Category Archives: Climate Change

FACT SHEET: President Biden Marks Earth Day 2024 with Historic Climate Action

On Earth Day, President Biden is  traveling to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA, a national park system site developed by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, to announce $7 billion in awards through EPA’s Solar for All program and unveil major steps to advance the American Climate Corps. This Fact Sheet outlining President Biden’s historic climate actions was provided by the White House :

Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons are among the 41 million acres of public lands which President Joe Biden has protected, including lands sacred to Tribal peoples, and has set a target of protecting 30 percent of land by 2030. On Earth Day, the Biden Administration announced a rule requires the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres of public land, that conservation and recreation —of natural habitat, cultural resources, recreation areas—be on equal footing with resource extraction in granting licenses © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

When President Biden took office, he pledged to restore America’s climate leadership at home and abroad. On his first day in office, the President signed the United States back into the Paris Agreement. And each day since, the Biden-Harris Administration has continued to lead and deliver on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, including securing the largest ever climate investment and unleashing a clean energy manufacturing boom that has attracted hundreds of billions in private sector investment and created over 270,000 new clean energy jobs. The President’s agenda is also advancing environmental justice and ensuring that the benefits of climate investments reach overburdened communities, mobilizing the next generation of clean energy workers through the American Climate Corps, and delivering historic investments in our nation’s climate resilience. At the same time, the Administration is protecting America’s natural wonders, conserving more than 41 million acres of lands and waters.  

Building on his climate, clean energy, and environmental justice agenda, President Biden will travel today to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, to celebrate Earth Day 2024, and highlight his Administration’s unprecedented progress in tackling the climate crisis, cutting costs for everyday Americans, and creating good-paying jobs.

Expanding Access to Affordable Solar Energy

The President will announce $7 billion in grants through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All grant competition, a key component of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Selectees under the Solar for All program will serve every state and territory in the nation and deliver residential solar power to over 900,000 households in low-income and disadvantaged communities, saving overburdened households more than $350 million in electricity costs annually – approximately $400 per household – and avoiding more than 30 million metric tons of carbon pollution over the next 25 years.

The selectees will provide funds to states, territories, Tribes, municipalities, and nonprofits across the country to develop long-lasting solar programs that enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy and benefit from distributed residential solar. In total, solar projects funded by this program will create nearly 200,000 jobs. The program also advances the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.   

Mobilizing the Next Generation of Climate Leaders through the American Climate Corps

Joined by future members of President Biden’s American Climate Corps, including current AmeriCorps members, President Biden will also announce several new actions to stand up the American Climate Corps – a groundbreaking initiative modeled after FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps that will put more than 20,000 young Americans to work fighting the impacts of climate change today while gaining the skills they need to join the growing clean energy and climate-resilience workforce of tomorrow. The President will announce these actions at Prince William Forest Park, a national park system site developed by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps and stewarded by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.

Nearly a century after FDR established the Civilian Conservation Corps, President Biden will announce today that Americans can now apply to join the American Climate Corps through a newly launched website, ClimateCorps.gov. The website will feature nearly 2,000 positions located across 36 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. These positions are hosted by hundreds of organizations advancing clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience. The website, which is launching in its beta form, will be regularly updated with new American Climate Corps positions. Its goal is to make it easy for any American to find work tackling the climate crisis while gaining the skills necessary for the clean energy and climate resilience workforce of the future. The first class of the American Climate Corps will be deployed to communities across the country in June 2024.

The Biden-Harris Administration is also announcing a new partnership with the North America’s Building Trades Unions’ nonprofit partner TradesFutures. Beginning this summer, every American Climate Corps member will have access to TradesFutures’ industry leading apprenticeship readiness curriculum during their term of service in the American Climate Corps, providing members with the opportunity to be trained in the foundational skills necessary for careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy and putting them on a pathway to good paying, union jobs.

Many American Climate Corps members will also have access to a streamlined pathway into federal service after a recent update to modernize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Pathways Programs. The update will expand applicant eligibility for the Recent Graduates program to include individuals who have completed qualifying career or technical education service within designated American Climate Corps programs.

Today, three states – Vermont, New Mexico, and Illinois – are launching new state-based climate corps programs, building on 10 states that have already launched successful climate corps programs, demonstrating the power of skills-based training as a tool to expand pathways into good-paying jobs. These states will work with the American Climate Corps as implementing partners to ensure young people across the country are serving their communities, while participating in paid opportunities and working on projects to tackle climate change.

Additionally, beginning as a collaboration between the Department of the Interior, the Energy Communities Interagency Working Group, and AmeriCorps VISTA, a new interagency public private partnership – Energy Communities AmeriCorps – will place American Climate Corps members in priority energy communities across the country. The program will help support community-led projects, including environmental remediation, in the places that have powered our nation for generations.

Conserving America’s Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

These announcements come on the heels of a series of major conservation actions by the Biden-Harris Administration. Just last week, the Department of the Interior published a final rule to maximize protections of significant surface resources such as irreplaceable wildlife habitat for caribou and migratory birds on more than 13 million acres in the western Arctic while supporting subsistence uses and needs of Alaska Native communities. This action brings the number of acres of America’s lands and waters conserved under President Biden to 41 million. Additionally, the Interior Department released a final environmental analysis last week recommending denial of a right of way for the Ambler Road project; the proposed road, which would cross more than 200 miles of pristine lands, would have significant impacts on caribou and other subsistence resources upon which more than 60 Alaska Native communities rely.

In addition to these landmark conservation announcements in Alaska, the Interior Department released a rule to help guide the balanced management of all 245 million acres of America’s public lands that are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. The rule will help to ensure the BLM continues to protect land health while managing other uses of public lands, such as clean energy development and outdoor recreation.

Throughout Earth Week, the Biden-Harris Administration will announce additional actions to build a stronger, healthier future for all: Tuesday will focus on helping ensure clean water for all communities; Wednesday will focus on accelerating America’s clean transportation future; Thursday will focus on steps to cut pollution from the power sector while strengthening America’s electricity grid; and Friday will focus on providing cleaner air and healthier schools for all children.

Biden-Harris Administration’s Top Climate Accomplishments

Deploying Clean, Affordable Electricity and Strengthening America’s Power Grid – 
President Biden has secured unprecedented investments in a clean power sector, unleashing a boom in American solar, wind, battery storage, and other clean energy technologies that are creating good-paying jobs and saving families money on utility bills. Through the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, U.S. solar generation is projected to increase up to eight-fold and wind generation is projected to triple by 2030. President Biden has jumpstarted the U.S. offshore wind industry, with 10 gigawatts of commercial-scale projects now approved, enough to power nearly four million homes, including two projects that are already delivering power to the grid and others with construction underway. The President’s Investing in America agenda is also supporting transmission buildout and other power grid upgrades, deployment of distributed energy resources in disadvantaged communities, investments in clean electricity across rural America, and American manufacturing of clean energy technologies – all in pursuit of the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Through the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan, the U.S. Government is leading by example and has already signed agreements to provide federal facilities in 18 states with 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030.

And thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, clean energy project developers get access to expanded tax incentives if they pay workers prevailing wages and employ registered apprentices, helping make more clean energy jobs good-paying and union jobs.

Bolstering Climate Resilience and Adaptation – President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building communities that are not only resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis, but also safer, more equitable, and economically stronger. To support this vision, the President secured more than $50 billion for climate resilience and adaptation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act and released the first ever National Climate Resilience Framework. The President’s investments are upgrading aging roads and bridges, including critical evacuation routes, providing tax credits for families to weatherize their homes, restoring critical waterways, forests, and urban greenspaces, supporting resilient and climate-smart agriculture, bolstering water infrastructure and drought resilience across the American West, protecting federal assets from future flood riskmodernizing our electric grid, and funding research to develop the latest energy-storage technologies here in America.

Accelerating a Clean Transportation Future – President Biden is taking a whole-of-government approach to position the U.S. as a global leader in innovative and sustainable transportation.  The Administration’s National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization is a landmark strategy for cutting all greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. transportation sector by 2050. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act invest tens of billions to decarbonize shippingtruckingtransitrail, and aviation, all while making communities more walkablebikeable, and connected. And through the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan, the federal government has ordered over 58,000 zero-emission vehicles and has begun installing more than 25,000 charging ports, adding to the 8,000 already in use across the government.

In addition, the President rallied automakers and autoworkers around a historic goal of having electric vehicles (EVs) account for at least 50% of new passenger vehicles sold by 2030. To support this goal while driving down consumer costs, the Administration secured tax credits that reduce the cost of new or used clean vehicles by thousands of dollars directly at the dealership and is investing $7.5 billion into building out a national EV charging network. Since President Biden took office, EV sales have quadrupled, prices have come down by more than 20%, the number of charging stations has grown by over 80% – putting us on track to deploy 500,000 chargers by 2026 – and the U.S. auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. Driven by Biden-Harris Administration policies, the sector is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance with more than $160 billion of investments in EVs, batteries, and their supply chains. And just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the strongest-ever vehicle emission standards for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles.

Cutting Energy Costs and Pollution at Homes, Schools, and in Communities – Reducing building emissions through efficiency improvements and electrification lowers energy bills for families, improves resiliency, and creates good-paying jobs. The President has created new programs to save American families on their energy bills through the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Rebates, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, and Treasury’s Home Energy Tax Credits. The Biden-Harris Administration is also strengthening energy efficiency standards to save households and businesses money, with standards updated by DOE for dozens of appliances expected to provide nearly $1 trillion in consumer savings over 30 years, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 billion metric tons – equivalent to the emissions of 18 million gas-powered cars over 30 years. By invoking emergency authority, the President is expanding domestic heat pump manufacturing, which will cut the costs of heat pumps. To ensure that the 10 million new homes that will be built by 2030 are efficient and resilient, President Biden’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes is accelerating adoption of modern building codes that protect people from extreme-weather events and help contribute to avoiding an estimated $1.6 billion a year in damages.

Revitalizing American Manufacturing for the Clean Economy – President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has helped catalyze historic manufacturing growth, with factories opening across the nation. To date, the private sector has announced nearly $700 billion in investments in manufacturing and clean energy. The President’s agenda is helping to make U.S. manufacturing the cleanest and most competitive in the world. The Inflation Reduction Act is investing more than $6 billion to slash climate pollution and support worker and community health at U.S. factories producing the steel, aluminum, cement, and other materials that form the backbone of our economy. To further support U.S. industrial competitiveness, the Biden Administration’s landmark Buy Clean initiative is leveraging the government’s sway as the largest purchaser on Earth to spur demand for low-emissions manufacturing and construction products.

Repowering EnergyCommunities – The Biden-Harris Administration is deploying programs to build capacity and spur economic development in the communities that powered our nation for generations, such as the clean manufacturing investments in the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) Program and DOE’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grants Program, in addition to ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative and EDA’s Assistance to Energy Transition Communities. In addition, new bonus tax credits in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act are incentivizing clean energy companies to expand access to good-paying jobs in energy communities across the nation.

Advancing Environmental Justice –  Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized a whole-of-government approach to environmental justice. The President signed a historic Executive Order that calls on the federal government to bring clean energy and healthy environments to all and mitigate harm to those who have suffered from pollution and environmental burdens like climate change. Through the Justice40 Initiative, over 500 programs across 19 federal agencies are being reimagined and transformed to maximize the benefits of President Biden’s unprecedented investments – from clean energy projects to floodwater protections to wastewater infrastructure – to communities that need them most. At the same time, the Administration is taking unprecedented action to protect communities from PFAS pollutionaccelerate Superfund and brownfield cleanupstighten standards for hazardous air pollutants, and enhance air quality enforcement.

Delivering Clean Water and Replacing Lead Pipes – President Biden and Vice President Harris are fighting to ensure a future where every American has access to clean, safe water. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests over $50 billion in upgrading the nation’s water infrastructure – the largest investment in clean water in American history. This funding is going towards expanding access to clean drinking water, replacing lead pipes, improving wastewater and sanitation infrastructure, and removing PFAS pollution in waterPresident Biden has also made a historic commitment to replace every toxic lead pipe in the country within a decade, protecting families from lead poisoning that can irreversibly harm brain development in children. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued proposed improvements to the Lead and Copper Rule that would require water systems to rapidly replace lead service lines.

Conserving our Lands and Waters –The Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to conserve and restore America’s lands and waters, including signing an Executive Order to set the first-ever national conservation goal to conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 through the America the Beautiful Initiative. Last week the Administration launched Conservation.gov and the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a new website and data portal that will help connect people with information, tools, resources, and opportunities to support land and water conservation projects in communities across the country. The Administration has already protected more than 41 million acres of lands and waters, and President Biden is on track to conserve more lands and waters than any President in history. This includes establishing five new national monuments and restoring protections for three more; creating four new national wildlife refuges and expanding five more; protecting the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, the nation’s most visited wilderness area; safeguarding Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska; and withdrawing Chaco Canyon in New Mexico and Thompson Divide in Colorado from further oil and gas leasing to protect thousands of sacred sites and pristine lands.

