAINS

American ports and waterways are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure Report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in 2018, America’s ports supported more than 30 million jobs and approximately 26% of our nation’s GDP. However, decades of neglect and underinvestment have strained their capacity and jeopardized supply chains.
 
Building on the work this Administration has done this past year to get goods flowing from ships to shelves faster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is committing $4 billion through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand capacity at key ports, allow passage of larger vessels, and further enhance the country’s ability to move goods. These waterside investments will compliment landside investments at our ports and across the goods movement chain such as the Port Infrastructure Development Grants announced in December. Specific projects for fiscal year 2022 include work to:
 

  • Enhance the Country’s Ability to Move Goods. America’s waterways are vital to getting goods moving faster and more efficiently through the nation. Recognizing the role of inland waterways in creating and sustaining jobs, relieving landside congestion, and providing more cost-effective transportation capacities, the Administration will provide $858 million to support the replacement of locks that keep water levels high enough for large cargo ships to pass through the upper Ohio River, west of Pittsburgh. The Administration will also provide more than $470 million to complete construction of a new lock along St. Mary’s River in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan, which serves as a passageway for nearly all domestically-produced iron ore. These funds will build on the Department of Transportation’s recent investments to enhance the movement of goods along the nation’s navigable waterways.
     
  • Reinforce America’s Largest Port Complex. The Administration will invest $8 million to improve commercial navigation and allow larger and more ships to pass at the Port of Long Beach, California – part of the nation’s largest port complex. The investment will support design work to widen the port’s main channel, deepen the entrance channel, and build an approach channel and turning basin. It also builds on the $52 million grant the Administration previously announced to support the Port of Long Beach’s on-dock rail facility, as well as a multi-billion dollar loan agreement with California to modernize the state’s ports, freight, and other goods movement infrastructure.
     
  • Move More Goods Faster at One of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Ports. The Administration will invest $69 million to improve navigation and expand capacity at Norfolk Harbor, Virginia, which handled 67 percent more containers in 2021 than it did 10 years ago. Work will include deepening and widening the harbor’s shipping channels to improve navigation and enable safer access for larger commercial and naval vessels, and to provide significant new economic opportunities to the region.
     

BOLSTER THE NATION’S DEFENSES AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADVANCE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
 
Damage from extreme weather events and natural disasters, including those from Hurricane Ida, were estimated to cost the United States at least $141 billion in 2021, and is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. President Biden knows that down payments now to bolster the resilience of our infrastructure to climate change will save Americans money in the long run. The Biden-Harris Administration will commit $5.5 billion through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to better protect communities from climate change, and protect vital ecosystems and the people and businesses throughout the country that rely on them.

For instance, the funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law announced today will:

  • Restore and Protect Critical Ecosystems and Water Supplies, Including the Everglades. The Administration is making the largest single investment in the Everglades in U.S. history. The iconic American landscape provides drinking water supply for over 8 million Floridians, supports the state’s $90 billion tourism economy, and is home to dozens of endangered or threatened species. However, rising sea levels and other climate change impacts are endangering this vital ecosystem and the people, businesses, and habitats it supports. Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Army Corps will invest $1.1 billion to restore, protect, and preserve the South Florida ecosystem and increase its resilience to the impacts of climate change. These funds will support improvements to the Everglades by capturing and storing excess surface water runoff, reducing excess water releases to water conservation areas, and minimizing seepage losses during dry periods.
     
  • Advance Environmental Justice. The investments announced today will further deliver on the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities in building their local economies. The Administration will provide $163 million to restore the Cano Martin Pena urban tidal channel and surrounding areas of the San Juan Bay National Estuary. The urban waterway project will significantly improve the health and welfare of the surrounding communities in San Juan by reducing exposure to contaminated waters and sediments, improving water quality, and restoring fish and mangrove habitat. The Administration is also committing $40 million to the Espanola Valley, Rio Grande and Tributaries, New Mexico to restore and protect 958 acres of aquatic and riparian habitats. These habitats are critical to the functioning of the third longest river in the country, and are an integral part of constructing social identity and transmission and retention of traditional knowledge for both the Pueblo of Santa Clara and Ohkay Owingeh. In addition, the Army Corps is committing nearly $28 million to prevent coastal erosion of Kenai River Bluff in Alaska. In the coming year, the Army Corps will also engage with environmental justice communities in the development of a strategy to allocate $130 million for two pilot programs that target the needs of economically-disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Reduce Flood Risk. The Army Corps will leverage funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase community resilience to flooding, including $645 million to reduce coastal flood risk through 15 projects and $1.7 billion to reduce inland flood risk through an additional 15 projects across the country.  Projects include $378 million to protect people, property, and the fragile marshland in coastal Louisiana, $250 million for storm surge barriers, levees, and pump stations to reduce storm risk to the City of Norfolk, Virginia, $66 million to refurbish the levee system along the Little Colorado River outside of Winslow, Arizona in Navajo County, and $35 million in the San Joaquin River Basin to help reduce flood risk to the City of Stockton, California. As a result of Hurricane Ida, 90 percent of Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana sustained significant damages, including to five floodgates of the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection System.

In addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds announced today, the Administration will invest more than $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2022 through the Disaster Relief and Supplemental Appropriations Act to reinforce disaster mitigation and recovery efforts in communities recovering from extreme weather events, and to better enable homes and businesses to reduce their risks of climate change. This includes $3.3 billion in funding for Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, where major disasters were declared due to Hurricane Ida. In Louisiana, for instance, the Biden-Harris Administration will invest over $1.7 billion to help the state build back more resilient from extreme weather events, including through the replacement or modification of levees infrastructure on the east and west banks of Plaquemines Parish, completion of construction of the Atachafalaya Basin floodway system, and initiation construction for the Algiers sub-basin in southeast Louisiana.  
 

FACT SHEET: Biden Signs Executive Order Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Economy Through Federal Sustainability

By shifting its own systems, infrastructure, and workforce to clean energy, the federal government will help create the economic thresholds to transition society from heat-trapping fossil fuels that are contributing to the climate crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

U.S. Government Will Lead by Example to Leverage Scale and Procurement Power to Drive Clean, Healthy, and Resilient Operations
 
Today, President Biden signed an executive order that demonstrates how the United States will leverage its scale and procurement power to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis. The executive order will reduce emissions across federal operations, invest in American clean energy industries and manufacturing, and create clean, healthy, and resilient communities. The President is building on his whole-of-government effort to tackle the climate crisis in a way that creates well-paying jobs, grows industries, and makes the country more economically competitive.
 
The President’s executive order directs the federal government to use its scale and procurement power to achieve five ambitious goals:

  • 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030, at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand;
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027;
  • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement no later than 2050, including a Buy Clean policy to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2032; and
  • Net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

In addition to the five new commitments that form the pillars of today’s executive action, the President also directed the federal government to orient its procurement and operations efforts in line with the following principles and goals:

  • Achieving climate resilient infrastructure and operations;
  • Building a climate- and sustainability-focused workforce;
  • Advancing environmental justice and equity;
  • Prioritizing the purchase of sustainable products, such as products without added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); and
  • Accelerating progress through domestic and international partnerships.

Today’s executive action is a part of the President’s broader commitment to increasing investments in America’s manufacturing industries and workers to build back our country better.  By transforming how the federal government builds, buys, and manages its assets and operations, the federal government will support the growth of America’s clean energy and clean technology industries, while accelerating America’s progress toward achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.
 
President Biden’s executive order demonstrates how the United States government will lead by example to provide a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the clean energy economy while creating well paying, union jobs at home. Today’s executive action further reinforces the President’s directive to Buy American and ensure that equity and environmental justice are key considerations in federal operations planning and decision making.
 
The White House also released a detailed description of this plan: The Federal Sustainability Plan: Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Industries and Creating Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.
 
Together, the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, and Build Back Better Act will provide agencies with the funding necessary to achieve the goals of the executive order.
 
Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability Executive Order
 
Through this executive order, the federal government will transform its portfolio of 300,000 buildings, fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and annual purchasing power of $650 billion in goods and services to:

  1. Transition federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and buildings powered by carbon pollution-free electricity, which will reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
     
  2. Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050.  
     
  3. Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.

Transition federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and energy efficient buildings powered by carbon pollution-free electricity:

  • Achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity use by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 basis. The federal government will work with utilities, developers, technology firms, financiers and others to purchase electricity produced from resources that generate no carbon emissions, including solar and wind, for all its operations by 2030. Half of the federal government’s 100 percent carbon pollution-free annual electricity demand will be procured on a 24/7 basis, meaning that the federal government’s real-time demand for electricity will be met with clean energy every hour, every day, and produced within the same regional grid where the electricity is consumed. With the scope and scale of this electricity demand, the federal government expects it will catalyze the development of at least 10 gigawatts of new American clean electricity production by 2030, spurring the creation of new union jobs and moving the country closer to achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.
     
  • Transition to 100 percent acquisition of zero-emission vehicles by 2035 for the federal vehicle fleet, including 100 percent light duty vehicle acquisition by 2027. The federal government will work with American vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to transform its fleet into the largest zero-emission vehicle fleet in the Nation, reaching 100 percent zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035. This will accelerate the advancement of America’s industrial capacity to supply zero-emission vehicles and electric vehicle batteries and create and sustain good union jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and skilled-trades.
     
  • Modernize the federal buildings portfolio to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction in building emissions by 2032. The federal government will work across existing real property and during new building construction and major renovations to increase water and energy efficiency, reduce waste, electrify systems, and promote sustainable locations for federal facilities to strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which federal facilities are located. Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration will implement the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard, and will use performance contracting to improve buildings with no up-front costs.

Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050.

  • Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change. The intensifying impacts of climate change present physical, operational, and financial risks to federal infrastructure, agency missions, and our services to the American people. Agencies will implement the actions identified through their October 7, 2021, Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans and modernize federal policy, programs, operations, and infrastructure to support climate resilience investment. By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize future disruptions and destruction to federal operations, assets, and programs and ensure the federal government can continue providing critical services to the Nation.
     
  • Increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050. The companies that supply the federal government are critical partners in achieving our climate goals and growing the economy and American jobs. Cutting emissions from the federal government’s procurement also means buying materials with a lower carbon footprint. The federal government will launch a “buy clean” initiative for low-carbon materials and prioritize the purchase of sustainable products, such as products without added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Through these actions, the federal government will provide a large and stable signal to the market for sustainable and low-carbon goods made in America, advancing America’s industrial capacity to supply the goods and materials of the future while growing good jobs for American workers.

Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.

  • Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce. The federal government’s 4.2 million employees are critical stakeholders and leaders in the shift to sustainable and resilient operations. The federal government will build capacity through engagement, education, and training so that federal workers are ready to embed sustainability, climate adaptation, and environmental stewardship analysis and action in their jobs as we work to Build Back Better.
     
  • Advance equity and environmental justice. The federal government will advance the goals of the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative by ensuring that economic equity and environmental justice are key considerations in operations planning and decision making. A federal environmental justice representative will serve on the newly established Chief Sustainability Officer Council. To incorporate equity, agencies will implement this executive order consistent with the President’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, which helps ensure that government contracting and procurement opportunities are available on an equal basis.
     
  • Leverage partnerships to accelerate progress. Collaboration with leading American unions, businesses, States, Tribes, municipalities, and other countries will accelerate progress and catalyze greater climate action at home and abroad. The federal government will build upon its newly launched Greening Government Initiative, which convenes governments around the world to collaborate on greening government operations. Further, the Administration will launch a Presidential Sustainability Executives Program, placing senior leaders from the private and non-profit sectors to serve across the federal government, bringing innovative perspectives and critical expertise to achieve these ambitious, and imperative, sustainability and climate preparedness goals.

Actions Agencies are Taking to Meet the Goals of the Sustainability Executive Order

Across the federal government, agencies are moving expeditiously to meet the President’s call for action and are positioned to meet the ambitious goals of his executive order and Federal Sustainability Plan. Highlights are included below:
 
100 percent CFE by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 Basis

  • In 2022, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Edwards Air Force Base in California will add 520 megawatts (MW) of CFE to the grid by completing one of the country’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) array projects and in the process creating more than 1,000 union and other construction jobs.
     
  • In 2022, DOD’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii will complete construction of the nation’s largest 100 percent clean energy microgrid. By leveraging a 14-megawatt (MW) solar facility paired with a 70 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system sited on the base, the Pacific Missile Range Facility can become self-sufficient for all its electricity needs in the event of a loss of transmission feed from the utility grid.

100 Percent ZEV Acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent Light-Duty ZEV Acquisitions by 2027

  • In 2021, the Department of the Interior (DOI) began transitioning its fleet of U.S. Park Police lightweight motorcycles and dirt bikes to 100 percent ZEVs at its Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco locations, with plans to reach a 100 ZEV fleet by 2025.
     
  • In early 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin field testing the Ford Mustang Mach-E ZEV for use in its law enforcement fleet, which currently consists of over 30,000 vehicles.

Net-Zero Emissions Buildings by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction by 2032

  • In 2023, the Department of Transportation will complete its Volpe Transportation Center project that collapses six buildings into a low-emissions building with rooftop solar PV panels, ZEV charging stations for the federal fleet and employee vehicles, green and cool roof technologies, a rainwater reclamation and reuse system, and a climate-resilient above-grade data center.
     
  • By 2022, the Department of the Treasury will have completed the majority of its energy infrastructure improvements at an Internal Revenue Service Center outside of New York City through a 17-year, $30.9 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC). The ESPC has so far delivered nearly $14 million in capital improvements and $2.2 million in annual utility bill savings. ESPCs allow federal agencies to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress.

Net-Zero Emissions Procurement by 2050

  • In 2021, DOD collected information from its suppliers on their efforts to measure and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. DOD is using this information to develop low-carbon purchasing guidelines that will become part of its standard operating procedures.
     
  • In 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) will require contractors to disclose the embodied carbon of building materials for new building and major modernization contracts. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions (mostly carbon dioxide) resulting from the mining, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transportation, and installation of materials. 

Net-Zero Emissions from overall Federal Operations by 2050, including a 65 percent reduction by 2030

  • By January 2022, DOD’s Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia anticipates achieving net-zero energy status.

Climate Resilient Infrastructure and Operations

  • In 2021, more than 20 major federal agencies released plans describing how they will integrate climate-readiness across missions and programs and bolster resilience of Federal assets. For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is collecting building-level data across HUD programs to map existing climate risks to help inform the Department on how to best address climate impacts and protect HUD-assisted assets and their occupants.
     
  • DOD is integrating climate change considerations across its strategic guidance and planning documents, including the National Defense Strategy, which will be released in 2022.

Develop a Climate- and Sustainability-Focused Workforce

  • The Department of State is assessing its climate and sustainability management staffing and training gaps to inform a longer-term plan that will prioritize areas of concern and greatest needs.
     
  • In 2022, the Department of Labor will launch a new training course for its senior leadership team on climate change management considerations and environmental justice principals. The Department will also include climate change literacy in new employee orientation material.

Advance Environmental Justice and Equity

  • In 2021, GSA launched an Environmental Justice and Equity Task Group to identify and propose effective approaches to improve environmental justice and equity in federal sustainable building processes, enhancing engagement with communities and key partners throughout the building lifecycle.
     