To conserve and steward old growth forests, USDA announced a proposal to amend 128 forest land management plans to conserve and steward old-growth forest conditions on national forests and grasslands nationwide. This builds upon the Biden-Harris Administration’s protection of Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. The Administration is also taking continued action to protect and conserve our nation’s rivers and watersheds for the people and communities that depend on them, protecting the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River Basin in the face of an ongoing megadrought, and beyond. This includes taking historic action to restore healthy and abundant wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin, part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented commitment to honor the United States’ obligations to Tribal Nations.

Investing in Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry – President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is supporting America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, who play a critical role in addressing the climate crisis through the deployment of climate-smart practices and systems. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA has supported 80,000 farms in implementing climate-smart practices on over 75 million acres. In Fiscal Year 2023, USDA made record investments in private lands conservation, totaling nearly $3 billion in financial assistance to producers.  Leveraging both climate impact and economic opportunities, the Administration is creating new market opportunities through the groundbreaking Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities and efforts that are part of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Grand Challenge.

Rallying Leaders of the World’s Largest Economies to Raise Global Climate Ambition –President Biden has restored America’s climate leadership at home and abroad. Under his leadership, the Administration is securing commitments from more than 155 countries to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030; successfully galvanizing other countries at COP28 to commit, for the first time, to transition away from unabated fossil fuels, stop building new unabated coal capacity globally, and triple renewable energy globally by 2030 and nuclear energy by 2050; launching a new Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative to work with international partners to diversify supply chains that are critical to a clean and secure energy transition; mobilizing other governments to follow the U.S. lead and commit to achieve net-zero government emissions by 2050 through a new Net-Zero Government Initiative; and becoming a world leader in innovative debt-for-nature swaps that have helped countries restructure over $2 billion in debt and unlock hundreds of millions of new financing for nature and climate.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Historic $20 Billion in Awards to Expand Access to Clean Energy and Climate Solutions and Lower Energy Costs

First-of-its-kind national network to fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across America, especially in communities historically left behind and overburdened by pollution

Climate United Fund’s program will focus on investing in harder-to-reach market segments like consumers, small businesses, small farms, community facilities, and schools—with at least 60% of its investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities, 20% in rural communities, and 10% in Tribal communities. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com


Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced s $20 billion in awards to stand up a national financing network that will fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

This investment is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a first-of-its-kind and national-scale $27 billion program funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to combat the climate crisis by catalyzing public and private capital for projects that slash harmful climate pollution, improve air quality, lower energy costs, and create good-paying jobs. This program will ensure communities across the country have access to the capital they need to participate in and benefit from a cleaner, more sustainable economy.
 
Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan were joined by Governor Roy Cooper, Mayor Vi Lyles, and Congresswoman Alma Adams in Charlotte, North Carolina to announce the selections under these two grant competitions.
 
This historic investment will support a wide range of climate and clean energy projects, including distributed clean power generation and storage, net-zero retrofits of homes and small businesses, and zero-emission transportation, all of which can lower energy costs for families and improve housing affordability while tackling the climate crisis. Collectively, the selected applicants have committed to reducing or avoiding up to 40 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually over the next seven years, contributing toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic climate goals. In addition, selectees plan to mobilize almost $7 of private capital for every $1 of federal fundsapproximately $150 billion total—ensuring that today’s awards will have a catalytic, ongoing effect on the deployment of climate and clean energy technologies at scale, particularly in underserved communities.
 
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits from certain federal climate, clean energy, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. At least 70% of the funds announced today—over $14 billion of capital—will be invested in low-income and disadvantaged communities, including historic energy communities that have powered our nation for over a century, communities with environmental justice concerns, communities of color, low-income communities, rural communities, Tribal communities, and more. This makes the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund the single largest non-tax investment within the Inflation Reduction Act to build a clean energy economy while benefiting communities historically left behind.
 
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are already attempting to roll back these historic investments. Last month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1023, which would repeal the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. On March 19, President Biden issued a Statement of Administration Policy with his intent to veto that bill if it were to pass the Senate and come to his desk.
 
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Selectees
 
The $20 billion in awards announced today will be deployed through eight selected applicants across two separate and complementary programs under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund—the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA). Together, the two programs will create a first-of-its-kind national network of mission-driven, community-led financial institutions that will finance climate and clean energy projects across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
 
Under the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF), selected applicants will partner with the private sector, community organizations, and others to provide accessible, affordable financing for new clean technology projects nationwide. While EPA required that at least 40 percent of NCIF funds flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities, each selected applicant significantly surpassed that requirement. Therefore, almost 60 percent of NCIF funds will flow to the communities that need it most. The three NCIF selectees are:
 

  • Climate United Fund ($6.97 billion award), a nonprofit formed by Calvert Impact to partner with two U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Self-Help Ventures Fund and Community Preservation Corporation. Together, these three nonprofit financial institutions bring a decades-long track record of successfully raising and deploying $30 billion in capital with a focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities. Climate United Fund’s program will focus on investing in harder-to-reach market segments like consumers, small businesses, small farms, community facilities, and schools—with at least 60% of its investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities, 20% in rural communities, and 10% in Tribal communities.
     
  • Coalition for Green Capital ($5 billion award), a nonprofit with almost 15 years of experience helping establish and work with dozens of state, local, and nonprofit green banks that have already catalyzed $20 billion into qualified projects—and that have a pipeline of $30 billion of demand for green bank capital that could be coupled with more than twice that in private investment. The Coalition for Green Capital’s program will have particular emphasis on public-private investing and will leverage the existing and growing national network of green banks as a key distribution channel for investment—with at least 50% of investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Power Forward Communities ($2 billion award), a nonprofit coalition formed by five of the country’s most trusted housing, climate, and community investment groups that is dedicated to decarbonizing and transforming American housing to save homeowners and renters money, reinvest in communities, and tackle the climate crisis. The coalition members—Enterprise Community Partners, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), Rewiring America, Habitat for Humanity, and United Way—will draw on their decades of experience, which includes deploying over $100 billion in community-based initiatives and investments, to build and lead a national financing program providing customized and affordable solutions for single-family and multi-family housing owners and developers—with at least 75% of investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

 
Through the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA), selected applicants will establish hubs that provide funding and technical assistance to community lenders working to finance clean technology projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities—leading to near-term deployment of climate and clean energy projects while building the capacity of community lenders to finance projects at scale for years to come. 100 percent of CCIA funds will flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities. The five selectees of the CCIA are:

  • Opportunity Finance Network ($2.29 billion award), a ~40-year-old nonprofit CDFI Intermediary that provides capital and capacity building for a national network of 400+ community lenders—predominantly U.S. Treasury-certified CDFI Loan Funds—which collectively hold $42 billion in assets and serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories.
     
  • Inclusiv ($1.87 billion award), a ~50-year-old nonprofit CDFI Intermediary that provides capital and capacity building for a national network of 900+ mission-driven, regulated credit unions—which include CDFIs and financial cooperativas in Puerto Rico—that collectively manage $330 billion in assets and serve 23 million individuals across the country.
     
  • Native CDFI Network ($400 million award), a nonprofit that serves as national voice and advocate for the 60+ U.S. Treasury-certified Native CDFIs, which have a presence in 27 states across rural reservation communities as well as urban communities and have a mission to address capital access challenges in Native communities.
     
  • Justice Climate Fund ($940 million award), a purpose-built nonprofit supported by an existing ecosystem of coalition members, a national network of more than 1,200 community lenders, and ImpactAssets—an experienced nonprofit with $3 billion under management—to provide responsible, clean energy-focused capital and capacity building to community lenders across the country.
     
  • Appalachian Community Capital ($500 million award), a nonprofit CDFI with a decade of experience working with community lenders in Appalachian communities, which is launching the Green Bank for Rural America to deliver clean capital and capacity building assistance to hundreds of community lenders working in coal, energy, underserved rural, and Tribal communities across the United States.

 
Expanding Access to Clean Energy
 
Today’s historic Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund announcement builds on a range of innovative tools and programs in President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that aim to empower the communities that can benefit most from new investments to take an active role in building the clean energy economy. These programs leverage a range of approaches to make it easier and more affordable for states, cities, Tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses of all sizes to build, own, and benefit from cost-saving clean energy projects, invest in energy efficiency improvements, expand access to clean transportation, and participate fully in decisions that affect underserved communities and populations.
 
For example:

  • In March, the Treasury Department finalized rules for direct pay—a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that enables, for the first time, tax-exempt entities like states, cities, Tribes, counties, territories, nonprofit organizations, public schools, hospitals, rural electric co-operatives, and more to access clean energy tax credits and fully participate in building and owning new clean energy projects. For example:
     
  • To meet its goal of 100% carbon free operations by 2030, the City of Madison, Wisconsin is planning to access $13 million via direct pay to support transitioning their municipal fleet to low and no-carbon vehicles, as well as for solar and geothermal energy projects.
     
  • The City of San Antonio, Texas is taking advantage of direct pay to build and own the largest municipal onsite solar project in Texas. This $30 million project will install roof top, parking, and park canopy solar photovoltaic systems at 42 city facilities to lower their energy costs and energy consumption and make progress toward their goal of achieving net-zero energy for all municipal buildings by 2040.
     
  • The Inflation Reduction Act’s transferability provision allows businesses to transfer all or a portion of certain clean energy tax credits to a third-party in exchange for cash, so that small businesses, start-ups, and other entities without sufficient tax liability may still take advantage of the credits. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already registered more than 45,000 new projects seeking to benefit from this new tool, which is lowering financing costs for clean energy projects and helping accelerate the buildout of the clean energy economy.
     
  • The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program created by the Inflation Reduction Act promotes cost-saving clean energy investments in low-income communities, on Tribal lands, as part of affordable housing developments, and that benefit low-income households by providing a 10 to 20 percentage point bonus credit for up to 1.8 GW of small clean energy projects per year. In the first year of the program, the administration received more than 46,000 applications for allocations, signaling robust market demand to build projects serving low-income communities. The second year of the program will open for applications later this spring.
     
  • In March, the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) offered its first conditional commitment through the Tribal Energy Financing Program, which was expanded and provided new loan authority by the Inflation Reduction Act to support tribal entities in building out energy infrastructure. LPO announced up to $72.8 million for a partial loan guarantee to finance the development of a solar-plus long-duration energy storage microgrid on the Tribal lands of the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians near Alpine, California. 
     
  • Last week, LPO offered its first conditional commitment through the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program under Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Section 1706, first authorized and appropriated by the Inflation Reduction Act, to finance projects that retool, repower, repurpose, or replace energy infrastructure that has ceased operations or enable operating energy infrastructure to reduce pollution. These projects direct new investment in historical energy communities that have powered our nation for over a century. Last week’s offer of a conditional commitment of up to $1.52 billion for a loan guarantee to Holtec Palisades will finance the restoration and resumption of service of an 800-MW electric nuclear generating station in Covert Township, Michigan that closed in May 2022 and upgrade it to produce baseload clean power for decades to come. 
     
  • Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Secretary Todman traveled to Chicago to announce that the Department has now awarded more than half of the nearly $1 billion provided through the Inflation Reduction Act to make homes more energy-efficient, comfortable, and climate resilient for low-income Americans. The Green and Resilient Retrofit Program makes grants and loans to finance energy and climate renovations in HUD-assisted multifamily housing for low-income individuals, families, and seniors.
     
  • Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested more than $1.8 billion through their Rural Energy for America Program, which provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to adopt clean energy and save money. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act invests more than $2 billion to expand this program, and USDA just announced the latest tranche of over $120 million in awards for projects in 44 states last week.
     
  • In December 2023, EPA announced 11 grant makers to receive $600 million from the Inflation Reduction Act through the Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program to offer subgrants for environmental justice projects to local community-based organizations around the country. This new program is designed to make it easier for small community-based organizations to access federal environmental justice funding and responds to feedback about the need to reduce barriers to federal funds and improve the efficiency of the awards process to benefit underserved communities. 
     

In November 2023, EPA announced approximately $2 billion in funding available to support community-driven projects that deploy clean energy, strengthen climate resilience, and build capacity for communities to tackle environmental and climate justice challenges. The Community Change Grants Program is the single largest investment in environmental justice going directly to communities in history, and will advance collaborative efforts to achieve a healthier, safer, and more prosperous future for all. 

Environmentalists Endorse Tom Suozzi in Feb. 13 Special Election for Congress NY-03 Citing Record, Policies

Tom Suozzi, seeking to return to Congress representing NY-03, receives endorsements from leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, and New York League of Conservation Voters © Karen Rubin/news-photo-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features, [email protected]

Glen Cove, NY – Former US Congressman Tom Suozzi today held a press conference to highlight his lifelong commitment to preserving and protecting our environment and lay out his plan to continue to do so when he returns to Congress after the February 13th special election.

At the press conference, held at a very cold and windy Sea Cliff Municipal Beach, Suozzi received enthusiastic and wholehearted endorsements from the New York League of Conservation Voters, the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) Action Fund, and the Sierra Club Long Island Group.

“I am grateful to the New York League of Conservation Voters Federal Fund, the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the NRDC Action Fund, and the Sierra Club Long Island Group for recognizing my three-decades-long commitment to preserve, protect, and clean our air, land, and water,” Suozzi said. “Just a few days ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, and on that day, I saw an eagle fly across the sky in my hometown of Glen Cove. The hard work of a lot of dedicated people can produce results!”