  • In 2021, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) convened Climate and Equity roundtables across the country to gather feedback to inform how NOAA provides climate services, engages with underserved and vulnerable communities, and strengthens internal processes to respond to expressed needs.
     
  • As outlined in its October 2021 Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate ChangeDHS is incorporating the need to achieve equity as guiding principle through all lines of effort described in the framework.

Accelerate Progress Through Domestic and International Partnerships

  • In 2021, the United States and Canada launched the Greening Government Initiative, a first-of-its-kind initiative that will enable countries to share lessons learned, promote innovation, and accelerate national efforts to green government operations and help meet Paris Agreement commitments. Today, the 39 GGI participating countries are beginning share key organizational features and policies and identify potential areas for collaboration.
     
  • In 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England’s Boston Healthcare System partnered with National Grid on a plan to transition its 70-car fleet to ZEV. Consistent with National Grid’s recommendations, VA is working with GSA to procure approximately 25 ZEVs in the 2022 acquisition cycle.

White House: Renewed US Leadership at COP26 Raises International Ambition to Tackle Climate Crisis

International Community Put Forward Innovative Efforts to Build a Clean Energy Economy and Create Jobs 

The United States Will Continue to Push for Action Beyond Glasgow and Keep 1.5 Degrees Celsius Goal Alive 

 

Youth strike for Climate Action, NYC 2019. Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, rolled back actions to reduce emissions contributing to global warming, promoted coal and fossil fuels, but Biden has immediately put the United States back on track and back in a global leadership role to take aggressive action to address the climate crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House put out this Fact Sheet summarizing the results of United States engagement in COP26 and renewed priority to combat the climate crisis and “keep 1.5 alive”.

“President Biden reiterated that tackling the climate crisis requires the whole of society – communities, businesses, states, local governments, Tribal nations and nations around the world – to come together to deliver economic prosperity, peace, and security.”

On day one at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), President Joe Biden made clear that Glasgow must raise global ambition during this decisive decade of climate action to preserve our shared future. The President reiterated that tackling the climate crisis requires the whole of society – communities, businesses, states, local governments, Tribal nations and nations around the world – to come together to deliver economic prosperity, peace, and security.

The President and United States have led by the power of example, taking bold steps to reduce emissions and create economic opportunity at home and abroad, while rallying other countries to step up. On his first day in office, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement, restored U.S. leadership on the world stage, and reestablished our position to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad. He convened the first-ever Leaders Summit on Climate that affirmed the need for unprecedented global cooperation and ambition and convened a U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.

Congress passed President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which will expand access to clean drinking water, make unprecedented investments in clean energy infrastructure, and is a critical step towards reaching our goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. When paired with the Build Back Better Framework which the President also looks forward to signing into law, these once-in-a-generation investments will reduce our emissions by well over one gigaton this decade – ensuring we meet President Biden’s commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels in 2030 and unlock the full potential of a clean energy economy that combats climate change, advances environmental justice, and creates good-paying, union jobs.
 
Today, as COP26 ended, over 190 countries concluded negotiations on a text that includes a global commitment to tackle the climate crisis and keep the goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. The text sets out a path to increase the commitments and actions of countries starting next year, outlines new rules of the road for the Paris Agreement that will provide transparency for countries to turn words into actions, and doubles the amount of support that is going to vulnerable countries to enhance their resilience to the crisis. But it is not enough. More work remains as we leave Glasgow to get where science tells us we need to be and the United States will continue to push for more progress at home and abroad in this decisive decade for climate action.  
 
As the U.S. engaged in intensive diplomacy and partnership with countries around the world, collective action increased global ambition, innovation and action to tackle the climate crisis. At the close of COP26:

  • 90% of the world’s GDP now has net zero commitments and 154 countries put forward new climate action plans to cut emissions or “NDCs”. In April, President Biden announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 and convened the Leaders Summit on Climate to secure stronger targets from world leaders.  
     
  • The United States and European Union announced that over 100 countries, covering nearly half of global methane emissions and almost 70% of global GDP signed the Global Methane Pledge, including six of the world’s top 10 methane emitters. This complements the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan – bold steps announced by President Biden to redouble efforts from across the government to dramatically reduce U.S. methane emissions, cut consumer costs, protect workers and communities, maintain and create thousands of high-quality, union jobs, and promote U.S. innovation and manufacturing of critical new technologies. 
     
  • Developed countries made progress towards the $100 billion climate finance mobilization goal. In April, President Biden has released the first-ever U.S. International Climate Finance Plan and announced a quadrupling of the U.S. international climate finance pledge at the UN General Assembly in September, including the largest U.S. commitment ever made to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide. 
     
  • The U.S. announced our first-ever contribution to the Adaptation Fund which at COP26 received $356 million in new support from contributing national and regional governments. President Biden announced the launch of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), a whole-of-government initiative that will serve as the cornerstone of the U.S. Government response to addressing the increasing impacts of the global climate crises in order to enhance global stability. 
     
  • Twenty-five countries, including the United States, and five financial institutions pledged to end new international finance for unabated fossil fuel energy by the end of 2022, except in limited and clearly defined circumstances that are consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit, reorienting tens of billions of dollars of public finance and trillions of private finance towards low carbon priorities. 
     