Tom Suozzi, running to return to Congress representing NY-03 in the Feb. 13 special election, reminds voters of his 30-year record on the environment, and his policies going forward © Karen Rubin/news-photo-features.com

When asked about the environment as a campaign issue, Suozzi emphasized his 30-year public service record of cleaning up pollution, dramatically reducing nitrogen, modernizing sewage treatment plants, remediating groundwater, and restoring shell fishing in our local waters.

“I’ve been a champion of the environment for my entire career. My opponent, on the other hand, parrots the talking points of the Conservative Party, which rejects the Paris Climate Change Agreement, denying that climate change is even real,” Suozzi stated. “Well, I know the people that live in this district very well, and they care about the environment. They want to make sure that we clean up pollution and that we protect our air, protect our land, and protect our water.”

“My whole adult life I have worked for these issues. I know how politics works, how government works….I know how to make government work for people, so they see real impact in their lives,” Suozzi said, flanked by a battalion of enthusiastic supporters despite the frigid wind.

“Our environment is a big part of my 10-point plan,” Suozzi said, citing his 10-point plan released in mid-December. “My opponent just put out a 10-point plan, which looks very similar to my 10-point plan, and there is nothing on it about the environment whatsoever.”

Tom Suozzi, seeking to return to Congress representing NY-03, receives endorsements from leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, and New York League of Conservation Voters © Karen Rubin/news-photo-features.com

Joining Suozzi and speaking at the press conference were Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters; Al Fredericks, Chair of the Political Committee of the Sierra Club’s Long Island Group; Kevin Curtis, Executive Director of the NRDC Action Fund; Danielle Fugazy Scagliola, member Glen Cove City Council; and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Nassau County Legislator and Minority Leader.

“It’s not partisan to want clean air, clean water,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “We are feeling the effect of climate change – the hottest year on the planet since records were kept. Leadership matters. …We’ve had a 30-year relationship with Suozzi…He fights tooth and nail for policies that all have real impact on the environment.”

Al Fredericks, Chair of the Political Committee of the Sierra Club’s Long Island Group , noted that Suozzi was one of the chief negotiators of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act that dramatically increased funding for Long Island Sound and remediating Grumman. He cast a critical vote to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest federal investment in the environment and climate action.

“His Republican opponent cannot match his knowledge or experience in issues that most concern District 3. She is a newcomer with a single two-year term as Nassau County Legislator. We cannot afford to gamble once again on an inexperienced candidate.”

Kevin Curtis, Executive Director of the NRDC Action Fund said that his committee unanimously voted to endorse Suozzi. “The Congressman is the real deal – he does the hard work on the environment.”

Minority Leader in Nassau County Legislature Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, who has served with Suozzi’s Republican opponent the past two years, noted that this coastal peninsula was one of the largest superfund sites in the nation, but Suozzi fought for and won funding to clean it up. “There are places all over the nation needing funding –the only way to bring money home is if you have someone fighting for it. His opponent has said she is ‘not a talker’. We need someone who understands the process, how the system works and is not just a talker, but can argue, fight for his local area.”

While Suozzi has regularly held press conferences and is out meeting people and taking questions, his Republican opponent has kept away and is refusing to debate.  

“The voters need to know where she stands on the environment and every other issue. She refuses to tell us anything in detail, and she refuses to debate,” Suozzi asserted. “I give detailed policy descriptions and have a record of getting things done.”

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FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Leverages Historic US Climate Leadership at Home and Abroad to Urge Countries to Accelerate Global Climate Action at COP28

In this fact sheet, the White House detailed how the Biden-Harris Administration leverages historic U.S. climate leadership at home and abroad – which is why it is so dangerous for those climate activists who threaten to withhold voting to reelect Biden unless he “ends fossil fuels” Trump (and every Republican) pledges to “drill baby, drill” and reverse every climate action the Biden Administration has taken:. This fact sheet is a reminder to those frustrated activists of what Biden, despite Republican obstacles, has accomplished, and what a second-term might produce. –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Wind turbine on New York State farm. “The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time,” President Biden stated at the conclusion of COP 28. “But as America has always done, we will turn crisis into opportunity – creating clean energy jobs, revitalizing communities, and improving quality of life. It is our collective responsibility to build a safer, more hopeful future for our children. We can’t be complacent. We must keep going, and we will.”
© Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

At the conclusion of COP28, President Biden stated, “Today, at COP28, world leaders reached another historic milestone – committing, for the first time, to transition away from the fossil fuels that jeopardize our planet and our people, agreeing to triple renewable energy globally by 2030, and more. While there is still substantial work ahead of us to keep the 1.5 degree C goal within reach, today’s outcome puts us one significant step closer.  
 
“But we didn’t just arrive at this inflection point. Vulnerable countries have called on major economies to take urgent action. And in every corner of the world, young people are making their voices heard, demanding action from those in power. They remind us that a better, more equitable world is within our grasp. We will not let them down.
 
“The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time. But as America has always done, we will turn crisis into opportunity – creating clean energy jobs, revitalizing communities, and improving quality of life. It is our collective responsibility to build a safer, more hopeful future for our children. We can’t be complacent. We must keep going, and we will.”

Since day one, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the entire Biden-Harris Administration have treated climate change as the existential threat of our time. After spearheading the most significant climate action in history at home and leading efforts to tackle the climate crisis abroad, the United States heads into the 28th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with unprecedented momentum. At COP28, the Biden-Harris Administration will urge other major economies to accelerate climate action in this decisive decade and will announce new initiatives to galvanize global efforts to keep a resilient, 1.5°C future within reach.

In her remarks at COP28, the Vice President announced a series of initiatives outlined below, including a $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund as the United States works with international partners to mobilize finance at the pace and scale required.

President Biden’s ambitious domestic climate action offers countries gathering at COP28 a proven model for how bold action to tackle the climate crisis and end dependence on fossil fuels can unlock a new era of clean and inclusive economic growth, investment, good-paying jobs, energy security, and savings for families and business. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and other executive actions, the United States is in a strong position to achieve our 1.5°C-aligned emissions target under the Paris Agreement. Implementation of these two laws alone is expected to cut U.S. emissions as much as 41% below 2005 levels in 2030 – roughly 80% of the way towards achieving the 50-52% reduction outlined in our nationally determined contribution (NDC). At the same time, the Biden Administration is pursuing additional federal actions to bring us to the full 50-52% reduction levels, including measures like the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for vehicles, power plants, and methane emissions – which complement increased action from state and local governments and the private sector.

President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda has also unleashed a clean manufacturing boom – stimulating over $350 billion in announced private investment in clean energy manufacturing since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration and creating over 210,000 clean energy jobs in just the last 15 months, with an additional 1.5 million jobs projected to be created over the next decade. Through robust incentives, the United States will not only accelerate our own clean energy transition, but also catalyze investments in other countries and drop the cost of clean energy for everyone – saving hundreds of billions of dollars globally. Over the next seven years, according to analysis from the Department of Energy (DOE), twice as much U.S. wind, solar, and battery deployment is expected than would have been without the IRA.

At the same time, the Biden-Harris Administration is pursuing bold executive action to accelerate our progress toward the full 50-52% reduction levels in 2030. Today, at COP28, Assistant to President Biden and U.S. National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi and EPA Administrator Michael Regan, announced EPA’s final standards to sharply reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations, which will achieve a nearly 80% reduction below future methane emissions expected without the rule. This final rule is expected to prevent the equivalent of 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide – nearly as much as all the carbon dioxide emitted by the power sector in 2021. In 2030 alone, the expected reductions are equivalent to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of 28 million gasoline cars. This builds on more than 100 additional actions that U.S. federal agencies have taken this year to dramatically reduce methane emissions under the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan, including plugging wells and leaks in the oil and gas sector, reclaiming abandoned coal mines, reducing food waste and agricultural emissions, investing in cleaner buildings and industrial processes, and launching innovative technologies to detect and halt large methane emissions. These actions, which further deliver on the Global Methane Pledge, will cut consumer costs, protect workers and communities, maintain and create high quality, union-friendly jobs, and promote U.S. innovation and manufacturing of critical new technologies.

US Delivering on Commitment

At COP28, the Biden-Harris Administration demonstrated how it is delivering on its commitment for the United States to lead the global response to combatting the climate crisis. Initiatives that the Biden-Harris Administration are announcing at COP28 include:

• Powering Forward with Ambitious Domestic Climate Action – by advancing the most ambitious climate agenda in American history, demonstrating that investing in climate action is good for the economy at home and abroad. At COP28, federal agencies will announce a series of new, historic actions across every sector of the economy, including energy supply, transportation, and buildings – all while advancing environmental justice and promoting climate resilient communities.

• Bolstering Global Climate Resilience – by scaling up U.S. support for vulnerable developing countries, reaching $2.3 billion in FY 2022 to support the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE); expanding access to cutting-edge climate information, early-warning, and satellite data through PREPARE Climate Information Services; announcing $50 million for the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils multi-donor funding platform to support climate-resilient food systems, subject to the availability of funds; and marshalling over $2 billion from 15 additional companies in response to the PREPARE Call to Action.

• Responding to the Impacts of Climate Change in the Most Climate-Vulnerable Countries and Communities – including announcing its intent to work with Congress to put $17.5 million toward a new fund for climate impact response; $4.5 million to support community-based measures through the Pacific Resilience Facility; and providing $2.5 million to the Santiago Network to catalyze technical assistance for vulnerable countries.

• Accelerating Global Climate Action to Keep the 1.5°C Goal Within Reach – including by launching a new Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative and announcing up to $568 million in catalytic financing available to support these and related efforts; working with partners to unveil over $1 billion in new grant funding through the Methane Finance Sprint; mobilizing $9 billion through the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate; co-leading coalitions of countries to triple renewable energy and nuclear energy capacity globally; and launching the Resilient Ghana and DRC New Climate Economy country packages for forests with government, philanthropic, and private sector partners.

• Mobilizing Finance from All Sources – including putting the United States on course to scale up our international public climate finance to over $9.5 billion in FY 2023 – on track to meet President Biden’s pledge to work with Congress to scale up our support to over $11 billion per year by 2024; playing our part to help meet the collective goal of mobilizing $100 billion in climate finance per year; announcing a $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF); and delivering better, bigger, and more effective multilateral development banks (MDBs).

• Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Leadership in Tackling the Climate Crisis – including galvanizing over $1.4 billion in investments from the U.S. government and partners through the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative.

BOLSTERING GLOBAL CLIMATE RESILIENCE

The Administration is announcing new efforts to accelerate the implementation of President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which aims to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change this decade. Through these efforts, the United States has provided over $2.3 billion in adaptation finance in FY 2022, putting the United States on track to achieve President Biden’s pledge of working with Congress to increase U.S. international public adaptation finance to $3 billion by FY 2024 to help implement PREPARE. This includes the following additional efforts across PREPARE, subject to Congressional notification, the availability of funds, and the completion of domestic procedures:

• Expanding Access to Cutting-Edge Climate Information and Satellite Data through PREPARE Climate Information Services. The United States has invested billions to develop world-leading weather and climate-related information and service capabilities – from launching leading-edge satellites, amassing relevant observational data from a global network of sensors, and developing advanced modelling technology. Under PREPARE Climate Information Services, the United States is leveraging these investments and sharing cutting-edge capabilities to support vulnerable developing countries in understanding, anticipating, and preparing for climate impacts. At COP28 the United States is:

Announcing $6 million for the Weather-Ready Pacific Program. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support Pacific countries as they develop and build multi-hazard early warning systems.

Enhancing Forecasting and Preparedness. NOAA and USAID will work with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands to deploy storm surge sensors to improve public storm surge forecasts and warnings. USAID and NOAA are also working with the World Meteorological Organization, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in 20 African nations, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to establish and advance early warning systems on floods, droughts, cyclones and heatwaves.

o Enhancing Capabilities to Reduce Disaster Risk and Support Disaster Response and Recovery around the World. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Disaster Response Coordination System will leverage cutting-edge NASA science and technology to provide actionable information to those who need it most around the world.

• Promoting Long-Term, Climate-Resilient Food Security:

Announcing $50 million for the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) Multi-Donor Fund, pending Congressional appropriations, to support for climate-resilient, nutritious crops and building healthy soils that will foster more resilient food systems, and build on the $100 million United States commitment announced towards VACs in July.

• Mobilizing Private Capital, Innovation, and Engagement in Adaptation and Resilience:

Marshalling over $2 billion in New Investments through the PREPARE Call to Action to the Private Sector. This initiative invites businesses to make new, significant commitments to building climate resilience in partner countries. This initiative has more than doubled from its 10 founding companies to a total of 25 companies including Aon, Arup, Blue Marble, Boston Consulting Group, Danone, Howden Group, IBM, Jupiter Intelligence, McCormick, Milliman, Miyamoto International, Pula, Synoptic Data, Tomorrow.io, and Xylem. The founding companies of the PREPARE Call to Action are Google, Gro Intelligence, Marsh McLennan, Mastercard, Meta, Microsoft, Pegasus Capital Advisors, PepsiCo., SAP, and WTW.