  • Over $20 billion of new public and philanthropic finance has been committed to support developing countries to transition away from coal.  
     
  • Countries representing 90% of global forest cover pledged to reduce deforestation to zero by 2030, backed by the biggest ever commitment of public funds for forest conservation and a global roadmap to make 75% of forest commodity supply chains sustainable. Twelve countries signed the Global Forest Finance Pledge: a target of $12 billion to combat deforestation. The United States released the Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks, a first-of-its-kind, whole-of-government effort to preserve global ecosystems which serve as vital carbon sinks. 
     
  • The United States launched the First Movers Coalition with more than 25 Founding Members including some of the largest companies in the world, across a wide range of industries, with hundreds of billions of dollars in purchasing power. The buyers’ clubs assembled by this initiative will create early market demand for innovations across eight “need-to-abate” sectors—steel, trucking, shipping, aviation, aluminum, concrete, chemicals, and direct air capture—which represent more than one-third of the world’s carbon emissions today, and is expected to grow in the coming decades. 
     
  • China joined the United States, the world’s two biggest economies and emitters, in committing in a new Joint Declaration to collaborate on increased ambition to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius warming within reach, and China for the first time committed to develop a plan to address methane emissions and accelerate its coal phase-down. 
     
  • The United States, UK, EU, France, and Germany announced a partnership with South Africa to chart a course from coal to clean energy through the creation of new jobs and opportunities for South African coal communities. This partnership will seek to prevent up to 1-1.5 gigatons of emissions over the next 20 years in support of South Africa’s accelerated transition to a low emission, climate resilient economy, and aims to mobilize $8.5 billion for the first phase of financing, through various mechanisms including grants, concessional loans, investments, risk sharing, and other instruments for private sector mobilization. This partnership comes as the United States continues to redouble efforts to invest in our nation’s energy communities, including delivering the largest investment in American history to tackle legacy pollution while creating thousands of new good paying jobs as part of the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.
     

The United States and the United Arab Emirates launched the Agricultural Innovation Mission alongside more than 30 countries and more than 45 non-government partners to increase and accelerate agricultural and food systems innovation in support of climate action. The initiative has already garnered an $4 billion in increased investment in climate smart agriculture and food systems innovation, with the United States planning to mobilize $1 billion over five years. 

Biden: Infrastructure Deal Will Strengthen Nation’s Resilience, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Help Battle Climate Crisis

Solar array at farm in the Finger Lakes of New York. The Bipartisan infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will help strengthen the nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand access to clean drinking water and build up a clean power grid © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet provided by the White House spells out how the bipartisan infrastructure package just passed will arm the government in battling the climate crisis:

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will strengthen our nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding access to clean drinking water, building up a clean power grid, and more.

Here’s more: 

President Biden has made combatting the climate crisis a central priority of his Administration, including throughout his legislative agenda. Climate change is already impacting almost every aspect of life in the United States. Extreme heat waves, catastrophic wildfires, and severe drought are taking American lives and livelihoods. In the last year alone, extreme weather has cost America more than $100 billion – often hitting historically underserved groups the hardest, particularly low-income communities, communities of color, and people with disabilities. In just the last few months, nearly 1 in 3 Americans have been hit by a severe weather disaster and 2 in 3 Americans have suffered through dangerous heat waves. Delayed action on climate also sets us back in the global race on manufacturing and innovation, preventing us from harnessing the economic opportunity that this moment represents.
 
As President Biden emphasized at COP26 in Glasgow, climate change poses an existential threat to people, economies, and countries across the world – and it requires swift and bold action to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience. President Biden has been clear: the climate crisis is a blinking code red for our nation. We must take decisive action to tackle the climate crisis in a way that strengthens our nation’s resilience, cuts consumer costs, and ensures the U.S. can compete and win in the race for the 21st century. This moment demands urgent investments the American people want and our nation needs – investments that will bolster America’s competitiveness, resilience, and economy all while creating good-paying jobs, saving people money, and building an equitable clean energy economy of the future. 
 
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will strengthen our nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding access to clean drinking water, building up a clean power grid, and more. When coupled with the Build Back Better Framework, these historic investments will help reduce our emissions by well over one gigaton this decade – ensuring we meet President Biden’s commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels in 2030, create a 100% carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. Together, these once-in-a-generation investments will unlock the full potential of a clean energy economy that combats climate change, advances environmental justice, and creates good-paying, union jobs.
 
President Biden promised to work across the aisle and unify the country to deliver results for working families. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a critical step towards reaching President Biden’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, and is paired with the Build Back Better Framework to realize his full vision to grow our economy, lower consumer costs, create jobs, reduce climate pollution, and ensure more Americans can participate fully and equally in our economy.

BIPARTISIAN INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL
 
Public Transit
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal makes the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak – helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repairing, upgrading, and modernizing the nation’s transit infrastructure. The deal will invest $66 billion to provide healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding transit and rail networks across the country. It will replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles. And, it will benefit communities of color who are twice as likely to take public transportation and often lack sufficient public transit options. In addition, it will help transit workers who are disproportionally workers of color.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States. The deal is also a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. The deal will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop – and funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.

Clean School Buses
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, to help school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America’s children. The deal invests in zero- and low-emission school buses, in addition to more than $5 billion in funding for public transit agencies to adopt low- and no-emissions buses. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, creating jobs and supporting domestic manufacturing, while also removing diesel buses from some of our most vulnerable communities. In addition, they will help the more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers who breathe polluted air on their rides to and from school. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems that hurt our communities and cause students to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities.

Modern Infrastructure
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.

Resilience
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history. Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The deal makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks, with an investment of over $50 billion to protect against droughts, heat, and floods – in addition to a major investment in the weatherization of American homes.

Clean Drinking Water
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will expand access to clean drinking water to all American families, eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and help to clean up the dangerous chemical PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl). Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack access to safe drinking water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water for households, businesses, schools, and child care centers all across the country. From rural towns to struggling cities, the deal will invest in water infrastructure and eliminate lead service pipes, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.

Legacy Pollution
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal delivers the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history by cleaning up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaiming abandoned mines, and capping orphaned oil and gas wells. In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. Millions of Americans also live within a mile of the tens of thousands of abandoned mines and oil and gas wells – a large, continuing course of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is a major cause of climate change. The bill will invest $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land, and cap orphaned oil and gas wells. These projects will remediate environmental harms, address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities, create good-paying, union jobs, and advance long overdue environmental justice This investment will benefit communities of color like the 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans who live within three miles of a Superfund site – a higher percentage than for Americans overall.
 
Clean Energy Transmission
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s more than $65 billion investment is the largest investment in clean energy transmission and the electric grid in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It also invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen.

COP26: Biden, Global Leaders Commit to Addressing Climate Crisis Through Infrastructure Development

At COP26, Biden and global leaders agreed that climate-smart infrastructure development should play an important role in boosting economic recovery and sustainable job creation. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Building on the June 2021 commitment of G7 Leaders to launch a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership to meet global infrastructure development needs, U.S. President Biden and European Commission President von der Leyen hosted a discussion on the margins of COP26 with UK Prime Minister Johnson, Barbadian Prime Minister Mottley, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, Colombian President Duque, Ecuadorian President Lasso, Democratic Republic of the Congo President Tshisekedi, Indian Prime Minister Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, and Nigerian President Buhari on how infrastructure initiatives must simultaneously advance prosperity and combat the climate crisis, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. 

Global leaders discussed how the Build Back Better World, Global Gateway and Clean Green Initiatives will jumpstart investment, sharpen focus, and mobilize resources to meet critical infrastructure needs to support economic growth, while ensuring that this infrastructure is clean, resilient, and consistent with a net-zero future.  President Lasso, Prime Minister Modi, President Buhari, and President Duque shared their perspectives on the challenges their countries have previously faced with infrastructure development and principles they would like to see from future infrastructure initiatives.  UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney and World Bank Group President David Malpassspoke on the imperative of mobilizing investment from the private sector, international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, including through country platforms, to achieve these goals. 

***

President Biden, President von der Leyen, and Prime Minister Johnson endorsed five key principles for infrastructure development:

1.Infrastructure should be climate resilient and developed through a climate lens.

We commit to build resilient, low- and zero-carbon infrastructure systems that are aligned with the pathways towards net-zero emissions by 2050, which are needed to keep the goal of limiting global average temperature change to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. Further, we commit to viewing all projects carried out through infrastructure development partnerships through the lens of climate change.

2.Strong and inclusive partnerships between host countries, developed country support, and the private sector are critical to developing sustainable infrastructure.

Infrastructure designed, financed, and constructed in partnership with those whom it benefits will last longer, be more inclusive, and generate greater and more sustainable development impacts. We will consult with stakeholders—including representatives of civil society, governments, NGOs, and the private sector to better understand their priorities and development needs.

3.Infrastructure should be financed, constructed, developed, operated, and maintained in accordance with high standards.

We resolve to uphold high standards for infrastructure investments, promoting the implementation of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investments as the baseline. Environmental, Social and Governance standards help safeguard against graft and other forms of corruption; mitigate against climate risks and risks of ecosystem degradation; promote skills transfer and preserve labor protections; avoid unsustainable costs for taxpayers; and, crucially, promote long-term economic and social benefits for partner countries.

4.A new paradigm of climate finance—spanning both public and private sources—is required to mobilize the trillions needed to meet net-zero by 2050 and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

The world must mobilize and align the trillions of dollars in capital over the next three decades to meet net-zero by 2050, the majority of which will be needed in developing and emerging economies. Mobilizing capital at this scale requires a collaborative effort from all of us, including governments, the private sector, and development finance institutions, as well as better mechanisms to match finance and technical assistance with country projects, including through country partnerships.

5.Climate-smart infrastructure development should play an important role in boosting economic recovery and sustainable job creation.

Infrastructure investment should also drive job creation and support inclusive economic recovery. We believe our collective efforts to combat the climate crisis can present the greatest economic opportunity of our time: the opportunity to build the industries of the future through equitable, inclusive, and sustainable economic development worldwide.

***
President Biden, European Commission President von der Leyen, and Prime Minister Johnson called on countries around the world to make similar commitments and take action to spur a global transformation towards reliable, climate-smart infrastructure.