HELPING THE MOST VULNERABLE RESPOND TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE:

The United States is helping vulnerable countries respond to climate impacts. These efforts include (1) helping vulnerable developing countries recover and reconstruct after extreme climate-related events, (2) supporting vulnerable developing countries in their efforts to increase fiscal space, including through the expanded application of climate-resilient debt clauses, debt-for-nature restructurings, and parametric insurance; and (3) working with partners on policy matters related to sea-level rise. To build on this track record, at COP28 the United States is:

• Announcing $17.5 million for the fund for climate impact response, subject to Congressional notification, to help address critical gaps in the existing financing landscape. The fund will help particularly vulnerable developing countries, for example, in responding to slow onset events, such as with measures to support SIDS with planned relocation and the preservation of cultural heritage in the face of sea-level rise. The fund will also help the most vulnerable respond to extreme events, like storms and floods, by complementing existing support for reconstruction and recovery provided by the MDBs.

• Providing $4.5 million to the Pacific Resilience Facility, subject to Congressional notification. The Pacific Resilience Facility, a Pacific-owned and Pacific-led initiative, will provide small grants to finance community-based adaptation and responses to the impacts of climate change.

• Announcing $2.5 million for the Santiago Network. The Santiago Network will catalyze technical assistance of relevant organizations, networks, and experts to assist the most vulnerable developing countries in responding to climate impacts.

ACCELERATING GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION TO KEEP THE 1.5°C GOAL WITHIN REACH.

In April 2023, President Biden convened leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) to galvanize efforts in key areas that the latest science identified as critical to keeping the goal of limiting average warming to 1.5°C within reach. At COP28, the United States announced progress in each of these key areas, including:

• Launching a New Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative. According to the International Energy Agency, the world must invest $1.24 trillion in clean energy technology supply chain capacity between now and 2030 to be on track to achieve net zero energy by 2050. To help meet this challenge, the United States announced a new Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative (CESC Collaborative) aimed at expanding and diversifying clean energy supply chains that are critical to the clean energy transition. The Collaborative will enable like-minded countries to advance policies, incentives, standards, and investments to create high-quality, secure, and diversified clean energy supply chains across seven critical technologies: wind, solar, batteries, electrolyzers, heat pumps, direct air capture, and sustainable aviation fuels. Participating countries will work together to optimize the economic opportunities the clean energy transition provides, strengthen key stages of global clean technology supply chains where challenges related to lack of capacity are most acute, and further reduce the cost of clean energy technologies. To jump-start clean energy supply chain investment in developing countries, the United States announced up to $568 million in new concessional lending available from the U.S. Department of Treasury through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to support eligible projects in CTF-eligible countries.

• Reducing methane and other non-CO2 GHGs, including through over $1 billion in new grant funding under the Methane Finance Sprint. Reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to lower global temperature rise in the near term. Limiting warming to 1.5 °C will require reductions in global methane emissions of at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, as called for by the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) which was launched by the United States and European Union at COP26. To accelerate these efforts, at COP28, the United States, People’s Republic of China, and UAE convened leaders for a Summit on Methane and Other Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases. At the Summit, the United States and UAE called on Parties to the Paris Agreement to submit 2035 NDCs that are economy-wide and cover all greenhouse gases. Countries and partners also showcased new steps to cut methane in support of the GMP, which has now been endorsed by 155 countries. Governments, philanthropies, and the private sector unveiled over $1 billion dollars in new catalytic grant funding for methane reduction since COP27. This funding is more than five times the $200 million goal set by President Biden in April 2023. The Summit also featured $965 million in funding to replenish the Montreal Multilateral Fund and support Kigali Amendment implementation and energy efficiency.

• Unveiling new announcements under the Green Shipping Challenge. Following the successful launch of the Green Shipping Challenge at COP27 by United States and Norway, countries, ports, and companies announced over 60 new and updated actions to accelerate the decarbonization of the shipping sector. These include more than $1.6 billion in new public-private funding for maritime decarbonization, accelerated progress in over 15 green shipping corridors, including over $120 million to support their development, at least 65 new orders for zero-emission vessels, and the expansion of the United States Green Shipping Corridor Initiation Project.

• Decarbonizing Energy by Scaling Technologies Critical to Achieving the 1.5°C Goal:

Scaling global renewables and energy efficiency. The United States, EU and UAE co-led a coalition of countries committed to pursuing a global tripling of renewable energy and a doubling of energy efficiency by 2030, in line with efforts to ensure a 1.5°C-aligned power sector, including ending new unabated coal capacity globally. In the lead-up to COP28, the United States and the People’s Republic of China committed to accelerate substitution of unabated coal and other fossil power generation by scaling up renewables sufficiently to anticipate meaningful post-peaking absolute power sector emissions reduction in the 2020s.

Leading Efforts to Accelerate Nuclear Energy Capacity. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and IEA analysis shows that nuclear energy plays a key role in achieving global net zero goals. At COP28, the United States announced new initiatives to:

  •  Triple Nuclear Energy Capacity Globally by 2050 – The United States co-led a coalition of over 20 countries from four continents that launched a Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy from 2020 levels by 2050 globally and invited shareholders of international financial institutions to encourage the inclusion of nuclear energy in energy lending policies.
  •  Jump Start Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Deployments Around the World – In response to the significant global interest in deploying U.S. SMR nuclear energy systems to support critical climate and energy security goals, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) and U.S. Department of State are outlining EXIM’s suite of financial tools to support SMR deployments and help U.S. exporters remain competitive.
  • Advancing a Secure Nuclear Fuel Supply Chain – Building on our pledge announced in April 2023 at the G7 meeting in Sapporo, Japan, the United States, Canada, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom will work to mobilize at least $4.2 billion in government-led investments to enhance their collective enrichment and conversion capacity over the next three years. These investments will catalyze private sector finance to build out safe, secure, and reliable global nuclear energy supply chains.

o Launching a U.S. Fusion Energy International Partnership Strategy. This strategy will support the timely development, demonstration, and deployment of commercial fusion energy in strategic areas like research and development and harmonization of regulatory frameworks.

Delivering on Hydrogen. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is scaling up hydrogen technologies to support the global transition to clean energy, including by ramping up investments in research, development, and demonstration to pursue the Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1/kg by 2031. It is also working to strengthening international collaboration on standards and certification.

Launching International Energy Earthshots Partnerships. DOE is now taking its signature Energy Earthshots Initiative global by collaborating with Canada on long duration storage, India on hydrogen, and other countries to tackle climate change through innovation, creating good jobs, and driving down energy costs.

o Expanding the Carbon Management Challenge. The Challenge recognizes the urgency of deploying, at scale, carbon capture, utilization and storage and carbon dioxide removal as key to keep the goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius goal within reach – in addition to the utmost efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Members of the Challenge, co-sponsored by Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, advance a global goal of expanding carbon management projects to reach gigaton scale annually by 2030. New countries include Iceland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Netherlands, and Romania.

Expediting the global transition to clean energy through Net Zero World (NZW). The U.S. Department of Energy is working with Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand, and Ukraine to formulate national net-zero policies and roadmaps and, in only two years, has worked on implementation of 23 decarbonization actions across the energy sector, mobilizing $10 billion in investments.

o Expanding the Net-Zero Government Initiative (NZGI). Building on the Initiative’s successful launch at COP27, more than 15 NZGI member countries have developed net zero roadmaps in conjunction with COP28, and 10 new countries will announce they are joining the Initiative for a total of nearly 30 NZGI countries. The NZGI aims to leverage the catalytic role of national governments in accelerating the achievement of countries’ climate targets. Participating countries commit to achieving net-zero emissions from national government operations by no later than 2050 and developing a roadmap with interim targets for getting there.

Decarbonizing energy sectors through Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP). The United States, and other International Partners Group countries, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Africa celebrated the launch of critical investment mobilization and policy implementation plans to accelerate clean energy transitions and achieve ambitious JETP climate targets.

• Partnering with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Mobilize $9 billion in New Investments for Climate-Smart Food Systems, Research, Development, and Innovation. Launched at COP26 by the United States and the UAE, the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate and its growing network of over 600 partners, including 55 countries, is announcing a more than doubling of investments by its partners, from $8 billion announced at COP27 to over $17 billion at COP28, which includes $1.5 billion in previously announced funding from the United States. USAID, through Feed the Future, will invest $100 million, subject to the availability of funds, over the next two years in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). USAID has already surpassed its initial five-year commitment of $215 million to the CGIAR under AIM for Climate. This funding compliments commitments made at COP28 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UAE for investments in the CGIAR.

• Leading global efforts to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. The United States co-chaired the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership, driving greater ambition and action with 32 countries, including launching the Resilient Ghana and New Climate Economy country packages. The United States, alongside the United Kingdom, secured new commitments from ADM and Cargill to halt nature loss, and partnered with the Governor of Para to stop deforestation from cattle.

MOBILIZING FINANCE FROM ALL SOURCES.

From day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has been committed to boosting international climate finance. This includes scaling-up our own bilateral finance, fully leveraging multilateral financial institutions, and mobilizing private investment. These efforts are also in direct support of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. These efforts include:

• Putting U.S. International Climate Finance on Track to Exceed $9.5 Billion in FY 2023. Since taking office, President Biden has dramatically increased U.S. international climate finance from $1.5 billion in FY 2021 to $5.8 billion in FY 2022 and is on track to exceed $9.5 billion in FY 2023. These increases put the United States on track to meet President Biden’s pledge to work with Congress to scale up U.S. international public climate finance to over $11 billion annually by 2024. These increases were also critical to the OECD’s recent expression of confidence that contributors have likely already achieved the collective $100 billion climate finance goal in 2022.

• Fully Leveraging International Financial Institutions:

Delivering Better, Bigger, and More Effective Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). Working with partners, the United States has championed a major effort to better equip the MDBs to address today’s increasingly complex global challenges like climate as part of their effort to fight poverty. The United States is rallying partners to boost World Bank Group concessional financing capacity towards these efforts, building on the President’s request to Congress to unlock $27 billion to support these efforts.

Announcing a $3 Billion Pledge to the Second Replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), subject to the availability of funds. In the context of this pledge, and building on its year as co-chair of the GCF Board, the United States will champion an ambitious GCF evolution agenda to help ensure that all U.S. funds provided to the GCF have maximum impact for U.S. taxpayers with respect to the climate and diplomacy. Elements of the evolution agenda include improved access to climate finance for SIDS, LDCs, and African states; exploring how to better leverage the GCF’s balance sheet, including through an improved private-sector financing platform; continued improvements in unlocking private capital; and streamlining the accreditation process for public and private sector entities.

• Pioneering Innovative Tools and Approaches to Leverage Private Finance:

o Becoming a Global Leader in Innovative Debt-for-Nature Swaps. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has further strengthened its standing as a global leader in debt restructurings for nature with nearly $2 billion in commitments generating funding for marine protection, terrestrial conservation, biodiversity, climate resilience, and sustainable livelihoods in Belize, Ecuador, and Gabon. In addition, deals executed by Treasury, State and USAID under the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act have unlocked over $380 million in new financing over the life of the program.

Announcing that DFC and the Government of India intend to invest up to $1 billion in the India Green Transition Fund. This private credit fund will target market-based returns, provide climate impact benefits, and accelerate the development of clean energy transition projects in India through investments in solar, energy storage, and e-mobility. The fund, and all projects in which it invests, will adhere to DFC’s environmental and social policies and procedures, as well as international environmental and social standards, including the IFC Performance Standards. DFC and the India Green Transition Fund are in late-stage discussions regarding indicative terms.

Advancing the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA). At COP28, the U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Rockefeller Foundation will partner with other countries and leading companies to present the core framework of the ETA, an innovative carbon finance platform that will catalyze private capital to speed the transition from fossil-based to clean power in developing and emerging economies. Several countries will announce they are joining the ETA as pilot countries or express interest in participating. Several major companies will sign a letter of interest welcoming the ETA as an opportunity to support large-scale power sector transformation while accelerating progress towards their ambitious climate goals.

Mobilizing up to $20 billion in New Private Investment through the Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative (CACCI) Partnership for Climate Action (PCA). USAID will identify promising mitigation and adaptation investments that help countries meet their climate commitments and strengthen their resilience in the face of climate change. CACCI is a key piece of USAID’s response to the COP28 Global Stocktake. At COP28, USAID will announce memoranda of understanding with two private sector partners: BG Titan and Genesis Energy Group. These companies are pivoting their business towards climate investments and, with USAID’s guidance, they will aim to responsibly leverage up to $10 billion each in private sector investment over the next five years to support renewable energy projects, green housing and infrastructure, and climate-resilient agriculture in developing countries.

Mobilizing over $1.4 billion through Innovative Blended Finance Approaches. Through the Blended Finance for the Energy Transition (BFET) program, the U.S. State Department, in partnership with USAID’s Climate Finance for Development Accelerator, will help mobilize over $1.4 billion of capital to accelerate the energy transition in emerging markets. With co-funding from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries, and engagement from DFC, BFET competitively awarded funding to two private sector-led blended finance investment funds.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Investor Leadership Network (ILN) intend to sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement aimed at mobilizing climate finance from ILN’s global coalition of institutional investors, which manages over $10 trillion in assets. Under the Strategic Partnership, USTDA will support project preparation assistance in emerging economies for priority clean energy and critical minerals projects that are designed to catalyze institutional investment for climate-aligned financing.

Delivering Progress under MCC and USAID’s Climate Finance +. MCC and USAID launched Climate Finance + at COP27 as a collaborative approach to strategically use public finance to unlock billions in private investments for green and climate-friendly infrastructure. Under this program, MCC has provided $10 million in financing estimated to catalyze up to $200 million in climate-related investments in industrial zones in Morocco. In Indonesia, MCC will build on USAID investments to catalyze financing to develop and de-risk transactions that expand public transit, promote transition to electric vehicles, and build more efficient transport networks. And to facilitate greater access to MCC Compacts, USAID is supporting the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility to improve the terms of African Sovereign Eurobonds issuances and catalyze Sustainable Development Goal-related investments in clean energy infrastructure in Africa.

Supporting the Launch of the Green Guarantee Company (GGC). The GGC is the first privately run guarantee company devoted to green bonds and loans in developing countries, focusing on Africa, Asia and Latin America. The United States – through USAID, State Department and Prosper Africa – alongside the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the GCF and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, contributed to GGC’s initial balance sheet of $100 million. GGC will use this catalytic seed funding to mobilize $1 billion in new, mainstream private capital for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.

ADVANCING WOMEN AND GIRL’S LEADERSHIP IN TACKLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS

In the 21st century, no economy can get ahead if half of its population is left behind. In our rapidly modernizing global economy, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring women are prepared for, and part of, the industries of the future. At COP28, the Administration announced:

• $1.4 Billion in Investments through the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, Including $449 Million in Additional Aligned U.S. CommitmentsWISE, which the Vice President first launched at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit in November, aims to bolster women’s economic participation at home and around the world by expanding access to employment, training, leadership roles, and financial resources in green and blue industries that are critical to the future of our planet, including clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation. At COP28, the U.S. will announce an additional $449 million in aligned U.S. commitments to the initiative, for a total of $612 million in direct and aligned U.S. commitments under WISE. This includes new programs like Global Girls Creating Change (G2C2), which aims to introduce 900 girls and young women in at least 29 countries to professional opportunities in the sustainable economy through training, skills development, and mentoring, with focused efforts in Brazil, Indonesia, Nepal, and Uganda. New partner commitments announced at COP include: the Rockefeller Foundation will commit to advance gender equity amid climate change, including through a $25 million commitment to the Co-Impact Gender Fund and five-year climate strategy which will, among other objectives, help advance women’s leadership and access to climate finance in green sectors; The UPS Foundation will commit $3 million to the Climate Gender Equity Fund to foster a greener world and create economic opportunities for women, augmenting The UPS Foundation’s ongoing efforts through the Women Exporters Program and UPS’s Green Exporters Program; and the African Development Bank will commit to leverage up to 3 million through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative to facilitate women’s access to finance in sectors such as sustainability, climate mitigation, and clean energy.

NYS Announces Nation’s Biggest Investment in Renewable Energy: 3 Offshore Wind, 22 Land-Based Renewable Projects to Power 2.6M Homes

Long Islanders have been protesting, pleading, rallying for offshore windpower for years. Here, rallying outside Long Island Power Authority’s offices in May, 2016. Governor Kathy Hochul has just announced the largest state investment in renewable energy in US history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The conditional awards include three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed.  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Three Offshore Wind and 22 Land-Based Renewable Energy Projects Totaling 6.4 Gigawatts Will Power 2.6 Million New York Homes and Deliver 12 Percent of New York’s Electricity Needs in 2030  

Projects Expected to Create Approximately 8,300 Family-Sustaining Jobs and Bring $20 Billion in Economic Development Investments Statewide, Including Developer-Committed Investments to Support Disadvantaged Communities 

Advances the Nation’s First Offshore Wind Blade and Nacelle Manufacturing Facilities with the State Committing $300 Million and Attracting an Additional $668 Million in Private Funding

Supports Progress Toward New York’s Climate Act Goal to Obtain 70 Percent of the State’s Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2030 

79 Percent of New York’s 2030 Electricity Needs to be Met with Renewable Energy

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The conditional awards include three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed. When coupled with two marquee offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities, this portfolio of newly announced projects is expected to create approximately 8,300 family-sustaining jobs and spur $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities.

The announcement supports progress toward New York’s goal for 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 – and nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 – on the path to a zero-emission grid as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Following these awards, New York will now have enough operating, contracted, and under development renewable energy projects to supply 79 percent of the state’s 2030 electricity needs with renewable energy.

“New York continues to set the pace for our nation’s transition to clean energy,” Governor Hochul said. “An investment of this magnitude is about more than just fighting climate change – we’re creating good-paying union jobs, improving the reliability of our electric grid, and generating significant benefits in disadvantaged communities. Today, we are taking action to keep New York’s climate goals within reach, demonstrating to the nation how to recalibrate in the wake of global economic challenges while driving us toward a greener and more prosperous future for generations to come.”  

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “The Department of Energy applauds the significant step that this announcement represents for building an offshore wind energy industry here in the U.S. that revitalizes domestic manufacturing and coastal economies, while advancing our clean energy future. New York is showing President Biden’s Investing in America agenda at work, and DOE looks forward to continued collaboration on project deployment, development of a robust domestic supply chain along with transmission development to help realize both our state and federal offshore wind goals.”

Once in service, the awarded offshore wind and land-based renewable energy projects will: 

  • Produce approximately 19 million megawatt-hours of new renewable energy per year, enough to power more than 2.6 million New York homes. 
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9.4 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2 million cars off the road every year. 
  • Provide public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of missed school or work, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.
  • Deliver a host of benefits to disadvantaged communities in line with the Climate Act goals, with over $3.5 billion in commitments to disadvantaged communities made by developers.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “This latest and largest round of large-scale renewable energy awards is further proof that New York is, and will continue to be, a place where the renewable energy sector can thrive. This cohort of large-scale renewable energy projects reflect New York’s longstanding and ongoing priority to responsibly advance the most cost-competitive and economically viable clean energy projects in a manner that is timely and maximizes benefits for all New Yorkers.” 

Today’s announcement represents the first set of actions taken by the State as part of New York’s 10-point Action Plan, announced recently by Governor Hochul, offering insight into how the Governor’s Administration plans to overcome recent macroeconomic and inflationary challenges that have impacted the renewable energy sector. Today’s awards also mark the commencement of contract negotiations with the awarded parties, and the awards are conditional on successful contract execution. 

Demonstrating the State’s commitment to ensuring these projects create quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers, the contracts upon full execution will include commitments to purchase certain minimum amounts of U.S. iron and steel and prevailing wage provisions for all laborers, workers, and mechanics performing construction activities. In addition, offshore wind project developers will be required to negotiate Project Labor Agreements among their construction contractors and a building and construction trade labor organization representing craft workers for the construction of the new renewable energy generation resources. 

The Nation’s Largest-Ever State Investment in Offshore Wind
In the most competitive offshore wind solicitation in the U.S., NYSERDA has selected three new offshore wind projects totaling 4,032 megawatts (MW) of clean energy which is expected to displace over 7 million metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 1.6 million cars from the road each year. Additionally, the awarded projects will bring more than $15 billion in anticipated in-state spending and create more than 4,200 family sustaining jobs across Long Island, New York City and the Capital Region over the 25-year lifespan of the projects. 

The three offshore wind projects include: 

  • Attentive Energy One (1,404 MW) developed by TotalEnergies, Rise Light & Power and Corio Generation. The project includes a novel fossil repurposing plan in Queens, which seeks to retire fossil fuel power generation in the heart of New York City and transition the current workforce to clean energy jobs.  
  • Community Offshore Wind (1,314 MW) developed by RWE Offshore Renewables and National Grid Ventures. The project includes utilization of new grid interconnection being developed by Con Edison in downtown Brooklyn, made possible by the Public Service Commission Order Approving Cost Recovery for Clean Energy Hub to maximize delivery of clean electricity into New York City.  
  • Excelsior Wind (1,314 MW) developed by Vineyard Offshore (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners). The project includes proposed cable route options providing robust energy deliverability to Long Island, leveraging the electric grid expansion provided through the Long Island Public Policy Transmission Need outcome. 

Together, these projects will bring tremendous benefits to New York’s economy, workforce, and environment, including: 

  • More than $85 million to support wildlife and fisheries research, mitigation, and enhancement. 
  • Nearly $300 million in commitments to Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOBs). 
  • Over $100 million in commitments to train New York’s workforce to build and service offshore wind projects. 
  • Billions of dollars in public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of missed school or work, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.    

These projects employ a mix of flexible and innovative transmission designs, including a reduced footprint in transmitting energy from offshore wind projects to New York City through high voltage direct current (HVDC) and adaptable “Meshed-Ready” offshore electrical substations. The three offshore wind projects are anticipated to enter commercial operation in 2030. The average bill impact for customers over the life of the projects will be approximately 2.73 percent, or about $2.93 per month. The average all-in development cost of the awarded offshore wind projects over the life of the contracts is $96.72 per megawatt-hour.

Delivering on Governor Hochul’s commitment to make New York State a hub for the U.S. offshore wind supply chain, this procurement includes continued support for offshore wind turbine manufacturing, which leverages over $2 in privately committed capital for every $1 of New York public funding. 

NYSERDA is also awarding $300 million in state investment to enable the development of two supply chain facilities including nacelle manufacturing and assembly by GE Vernova, along with blade manufacturing developed by LM Wind Power Blades USA, both planned for New York’s Capital Region.  

This investment has the capacity to supply almost one-third of the total regional demand for offshore wind by 2035, which will unlock $968 million in public and private funding, create 1,700 direct and indirect jobs backed by prevailing wage and project labor agreements, and result in over $3 billion in direct spending in the State. Additionally, these projects also align with available federal tax credits, enabling future savings to New York’s ratepayers. 


New York’s Land-Based Renewable Energy Procurement
In addition, New York also announced its latest round of conditional land-based large-scale renewable awards, which are comprised of 14 new solar projects, six wind repowering projects, one new wind project, and one return-to-service hydroelectric project, totaling a combined 2,410 megawatts – enough new renewable generation to power over 560,000 New York homes annually for at least 20 years. These projects are expected to spur over $4 billion in direct investments and create over 4,100 good-paying short- and long-term jobs across New York State. 

The projects by region include:

Central New York 

  • Oxbow Hill Solar: Cypress Creek Renewables will build a 140-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Fenner, Madison County. 

Finger Lakes 

  • Gravel Road Solar: Delaware River Solar will build a 128-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of Tyre and Seneca Falls, Seneca County. 
  • Hatchery Solar: VC Renewables, LLC will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Caledonia, Livingston County. 
  • SunEast Hampton Corners Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Groveland, Livingston County. 
  • SunEast Niagara Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Caledonia, Livingston County. 
  • White Creek Solar, LLC: AES will build a 135-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of York and Leicester, Livingston County. 
  • Hemlock Ridge Solar: AES will build a 200-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of Barre and Shelby, Orleans County. 
  • Valcour Bliss Windpark: AES will repower a 100.5-megawatt wind facility in the Town of Eagle, Wyoming County. 
  • Valcour Wethersfield Windpark: AES will repower a 126-megawatt wind facility in the Town of Wethersfield, Wyoming County. 

Mohawk Valley 

  • Dolgeville Hydro: Energy Ottawa NY Generation Ltd. will continue operations for a 5-megawatt hydroelectric facility in the Town of Dolgeville, Herkimer County. 
  • SunEast Millers Grove Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Schuyler, Herkimer County. 

North Country 

  • North Country Wind: Terra-Gen Development Company, LLC will build a 298.2-megawatt wind facility in the towns of Burke and Chateaugay, Franklin County. 
  • Riverside Solar: AES will build a 100-megawatt solar facility in the Towns of Lyme and Brownville, Franklin County. 
  • SunEast Morris Solar: Cordelio Power will build a 19.99-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County. 
  • Valcour Altona Windpark: AES will repower a 97.5-megawatt wind facility in the Town of Altona, Clinton County. 
  • Valcour Chateaugay Windpark: AES will repower a 106.5-megawatt Wind facility in the Town of Chateaugay, Franklin County. 
  • Valcour Clinton Windpark: AES will repower a 100.5-megawatt Wind facility in the Town of Clinton, Clinton County. 
  • Valcour Ellenburg Windpark: AES will repower an 81-megawatt Wind facility in the Town of Ellenburg, Clinton County. 

Southern Tier 

  • Clear View Solar: VC Renewables, LLC will build a 19.99-megawatt Solar facility in the Town of Cohocton, Steuben County. 
  • Stonewall Solar: Nexamp will build a 145-megawatt solar facility co-located with 20 megawatts of energy storage in the Town of Meredith, Delaware County. 

Western New York 

  • Somerset Solar: Somerset Solar, LLC will build a 125-megawatt solar facility in the Town of Somerset, Niagara County. 

Outside of New York 

  • Mineral Basin Solar: Swift Current Energy will build a 401.6-megawatt solar facility in the Townships of Girard and Goshen, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, and will deliver energy into the New York electric grid. 