Top 10 Programs in Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act That You May Not Have Heard About

Wildfires continue to plague the West. Some 4.5 million homes are at risk of wildfire. The bipartisan infrastructure bill invests $8 billion in wildfire risk reduction by providing funding for community wildfire defense grants, mechanical thinning, controlled burns, the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program, and firefighting resources. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House provided this fact sheet of “Top 10 Programs” in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

  1. Weatherization: Two-thirds of low-income U.S. households have high energy burdens, meaning they spend more than 6 percent of their income on utility bills. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest a historic $3.5 billion in the Weatherization Assistance Program, reducing energy costs for more than 700,000 low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring health and safety and creating jobs.
     
  2. Wildfires: One estimate found that 4.5 million homes in the United States are at risk of wildfire. The bill invests $8 billion in wildfire risk reduction by providing funding for community wildfire defense grants, mechanical thinning, controlled burns, the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program, and firefighting resources.
     
  3. Floods: The cost of flood damage was approximately $17 billion annually in the last decade, and is expected to increase significantly due climate-related extreme weather and rising sea levels. The bill invests $12 billion in flood mitigation, including funding for FEMA flood mitigation grants, making infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improving mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.
     
  4. Brownfields and superfund: 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The deal invests $5 billion in addressing legacy pollution at these sites, creating good-paying union jobs and advancing economic and environmental justice.
     
  5. Natural gas wells and coal mines: In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites, including orphan wells and abandoned land mines, are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. The deal invests $16 billion in creating good-paying union jobs capping these wells and mines.
     
  6. Pipeline safety: More than 20,000 miles of cast iron pipelines—much of which was installed in the 1800’s and early 1900’s—transports natural gas underneath communities in the U.S. This infrastructure, which is prone to leaks and fugitive methane emissions, is mostly located in disadvantaged areas including older cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, New York, and St. Louis.  Since 2010, the U.S. has experienced thousands of pipeline incidents, resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths, tens of thousands of evacuations, and more than $4 billion in damages. The bill includes $1 billion for the “Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant Program” to modernize natural gas distribution pipelines, reducing incidents and fatalities, and avoiding economic losses.
     
  7. Battery manufacturing: Today, the U.S. relies heavily on importing advanced battery components from abroad, exposing the nation to supply chain vulnerabilities that threaten to disrupt the availability and cost of these technologies, as well as the workforce that manufactures them. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $6B to spur U.S. advanced battery processing, manufacturing, and recycling, creating good-paying jobs and enabling American manufacturers to win the 21st century.  
     
  8. Safe Streets: Over 36,000 Americans died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019, including over 6,200 pedestrians and about 850 bicyclists. The United States has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the industrialized world, double the rate in Canada and quadruple that in Europe. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes $5 billion for a first-of-its kind “Safe Streets for All” program to fund state and local “vision zero” plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for the most vulnerable of roadways users.
     
  9. Transit station ADA program: More than 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, nearly 1,000 transit stations are still not fully accessible, which prevents millions of older Americans and individuals with disabilities from fully enjoying public transit. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes a total of $2 billion for transit ADA, including $1.75 billion for All Stations Accessibility and $250 million for Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. These programs will remove barriers to transportation service and expand transportation mobility options for Americans across the country.
     
  10. Cybersecurity: The recent cybersecurity breaches of federal government data systems, critical infrastructure, and American businesses underscore the importance and urgency of strengthening U.S. cybersecurity capabilities. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest about $2 billion to modernize and secure federal, state, and local IT and networks; protect critical infrastructure and utilities; and support public or private entities as they respond to and recover from significant cyberattacks and breaches.

NYS Gov Hochul Surveys Superstorm Damage, Joins 9 Other Governors to Demand Congress Take ‘Impactful Climate Actions’

Governor Kathy Hochul comes Great Neck LIRR station to show support for Great Neck and Nassau County after devastating tropical storm Ida wreaked havoc, flooding buildings and streets, and causing Long Island Railroad to shut down. Here with State Senator Anna Kaplan, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Great Neck Plaza Mayor Ted Rosen, Village of Great Neck Deputy Mayor Barton Sobel, executives of the MTA and LIRR and transport workers union. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Governor Kathy Hochul: “One thing I want to make clear: we’re not treating this as if it’s not going to happen again for 500 years. What we saw, the record rainfall that precipitated, the situation out here in Great Neck as well as what we’ve seen all the way from here to Suffolk to the five boroughs to Rockland to Putnam to Westchester, it was an unbelievable amount of rainfall in an incredibly short amount out of time.”

Hochul: “We know how to build resiliency. … Many of our coastal areas are in a far better place to be able to handle the wind and wave action. … But what we’re not prepared for and what I’m not satisfied with, what’s happening on our streets at the higher elevations. … The raging flood waters cannot be contained by the existing storm sewers and drainage systems, and then the flood starts going into our subway system. That’s what happened here. It happened all over Long Island. It happened in New York City and our surrounding counties. That’s what we have to address.”

Thank you for joining us as we continue our survey of storm effects and also now the cleanup and what I was just witnessing moments ago was an extraordinary effort by the incredible team literally a few feet away who worked through this morning and through the night to try and restore service here on Long Island and Nassau County and here in the Great Neck Station.