The average bill impact for customers over the life of the projects will be approximately 0.31 percent, or about $0.32 per month. The average all-in development cost of the awarded Tier 1 projects over the life of the contracts is $60.93 per megawatt-hour. Importantly, these projects are prioritizing benefits to disadvantaged communities in line with the State’s Climate Act, with over $108 million in commitments to disadvantaged communities made by developers as part of their proposals to NYSERDA. These projects are also expected to result in over $38 million in commitments in spending to MWBEs and SDVOBs. 

The State will continue to emphasize and enhance engagement with the communities where the projects are being developed. NYSERDA offers resources and no-cost technical assistance to help local governments understand how to manage responsible clean energy development in their communities, including step-by-step instructions and tools to guide the implementation of clean energy, including permitting processes, property taxes, siting, zoning, and more. 

Long Island Power Authority Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falcone said, “LIPA proudly stands with Governor Hochul as we make history with this monumental investment in renewable energy. These projects are part of a shared commitment to a sustainable future, directly aligning with LIPA’s vision of delivering clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to our communities. Governor Hochul is transforming how we power New York while creating thousands of jobs in a new industry.”

“New York’s significant investments in offshore wind and renewable energy projects are a testament to Governor Hochul’s commitment in advancing a clean energy economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to benefit the state’s communities,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “I applaud the Governor for continuing to address the challenges of climate change with the wind, solar, and hydro projects announced today that are helping ensure a greener, more prosperous, and equitable future for all New Yorkers.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said,“Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, this monumental investment not only propels New York to the forefront of the renewable energy sector but promises thousands of family-sustaining jobs across our state. As we work towards a sustainable future, we’re committed to ensuring that every New Yorker reaps the economic benefits of this initiative, especially our disadvantaged communities.”

Representative Paul Tonko said, “I have always believed in the potential for New York to play a leading role in offshore wind and clean energy development and have pushed hard at the federal level to advance policy and investment that grows out this industry. Today’s announcement is a realization of that vision. This next chapter in the storied history of skilled labor and innovation in our area will bring hundreds of good paying green jobs to the Capital Region while advancing our clean energy future and protecting our environment for generations to come. I look forward to closely working with our state and commercial partners to make these bold plans a reality and I will never stop working to secure our clean energy future and create the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Today marks a key milestone for solar, wind and renewable energy projects that will not only help New York reach its sustainability goals, but also create thousands of good paying, union careers for our hardworking tradesmen and tradeswomen,” New York State Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera said. “This historic investment will brighten our clean energy future and the improve the lives of all New Yorkers, including those who will now have the opportunity to work on these projects, support their families and pursue a more accessible path to the middle class. We applaud Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to streamlining clean energy initiatives, all while uplifting working class New Yorkers.”

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “I thank Governor Hochul for this historic investment that will help us combat climate change, and ultimately win that battle while creating solid, middle-class, union jobs right here in New York State. It is the next step to ensuring that New York’s clean energy future is built, operated, and maintained by a highly trained and highly skilled union workforce. We look forward to continuing to work with the governor to address climate change while creating and preserving family-sustaining union jobs.”

Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President John Durso said, “We look forward to working with the governor and her team as we move the offshore wind industry forward, creating good union jobs that will not only power Long Island’s economy but also make an historic commitment to our environment. The Long Island Federation of Labor, as a crucial partner, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of offshore wind development, with our expertise and dedication, in bolstering the growth of the industry while safeguarding the interests of our workforce.”

“Today’s announcement is clearly indicative of Governor Hochul’s intent to move forward with a thriving offshore wind industry,” IBEW Local Union #3 Business Manager Christopher Erikson said. “This commitment includes labor protections for working men and women, the guaranteeing of good wages, the inclusion of PLA’s and workforce development for both the construction trades and supply chain employers. This is good for New Yorkers, our employers, our environment, and the health of generations to come.”

Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said, “New contracts for 22 wind, solar, and hydroelectric projects, plus for three major offshore wind energy projects, is good news for New York’s environment and electricity system. Building these projects will mean construction jobs for laborers, electricians, and other building trades, as well as cleaner air for New Yorkers. The renewable energy industry welcomes today’s announcements and looks forward to continuing to work with the state of New York on its ambitious energy transition.”

New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said,“Today’s announcement by the Governor, awarding three contracts for more than 4,000 MW of offshore wind generation, shows that New York is prepared to double down on this clean, renewable and job-creating resource, and will go a long way towards instilling confidence in a market that has recently faced tremendous headwinds.

New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, “As the climate crisis bears down on us and the health of our population and planet continue to suffer the damaging effects of burning fossil fuels, we can no longer afford to just talk about renewable energy, we need to deliver real projects on the ground. The awarding of an additional 6.2 GW of wind, solar, and hydro power is a big step to meeting the state’s renewable energy goals and a major win for public health and the environment. We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA President Doreen Harris for going big in the latest round of renewable energy procurements.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “Climate change impacts have continued to assault New York this year with more flooding in New York City subways, mud slides in Westchester and significant erosion along Fire Island and Long Island’s south shore.  Now is the time to act! Transitioning to renewable energy is the primary action we need to take to fight climate change.  Today’s announcement establishes a pivotal turning point in advancing green energy in our state. We are excited and hopeful that New York will lead the way for our Nation to act just as vigorously and decisively as New York.  We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for this historic action which will not only fight climate change, but also result in cleaner air, healthier communities and uplift our economy.”

President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and President of the National Offshore Wind Training Center Matthew Aracich said,”Here is another shining example by Governor Hochul honoring her pledge to advance the offshore wind industry here in NY. The magnitude of these projects will undoubtedly spur economic growth that will reverberate throughout the state and simultaneously provide a true pathway to the middle class. The work mentioned in today’s announcement allows skilled labor’s registered apprenticeship training programs to grow at an unprecedented rate and holds the key to maintaining a vibrant future for the Long Island Region. When we build green energy projects at a scale necessary, we eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York’s unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $55 billion in 145 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change. 

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Takes Action to Cut Energy Bills, Housing Costs and Climate Pollution

Administration invests over $100 million to renovate homes with zero energy and climate resilient technology

Announcement will help advance goal of cutting the cost of decarbonizing housing in half within a decade while lowering energy bills and increasing affordable housing supply

 

The Biden Administration announced awards of more than $100 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – to help renovate the homes of more than 1,500 low-income families to be zero energy and climate resilient. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet about Biden-Harris administration actions to cut energy bills, housing costs and climate pollution is provided by the White House:

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has advanced the most ambitious climate agenda in history, leading a whole-of-government approach to reduce emissions across every sector of the economy, including the buildings sector, and expand affordable clean energy to every American. Last week, the Biden-Harris Administration set a bold target to reduce the cost to decarbonize new and existing housing by 50% within a decade, while delivering energy bill savings for Americans and curbing greenhouse gas emissions that come from operating, constructing, and renovating buildings.
 
In the United States, more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions comes from the buildings sector – with 20 percent from heating, cooling, and operating our homes. By investing in solutions to cut pollution from homes, the U.S. will help curb 37% of greenhouse gas emissions that come from operating, constructing and renovating our buildings, while protecting people’s health and lowering energy and housing costs for hardworking families, a key pillar of Bidenomics.
 
That’s why today, the Administration announced awards of more than $100 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest investment in clean energy and climate action ever – to help renovate the homes of more than 1,500 low-income families to be zero energy and climate resilient. These energy-saving renovations will demonstrate the potential to preserve quality, affordable housing in our communities by cutting energy waste down to zero, increasing resiliency to extreme weather events worsened by climate change, and lowering costs for families. All the investments will be made in affordable housing communities serving low-income families in alignment with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to environmental justice. These investments will also preserve the long-term viability and affordability of our nation’s existing stock of affordable housing and advance fair housing by increasing housing options for communities.
 
In addition, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Energy today opened applications for the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program, which will spur up to 1.8 gigawatts of clean energy investments annually in underserved communities. The program, also created by the Inflation Reduction Act, provides a bonus credit amount on top of the Investment Tax Credit for building clean energy projects, which is up to 30% of qualifying investments. The Low-Income Communities Bonus provides up to a 10 or 20- percentage point tax credit boost for small solar and wind projects placed in service in low- income or Tribal communities.
 
Today’s announcements build on key actions taken by the Administration to boost climate resilience in buildings and deliver lower home energy costs for families across the country, while increasing investments in housing supply and safer, healthier housing.
 

Lowering Energy and Housing Costs for Families and Achieving a Zero Emissions Building Sector

  • Last week, the Department of Energy launched its eighth Energy Earthshot – the “Affordable Home Energy Shot” – which sets a bold target to reduce the cost to decarbonize new and existing housing by 50%, save Americans money on their energy bills, and help address the persistent burdens faced by low-income households and communities of color. The initiative will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s environmental justice and equity goals, including the President’s Justice40 Initiative, by lowering the cost of energy-efficient retrofits while reducing overall energy costs and carbon intensity of homes across the country. Reducing the cost of building will also contribute to the Administration’s efforts to increase the nation’s affordable housing supply through the President’s Housing Supply Action Plan by expanding the production of affordable housing and ensuring the long-term viability of existing units.
     
  • The Biden-Harris Administration recently announced a goal of making zero emissions, resilient new construction and retrofits common practice by 2030. To achieve its goal, the Administration is developing a standard national definition for zero emissions buildings that will help establish a consistent, verifiable and measurable path to a zero-emissions building sector. With over 130 million existing buildings, which collectively cost over $400 billion a year to heat, cool, light and power, and 10 million new homes to be constructed by 2030, establishing a consistent uniform target will accelerate climate progress by driving investments into homes and buildings of the future.
     
  • The Department of the Treasury recently issued guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act’s amendments to the 45L new energy efficient homes tax credit that now offers up to $5,000 per home to eligible contractors who construct, reconstruct, or rehabilitate energy efficient homes.
     
  • Last week, the Department of Energy announced more than $30 million in awards through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, providing clean energy funding to eight states, 19 local governments and one Tribe. The EECBG Program is designed to assist states, local governments, and Tribes in implementing strategies to reduce energy use, to reduce fossil fuel emissions, and to improve energy efficiency. DOE also awarded more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance through the Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades for homes and communities.
     
  • In addition, last month, the Department of Energy opened applications for $400 million through the Inflation Reduction Act for states and territories to adopt and implement the latest building energy codes or zero building energy codes in order to reduce utility bills, increase efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the climate crisis, and make buildings more resilient to climate disaster.
     
  • FEMA last week announced the availability of $1.8 billion for two resilience grant programs designed to increase climate resilience nationwide and prepare communities for more frequent and severe extreme weather events. The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) annual grant program is making an additional $1 billion available to fund projects that protect people and infrastructure from natural hazards and the effects of climate change. The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program will provide a further $800 million to fund projects that mitigate flood risks facing homes and communities across the nation.
  • Today Department of Housing and Urban Development released a Climate Resources for Housing Supply Framework that describes key funding opportunities for a climate-focused housing supply strategy. This follows the launch of HUD’s Funding Navigator, a user-friendly searchable database of Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law incentives and other resources from across federal agencies to support efforts to enhance climate resiliency, energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, healthy housing, workforce development and environmental justice.
     
  • Recently, HUD announced its Funding Navigator, an interactive tool that allows users to browse and sort funding opportunities for billions of dollars in funding available under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
     
  • Earlier this month, EPA closed its application window for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction FundFor two of the competitions—the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator—EPA identified net-zero emissions buildings, including multi-family housing, as a priority project category.

Together, these actions further the Administration’s commitment to reducing energy burdens, increasing housing supply and advancing fair housing, cutting climate pollution, boosting climate resilience, lowering household energy costs, and preserving the viability and affordability of America’s housing stock.

New York City Climate Marchers Demand Action Now to End Climate Crisis

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com

Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly this week when leaders including President Biden will make speeches, tens of thousands came out from around the country and around the world to march in New York City to demand political and corporate leaders take sweeping Climate Action – not incremental steps – to address the climate crisis and end the use of fossil fuels that are heating the planet beyond habitability.

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“We’re on a pathway to lose everything, Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (speaking for himself), declared at a rally before the march stepped off. “The cause of heatwaves are fossil fuels, and leaders including Biden are still approving fossil projects. It’s insanity… This can’t be reversed. Stop fossil fuels or ramp down as soon as possible. I’m terrified for the future. Burning, flooding, smoke, heat waves. How will we feed 8 billion people? Heat waves will kill millions. Every year is worse, the planet is hotter. .. This is the only planet in our universe with life. We are on the brink of a 6th mass extinction. A dead planet has no economy, no politics. There is no solution – not carbon capture, not planting trees. There is no plan to deal with the decreasing habitability. We must come together. Fight.”

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

They weren’t giving Biden any credit, either, for passing against all odds the largest climate action program ever, funded with billions of dollars, directed at thousands of communities. He isn’t getting credit for an across-government policy of climate justice, or putting millions of acres of land under federal protection, including canceling all remaining oil and gas leases issued under the Trump administration in the Arctic Refuge and protecting more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic.

“Biden, you should be scared of us,” declared Emma Buretta, 17, a New York City high school student and an organizer with the Fridays for Future movement,. “If you want our vote, if you don’t want the blood of our generations to be on your hands, end fossil fuels.”