“The Port Washington Line has been disrupted considerably and they are working tirelessly to restore the tracks so they are safe once again and they anticipate in the next few hours they’ll be able to make some announcements on that timing so that’s something I just saw, but I want to thank the incredible leaders who are with me here today…

“What we saw last night was nothing short of unprecedented. I cannot imagine a community having gone through this before. In fact we were told it was a 500-year event. I’m not sure how they know that; I’m not sure who was here 500 years ago to tell us that but that is the scale we’re talking about.

“One thing I want to make clear: we’re not treating this as if it’s not going to happen again for 500 years. What we saw, the record rainfall that precipitated, the situation out here in Great Neck as well as what we’ve seen all the way from here to Suffolk to the five boroughs to Rockland to Putnam to Westchester, it was an unbelievable amount of rainfall in an incredibly short amount out of time.

“We’re talking about literally from 8:50 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. last night, a record shattering rainfall, at LaGuardia, JFK, at Central Park. Records are broken, but what is fascinating is that the records that they broke were literally set a week before. That’s what we’re dealing with now, my friends, so when we talk about how is this happening, people have been warning for decades that the effect of climate change and what it would do to our communities – it’s happening right now. It is not a future threat. It is a current situation and it is the status quo.

“We know how to build resiliency. We saw that particular here on Long Island after Superstorm Sandy. Many of our coastal areas are in a far better place to be able to handle the wind and wave action. I just was down last week in anticipating the onslaught of Hurricane Henri. I was on the beaches and I saw what we had done to build up.”

Just a day earlier, as Hurricane Ida barreled through the south up toward the Northeast, Governor Hochul joined 8 other governors to Congressional Leadership urging passage of impactful climate actions.

GOVERNOR HOCHUL, 9 OTHER GOVERNORS ISSUE LETTER TO CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP URGING PASSAGE OF IMPACTFUL CLIMATE ACTIONS

Letter Urges Congress to Prioritize Key Elements of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda that Protect the Climate

Governors Request that 40 Percent of Benefits of Climate and Clean Infrastructure Investments Are Directed to Disadvantaged Communities

Governor Kathy Hochul and nine other Governors today issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer urging the passage of both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and a bold reconciliation bill that meets the urgency of the moment and tackles the climate crisis. The Governors urge Congress to prioritize key elements of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda that will have the most impact in protecting the climate, including programs that support a carbon free grid, the electrification of the transportation system, and investments in climate resilience. The Governors also request that 40 percent of the benefits of the climate and clean infrastructure investments included in these legislative packages are directed to disadvantaged communities.

Here is the full text of the letter:

September 1, 2021 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer: 

As Governors from across the country, we strongly support your joint efforts to pass landmark legislation that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, improve public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis. 

Climate change is intensifying the wildfires that burn in the West, hurricanes that threaten the East, and extreme heat that endangers people and animals throughout the country. Now is the time for bold climate action. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report details what we already know – the window for preventing irreversible climate consequences is closing and we need to act quickly and comprehensively. 

As we approach the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 26) in November, it is imperative that the United States demonstrates that America is ready to lead and solve the climate crisis. President Biden has committed America to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. America’s ability to meet this goal rests on how we respond to climate change today. 

President Biden proposed the Build Back Better Agenda to rebuild America in a just and equitable way and ensure America’s economy flourishes in the 21st century. It is vital for Congress to adopt both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and a bold and comprehensive reconciliation bill to achieve the goals of the Build Back Better Agenda. Each of the elements of the Build Back Better Agenda are worthy of inclusion in an infrastructure package, but as Governors of states on the front line of the climate crisis, we place particular emphasis that the combined package includes the most impactful actions to protect our climate: 

  • Carbon Free Grid: A Clean Electricity Performance Program, expansion of tax credits for clean energy generation and storage, and funding for new and upgraded electricity transmission. 
  • Transportation Electrification: Tax credits for manufacturing of zeroemission vehicles; incentives for consumers, especially low-income consumers, to purchase zero-emission vehicles; funding for zero-emission infrastructure; and elimination of statutory obstacles to charging on federal rights of way. 
  • Methane Emissions Reduction: Funding to plug orphan wells and adoption of a methane polluter fee for the venting or burning of excess methane. 
  • Climate-Smart Agriculture: Investment in climate-smart agricultural and forest management programs for farmers and rural communities. 
  • Climate Resilience: Investment in protections for communities and transportation infrastructure from the impacts of climate change, as well as robust funding for a new Civilian Climate Corps. 
  • Clean Building Incentives: New consumer rebates for home electrification and weatherization. 
  • Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator: Establish an accelerator to mobilize private investment into distributed energy resources; retrofits of residential, commercial, and municipal buildings; and clean transportation.

We also respectfully request that any infrastructure package ensure 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments are directed to disadvantaged communities and invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy. We are excited to build back better with both of you and are committed to taking action to advance this crucial agenda. 

Sincerely,

Governor Kathy Hochul, New York

Governor Gavin Newsom, California 

Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut

Governor David Ige, Hawaii 

Governor Janet Mills, Maine

Governor Steve Sisolak, Nevada 

Governor Kate Brown, Oregon
Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania 

Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island

Governor Jay Inslee, Washington