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

They are calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency and “end fossil fuels”, as if he actually had such unbounded power to shut down fossil fuels. But look around: the Christo Fascist majority on the Supreme Court did not even allow him to mandate masks or vaccinations during a deadly pandemic. The court overturned the EPA’s ability to protect wetlands. The courts are overturning DACA, gun control, and Republicans in Congress and at the state level have battled back against climate action – Republican in Congress trying to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act that funds so much climate action; Republican Governors like the POTUS-wannabe Ron DeSantis actually making it illegal to address climate action, even as he takes billions of dollars in federal aid to restore Floridians’ lives after yet another historic hurricane, and Republican-dominated state legislatures making it illegal to accept federal money for climate projects and Republican Attorneys General suing to stop giving incentives for electric vehicles.

So are these young people suggesting they don’t vote, so that a Republican – maybe Trump, maybe some other – will take over and do what Trump did after Obama: reverse course on climate action, pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement?

Instead of threatening not to vote for Biden, if they want to end the Climate Crisis, they should threaten not to vote for any Republican at any level of government.

Here are more photo highlights:

New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
New York City Climate March, 2023 © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

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© 2023 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email [email protected]. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures. ‘Like’ us on 

FACT SHEET: President Biden Designates Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument

New monument – marking fifth new National Monument created by President Biden – will conserve nearly 1 million acres of greater Grand Canyon landscape sacred to Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples and advance President Biden’s historic climate and conservation agenda

In conjunction with the President’s visit, Biden-Harris Administration announces $44 million investment to strengthen climate resilience across America’s National Parks system
 

Wupatki. President Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona, conserving nearly 1 million acres of greater Grand Canyon landscape sacred to Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples and advance President Biden’s historic climate and conservation agenda. The President also announced $44 million investment to strengthen climate resilience across America’s National Parks system © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
 

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented commitment to protect America’s natural wonders for future generations, honor culturally significant areas, and tell a more complete story of our nation, President Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona. Baaj nwaavjo (BAAHJ – NUH-WAAHV-JOH) means “where Indigenous peoples roam” in the Havasupai language, and i’tah kukveni (EE-TAH – KOOK-VENNY) means “our ancestral footprints” in the Hopi language. The name reflects the significance of the Grand Canyon area, not just to one, but to many Tribal Nations.

This designation, which marks the fifth new national monument established by President Biden, honors Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples by protecting sacred ancestral places and their historically and scientifically important features, while conserving our public lands, protecting wildlife habitat and clean water, and supporting local economies.

Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument will conserve nearly 1 million acres of public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. The new monument protects thousands of cultural and sacred sites that are precious to Tribal Nations in the Southwest – including the Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, Moapa Band of Paiutes, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Pueblo of Zuni, and the Colorado River Indian Tribes. These sites include Gray Mountain, called Dziłbeeh by the Navajo, which is a part of Navajo ceremonial songs, stories, and rituals. The President will sign the proclamation at Red Butte, a sacred site called Wii’i Gdwiisa by the Havasupai, which towers above the southern portion of the monument.

In conjunction with the President’s visit to Arizona, and ahead of the 1-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden-Harris Administration is also announcing $44 million to strengthen climate resilience across America’s iconic National Parks system, including 43 projects across 39 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To mark this announcement and uplift the latest climate and conservation actions by the Biden-Harris Administration, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz will travel tomorrow to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Through his Investing in America agenda, the President has delivered record funding for conservation, climate action, and environmental justice.

Since day one, President Biden has delivered on the most ambitious climate and conservation agenda in American history. That includes the President’s America the Beautiful Initiative, which is supporting locally led conservation efforts across the country with a goal to conserve and restore 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to honoring and respecting Tribal sovereignty, protecting Tribal homelands, and incorporating Indigenous Knowledge and robust Tribal consultation into planning and decision-making. Today’s designation supports Tribally led conservation efforts and helps address injustices of the past, including when Tribes were forcibly removed from lands that later became Grand Canyon National Park.

The new Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument joins other iconic places protected by the Biden-Harris Administration, including Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada, Castner Range National Monument in Texas, Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in Colorado, Bristol Bay and the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and surrounding watershed in Minnesota. 

Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument

The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument protects and preserves the rich cultural, ecological, scientific, historic, and scenic value of the greater Grand Canyon landscape. Today’s monument designation protects these sacred places for cultural and spiritual uses, while respecting existing livestock grazing permits and preserving access for hunting and fishing.

The new monument is made up of three distinct areas to the south, northeast, and northwest of Grand Canyon National Park. It is bordered by the Kanab watershed boundary and Kanab Creek drainage in the northwestern area and the Havasupai Indian Reservation and Navajo Nation in the southern area, and stretches from Marble Canyon to the edge of the Kaibab Plateau in the northeastern area. The monument spans 917,618 acres of public lands managed by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.

The area includes many natural wonders, from sweeping plateaus and deep canyons to meandering creeks and streams that ultimately flow into the mighty Colorado River, providing water to millions of people across the Southwest. The unique interplay of geology and hydrology support some of the most biodiverse habitats in the region ranging from sagebrush to savanna, providing refuge for iconic wildlife including bighorn sheep, mule deer, bison, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, owls, and songbirds. The new monument contains over 3,000 known cultural and historic sites, including 12 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today’s designation recognizes and is a step toward addressing the history of dispossession and exclusion of Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples in the area, including that occurring when the federal government established the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893, Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908, and Grand Canyon National Park in 1919. 

The proclamation continues the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented engagement with Tribal Nations around traditional homelands and sacred sites. It directs the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture to engage with Tribes through consultations, co-stewardship agreements, contracts, financial and technical assistance, and other mechanisms to ensure that that the management of the monument occurs in collaboration with Tribes and reflects the Indigenous Knowledge and special expertise Tribes have amassed over countless generations. The proclamation also establishes the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon Commission to advance the objective of co-stewardship of the monument. 

Today’s designation preserves this vital landscape for outdoor recreation, including camping, hiking, biking, and other recreational activities, consistent with applicable law. Hunting and fishing will continue to be allowed throughout the monument, including in the Kanab Creek area.

The proclamation recognizes and reaffirms the State of Arizona’s ongoing primary role in the management of wildlife within the monument and directs federal agencies to build on their ongoing partnerships with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to further strengthen these collaborative efforts. Hunting, fishing, live trapping and transplantation, activities associated with scientific resources management including research, census, and monitoring of populations, and a wide range of other wildlife management activities will continue to be allowed within the national monument. The proclamation further directs the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture to build on their ongoing partnerships with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to explore developing new or updating existing memoranda of understanding to further improve these collaborative efforts.

Recognizing the critical role that sportsmen and sportswomen have played, and continue to play, in wildlife restoration and conservation in the area, the proclamation requires that a monument advisory committee include representation from both the sportsmen and sportswomen community, as well as representation from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It also directs the monument advisory committee to include representation from the ranching community. The proclamation respects existing livestock grazing permits on lands within the monument.

The national monument designation recognizes and respects valid existing rights. The proclamation specifies that maintenance and upgrades to water infrastructure for flood control, utilities, water district facilities, wildlife water catchments, and other similar uses may continue; and that utility lines, pipelines, and roads can continue to be maintained, upgraded, and built consistent with proper care and management of the monument objects. Existing mining claims – predating a 20-year mineral withdraw initiated in 2012 – will remain in place, and the two approved mining operations within the boundaries of the monument would be able to operate.

The national monument only includes federal lands and does not include State and private lands within the boundary or affect the property rights of the State or private land owners. 

Background on Antiquities Act Designations

President Theodore Roosevelt first used the Antiquities Act in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Since then, 18 presidents of both parties have used this authority to protect unique natural and historic features in America, including the Statue of Liberty, the Colorado’s Canyon of the Ancients, and New Mexico’s Gila Cliff Dwellings.

The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument is President Biden’s fifth new monument designation, following the creation of the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Illinois and Mississippi last month, the Castner Range National Monument in Texas and Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada this spring, and the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in Colorado last fall.

FACT SHEET: Biden Takes Action to Protect Workers and Communities from Extreme Heat

Death Valley was close to breaking its all-time global record of 130 degrees; so far at least five people have died in national parks this summer, as the planet posts its highest temperature since records have been kept. More people die from heat than any other weather disaster; 600 people die annually from its effects, more than from floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes in America combined, President Biden said. Extreme heat will cost the US $1 billion in health care costs this year alone. The Biden Administration is taking steps to mitigate the dangers of extreme heat while Republicans are doing everything to deny and obstruct. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden is asking the Department of Labor to issue hazard alert and is announcing new investments to protect communities from extreme heat. In contrast, Republicans are using their power to eliminate workers’ rights to any relief. In Texas, where sweltering heat has persisted for weeks, on July 13, Governor Greg Abbott and his MAGA-run state legislature passed a bill that revoked city and county control over rest breaks, essentially condemning city workers to working outdoors with no mandated breaks. The Texas Governor has also ordered his border militia to refuse water or assistance to migrants caught in his traps, allowing many to die. Republicans also continue to obstruct any effort to shift society and the economy away from fossil fuels which generate the carbon that is causing global warming and climate change. In actuality, thousands of high temperature records are being set all over the nation and the world and some have chided that we have gone from “global warming” to “global boiling.”

In remarks announcing actions to protect workers and communities, President Biden stated:

I don’t think anybody can deny the impact of climate change anymore.  There used to be a time when I first got here — a lot of people said, “Oh, it’s not a problem.”  Well, I don’t know anybody — well, I shouldn’t say that — I don’t know anybody who honestly believes climate change is not a serious problem.
 
Just take a look at the historic floods in Vermont and California earlier this year.  Droughts and hurricanes that are growing more frequent and intense.  Wildfires spreading a smoky haze for thousands of miles, worsening air quality.  And record temperatures — and I mean record — are now affecting more than 100 million Americans.
 
Puerto Rico reached a 125-degree heat index last month.  San Antonio hit an all-time heat index high of 117 last month.  Phoenix has been over 110 degrees for 27 straight days.
 
And with El Niño and the short-term warming of the ocean that exacerbates the effects of climate change, making forecasts even hotter in the coming months.
 
Ocean temperatures near Miami are like stepping in a hot tub.  They just topped 100 degrees — 100 degrees — and they’re hitting record highs around the world.  And that’s more like, as I said, jumping in a hot tub than jumping in an ocean to ride a wave.

Most people don’t realize: For years, heat has been the — I have to admit I didn’t know it either.  I thought it — I knew it was tough, but the number one weather-related killer is heat.  The number one weather-related killer is heat.  Six hundred people die annually from its effects, more than from floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes in America combined.  And even those places that are used to extreme heat have never seen it as hot as it is now for as long as it’s been.
 
Even those who deny that we’re in the midst of a climate crisis can’t deny the impact that extreme heat is having on Americans.  Americans like an elderly woman in Phoenix who fell out of her wheelchair and, after five minutes on the ground, had third-degree burns.  Third-degree burns.
 
Or like firefighters who’s — already has to lug over 45 pounds of gear through smoke and flame, which is incredibly hot.  The job is even harder and more dangerous to do in record heat.

For the farmworkers who have to harvest crops in the dead of night to avoid the high temperatures.  Or farmers who risk losing everything they’ve planted for the year.
 
Or the construction workers who literally risk their lives working all day in blazing heat and, in some places, don’t even have the right to take a water break.  That’s outrageous.  That is outrageous — anybody who says that — does that.
 
Folks, we really want to pretend these things are normal?
 
Experts say extreme heat is already costing America $100 billion a year.  And it hits our most vulnerable the hardest: seniors, people experiencing homelessness who have nowhere to turn, disadvantaged communities that are least able to recover from climate disasters.
 
And it’s threatening farms, fisheries, forests that so many families depend on to make a living.
 
But none of this is inevitable.  From day one of my administration, we’ve taken unprecedented action to combat the climate crisis that’s causing this.  We’re using a law I got passed the first day in office — first month in office — called the American Rescue Plan, to help states and cities promote energy efficiency, reduce flooding, and open cooling centers.

We’re delivering over $20 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to upgrade the electric grid to withstra- — withstand stronger storms and heatwaves so we don’t cause more fires.

Look, last year I signed the Inflation Reduction Act, the most significant climate investment ever anywhere in the world.  Meanwhile, FEMA has been on the ground responding to those unprecedented weather emergencies in real time.  And I’ve traveled an awful lot in that helicopter with you all across the country and — to see the devastation that occurs, the kind of wildfires and other — and drought and the like.

We’ve launched a place you can go, Heat.gov — go online to Heat.gov — to share lifesaving information that you may need to know about.

Last year, my Department of Labor created the first-ever national program to protect workers from heat stress.  Since then, we’ve conducted 2,600 heat-related inspections at workplaces nationwide to protect the health and safety of the workers on the job so they’re being taken care of.

Today I’m announcing additional steps to help states and cities deal with the consequences of extreme heat.
 
First, I’ve asked Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to issue a Heat Hazard Alert.  It clarifies that workers have a federal heat-related — have federal heat-related protections.  We should be protecting workers from hazardous conditions, and we will.  And those states where they do not, I’m going to be calling them out, where they refuse to protect these workers in this awful heat.

Second, the Acting Secretary of Labor will work with her team to intensify enforcement, increasing inspections in high-risk industries like construction and agriculture.

This work builds on the national standard that the Labor Department is already developing for workforce and workplace heat-safety rules.
 
Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service will award more than $1 billion in grants to help cities and towns plant tree that in the long term will help repel the heat and expand access to green spaces so families have a place to go to cool off and to bring down the temperature in cities.
 
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing billions to communities to make buildings more efficient and to make more heat — make them more heat-resistant, opening cooling centers in — for residential areas and in the cities that the communities can go to to be safe.
 
The Department of the Interior is using infrastructure funding to expand water storage capacity in the Western states to deal with the impacts of future droughts that are made every — all this more extr- — this heat — this extreme heat more consequential.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is launching a new partnership with universities and impact communities to improve the nation’s weather forecasts and its accuracy so Americans everywhere can be better prepared when they — when — and they can better predict what the heat is going to be in that community with the weather.

In all my Investing in America agenda, we provided a record $50 billion for climate resiliency to restore wetlands, manage wildfires, help Americans in every state withstand extreme heat.
 
But our MAGA extremists in Congress are trying to undo all this progress.
 
Not a single one of them — not a single Republican voted — voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, which had all this money for climate, which provides funding to con- — to combat climate change.
 
And now many of them are trying to repeal those provisions, but we’re not going to let that happen.

Part of the reason we’re here today is to get the word out so state and local governments know these resources are available and uses them.

I want the American people to know help is here and we’re going to make it available to anyone who needs it.

Here is a fact sheet from the White House on President Biden’s new actions to protect workers and communities from extreme heat—Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Millions of Americans are currently experiencing the effects of extreme heat, which is growing in intensity, frequency, and duration due to the climate crisis.
 
Today, President Biden will convene Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio, Texas, to hear from them directly about how their communities are being impacted by extreme heat and to discuss the steps the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to protect communities like theirs. The President will also announce new measures to protect workers and communities across the country from the impacts of extreme heat.

  • President Biden has asked the Department of Labor (DOL) to issue a Hazard Alert, and DOL will also ramp up enforcement to protect workers from extreme heat. For years, heat has been the number one cause of weather-related deaths in America – with more than 600 heat-related deaths every year. And workers, including farmworkers, farmers, firefighters, and construction workers, are disproportionately impacted. Since 2011, more than 400 workers have died due to environmental heat exposure, and thousands more are hospitalized every year. The Hazard Alert will reaffirm that workers have heat-related protections under federal law. As part of the alert, the Department of Labor will provide information on what employers can and should be doing now to protect their workers, help ensure employees are aware of their rights, including protections against retaliation, and highlight the steps the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently taking to protect workers. Additionally, the Department of Labor will ramp up enforcement of heat-safety violations, increasing inspections in high-risk industries like construction and agriculture, while OSHA continues to develop a national standard for workplace heat-safety rules.
     
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is investing up to $7 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to improve the nation’s weather forecasts. In partnership with universities and other institutions, NOAA will establish a new Data Assimilation Consortium focused on developing better weather-prediction capabilities and maximizing the value provided by NOAA’s global observing system. These improved forecasts will allow communities to better prepare for extreme weather events, including long periods of extreme heat. As the climate crisis contributes to worsening extreme weather events affecting Americans nationwide, this investment will give Americans the information and tools they need to stay safe.
     
  • The Department of the Interior is investing $152 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand water storage and enhance climate resilience in California, Colorado, and Washington. This investment will help increase water storage capacity and lay conveyance pipeline to deliver reliable and safe drinking water and build resiliency for communities most impacted by drought. In the wake of severe drought conditions throughout the West, the Administration is making coordinated investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to modernize essential water infrastructure, invest in new water recycling and desalination projects and expand access to clean drinking water for communities that have long-dealt with contaminated water supplies.

Today’s announcements build on numerous actions that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to bolster heat response and resilience nationwide, including providing billions of dollars through the Department of Housing and Urban Development to communities to make buildings more energy efficient and to open cooling centers to keep residents safe.
 
Since day one, President Biden has taken historic action to address the climate crisis, which includes securing more than $50 billion through his Investing in America agenda to help Americans in every single state become more resilient to climate impacts like heat waves. The Biden-Harris Administration has continued to deliver on the most ambitious climate agenda in American history—an agenda that is lowering energy costs for hardworking families, bolstering America’s energy security, creating thousands of good-paying jobs, and strengthening community-driven climate resilience across the country.
 
Meanwhile, many Republicans in Congress continue to deny the very existence of climate change, peddle conspiracy theories, and remain committed to repealing the President’s Inflation Reduction Act – the biggest climate protection bill ever – which would undermine the health and safety of their own constituents.

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Makes Historic Investments to Build Community Climate Resilience

Mendocino, California. President Biden went to California to tour a coastal community that is working to safeguard their natural infrastructure – highlighting both the urgency of taking bold climate action and strengthening America’s resilience. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Over the past two years, more than 100 million Americans have been personally affected by an extreme weather event. The record-shattering heat wave that hit Puerto Rico earlier this month, recent wildfire smoke that blanketed the Midwest and East Coast, and devastating storms in California, are just the latest evidence that climate change is not a far-off threat. It’s a crisis that’s here now. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris understand that to protect lives and livelihoods, we need to both slash emissions and give Americans the tools they need to prepare for the growing impacts of climate change.

That is why President Biden went to California to tour a coastal community that is working to safeguard their natural infrastructure – highlighting both the urgency of taking bold climate action and strengthening America’s resilience. During his visit, he previewed the Biden-Harris Administration’s latest actions to help communities adapt to the changing climate.

Through the President’s historic Investing in America agenda, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched a first-ever $575 million Climate Resilience Regional Challenge to help coastal and Great Lakes communities, including Tribal communities in those regions, become more resilient to extreme weather and other impacts of the climate crisis. The funding will support innovative coastal resilience and adaptation solutions, such as building natural infrastructure, planning and preparing for community-led relocation, and protecting public access to coastal natural resources, that protect communities and ecosystems from sea level rise, tidal flooding hurricanes, storm surge, among other severe climate impacts. The Challenge is part of the $2.6 billion in resilience funding for NOAA included in the Inflation Reduction Act, and is part of the President’s Justice40 Initiative.

In addition, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing $2.3 billion in states, Territories, Tribes, and the District of Columbia over the next five years to bolster grid resilience across the country. As part of this investment, California is set to receive $67.4 million in the coming days, with the ability to apply for additional funding in the future, to modernize its electric grid to reduce impacts from extreme weather, natural disasters, and wildfires, and to ensure the reliability of the state’s power sector.

The Biden-Harris Administration knows that effective climate resilience strategies must be locally tailored and community-driven. That is why the President is also announcing that later this year, he will bring together state, local, Tribal, and Territorial leaders – who are managing the lived impacts of climate change every day – for a White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities. As part of the Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration will release a new National Climate Resilience Framework designed to advance U.S. Government actions, in alignment with non-Federal efforts, towards a shared vision of a climate-resilient nation.

These announcements build on the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented commitment to strengthening America’s climate resilience.

Investing in Climate Resilience and Adaptation
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building communities that are not only resilient to the impacts of a changing climate, but also safer, more equitable, and economically stronger. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act together invest more than $50 billion in climate resilience and adaptation. This historic level of funding is already delivering real-world benefits while creating high-quality jobs that provide opportunities to community residents and offer a free and fair choice to join a union. The President’s investments are upgrading aging roads and bridges, providing tax credits for families to add more efficient appliances to their homes, restoring critical waterways, forests, and urban greenspaces, supporting resilient and climate-smart agriculture, bolstering water infrastructure across the American West, modernizing our electric grid, and funding research to develop the latest energy-storage technologies here in America.

Enhancing Drought Resilience Across the West
The Biden-Harris Administration is leading a whole-of-government effort to support drought-prone communities address the ongoing megadrought in the West. The Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law together include $15.4 billion to enhance drought resilience. Earlier this year, under President Biden’s leadership, the Department of the Interior and the seven Colorado River Basin states united around a historic consensus-based agreement to conserve water resources in the critical Colorado River System. 

Combating the Growing Threat of Wildfires
In addition to implementing a 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy that will limit the impact and severity of fires in coming years, the Administration is helping communities prepare for and respond to wildfires right now. Recent actions include investing $7 billion to expand the wildland firefighter workforce, remove hazardous fuels from millions of acres of forest, and bring online new technology to better locate and respond to fires. The Administration also launched a new Community Wildfire Defense Grant program that helps local communities develop and implement wildfire preparedness plans. In addition, the Administration is tackling the pronounced health effects of wildfire smoke. AirNow.gov and its specialized Fire and Smoke Map provide Americans with real-time information about smoke and air quality so people can make informed decisions about how to stay safe. The Environmental Protection Agency recently made $10 million available to support wildfire smoke preparedness in community buildings, and awarded an additional $9 million for strategies to reduce smoke impacts.

Protecting Communities from Extreme Heat
The Biden-Harris Administration is saving lives by reducing exposure to extreme heat events. Community investments through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are reducing cooling costs and funding cooling centers in public facilities. The U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program recently announced $1 billion in grants to expand equitable access to trees and green spaces in urban communities, which will reduce heat-island effects and slash heating and cooling costs for residents. To better equip local officials and the public with robust and accessible information, the Administration launched Heat.gov, a centralized portal with real-time, interactive data and resources on extreme heat conditions, preparedness, and response.

Reducing Flood Risk for Households and Communities
Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program is helping communities proactively protect their homes, businesses, and belongings from unexpected flood damage. This includes providing guidance to communities on how they can mitigate their flood risk. President Biden also reinstated the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which ensures that Federal agencies are considering and managing current and future flood risks in order to build a more resilient nation.

Promoting Climate-Smart Buildings and Infrastructure
Buildings and infrastructure investments last for generations when done right, so it is critical to plan and build in ways that promote long-term decarbonization and climate resilience. President Biden’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes is accelerating adoption of modern building codes that protect people from extreme-weather events and save communities an estimated $1.6 billion a year in avoided damages. The Administration is also making billions of dollars available to build climate-smart buildings and green infrastructure, through programs as such the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, and the Department of Transportation’s PROTECT program.
 
Incorporating Climate Risk into Decision-Making
Extreme weather related to climate change threatens the U.S. economy and the financial security of families, businesses, and workers. President Biden’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk ensures that climate risk and resilience actions are appropriately factored into the formulation and execution of the President’s Budget, thereby properly managing and protecting Federal funding on behalf of taxpayers. This includes formally accounting for the risks that climate change pose in the President’s Budget for the first time.
 
Advancing Environmental Justice
The most severe harms from climate change fall disproportionately on communities that are least able to prepare for, and recover from, those harms. President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative makes it a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments, including investments in climate resilience, flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution. The President’s Executive Order on Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All directs agencies to better protect overburdened communities from pollution and environmental harms, including climate change. President Biden also created a White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council to ensure that the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of communities with environmental justice concerns are heard in the White House and reflected in Federal policies. The Council includes a working group focused on climate resilience.
 
Supporting and Learning from Tribal Communities
Climate change has a disproportionate impact on Tribal communities and heritage, and Tribal representation is key to climate resilience efforts. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides more than $200 million to support voluntary, community-led transition and relocation for Tribal communities severely threatened by climate change and accelerating coastal hazards. The Inflation Reduction Act includes Tribal-specific funding to support climate resilience and adaptation in Native communities. The Administration has also issued government-wide guidance and an accompanying implementation memorandum for Federal agencies on recognizing and including Indigenous Knowledge in Federal research, policy, and decision making.
 
Prioritizing Health and Safety
Climate and health outcomes are increasingly and inextricably linked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, climate change is worsening asthma, cardiovascular disease, pest- and water-borne diseases, and other adverse health outcomes and chronic health conditions. President Biden established the first-ever Office of Climate Change and Health Equity in the Department of Health and Human Services to address the impact of climate change on the health of the American people. The Department’s Climate and Health Outlook index provides public data on climate and health projections to inform health professionals and the public.
 
Empowering Communities to Better Understand and Plan for Climate Risk
The Biden-Harris Administration is advancing actionable data, information, tools, and technical assistance to help people understand and address their climate risks. Specific steps include developing the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) tool to help communities understand and plan for local climate-related hazards; updating sea-level rise scenarios for all U.S. states and territories (Sea Level Rise Viewer) so communities can easily assess changes in coastal flood risk; creating the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) to help identify communities that will benefit from programs included in the Justice40 Initiative; developing an action plan to ensure that Federal agencies are producing coordinated, actionable climate information for end users; and increasing support for regional applied science and services centers, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Climate Hubs.

Harnessing the Power of Nature
Nature holds some of our best solutions to fight climate change and support communities’ adaptation to climate-related risks. Healthy forests, wetlands, and grasslands can also slow climate change by capturing and storing carbon dioxide. The Administration is taking bold action to ensure we look to nature and fully deploy nature-based solutions by setting the first national conservation goal through the America the Beautiful Initiative, to conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, launching the America the Beautiful Challenge, which provided $91 million in funds in the first year to protect and restore biodiversity, help achieve our climate goals, and ensure all Americans have access to nature, and improving forest health through President Biden’s Executive Order on Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies.