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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Ahead of Earth Day 2023, President Biden convened leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) for the fourth time since taking office to galvanize efforts needed to tackle the climate crisis and keep a 1.5°C limit on warming within reach. The White House provided this fact sheet highlighting steps the United States is taking to meet its emissions goals and to support developing countries:
President Joe Biden highlighted new steps the United States is taking to meet its ambitious 1.5°C-aligned goal of reducing emissions 50-52 percent in 2030. The President also announced significant new steps the United States is taking to support developing countries in taking stronger climate action – including providing $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund and requesting $500 million for the Amazon Fund and related activities – and invite other countries to join the United States and others in fully leveraging the multilateral development banks to better address global challenges, like climate change.
The President was joined by other leaders in new efforts aimed at accelerating progress in four key areas necessary for keeping a 1.5°C limit on warming within reach, specifically:
Decarbonizing energy: Announcing steps to drive down emissions in the power and transportation sectors, including scaling up of clean energy, setting ambitious 2030 zero-emission vehicle goals, and decarbonizing international shipping.
Ending deforestation of the Amazon and other critical forests: Working through the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership to mobilize public, private, and philanthropic support.
Tackling potent, non-CO2 climate pollutants: Launching a Methane Finance Sprint to cut methane emissions and accelerating hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown under the Kigali Amendment.
Advancing carbon management: Partnering with countries to accelerate carbon capture, removal, use, and storage technologies through a COP 28 Carbon Management Challenge to deal with emissions that can’t otherwise be avoided.
To help frame the MEF discussion, leaders were briefed by Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), on a new report to the MEF highlighting why action in these areas between now and 2030 is critical to preserve credible pathways to limit warming to 1.5 °C by 2100.
MEF economies account for roughly 80 percent of global GDP and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since being reconvened by President Biden in April 2021, the MEF has helped galvanize the global climate response, contributing to the progress achieved at the United Nations Climate Conferences in Glasgow (COP 26) and Sharm El-Sheikh (COP 27).
However, the most recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscore more urgently than ever that the window for decisive action to avert the gravest consequences of climate change is quickly narrowing.
The President highlighted how the United States is addressing these four priority areas at home through measures including the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest U.S. investment ever in reducing U.S. emissions, accelerating the clean energy economy, and protecting communities from climate impacts – and how these efforts are creating good-paying jobs and building a more secure and sustainable clean energy economy.
In addition to partnering on new joint efforts, leaders were expected to announce other new steps their countries are taking to fulfill their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. The President will encourage those countries whose 2030 Paris targets are not yet aligned with keeping 1.5 °C within reach to strengthen their targets by COP 28 this November in Dubai.
Strengthening Support for Climate Action in Developing Countries
Providing $1 Billion to the Green Climate Fund
In 2021, President Biden pledged to work with Congress to quadruple U.S. climate support for developing countries to more than $11 billion a year by 2024. As part of this broader effort, today, the President will announce that the United States is providing $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), bringing total U.S. contributions to the GCF to $2 billion.
Since 2015, the GCF has approved over $12 billion for projects across more than 125 developing countries to accelerate clean energy transitions, build resilience in the most vulnerable countries, and catalyze private investment. These projects are expected to reduce 2.5 billion tons of emissions and increase the resilience of over 900 million people. The GCF has a specific mandate to support countries particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including least developed countries, small island developing states, and African nations.
Mobilizing the Multilateral Development Banks to Usher in a New Era of Clean Growth
Following important steps taken last week by the World Bank, President Biden will encourage leaders to support a strengthened effort this year to fully leverage the capacity of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) to address global challenges, including climate change, while accelerating progress on reducing poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The United States is working with the MDBs to evolve their visions, incentive structures, operational approaches, and financial capacity to better meet pressing global challenges.
Succeeding in keeping the 1.5 °C goal within reach will require accelerating progress in key energy-related sectors, such as electric power and transportation.
Putting the Power Sector on a Path to Net Zero Emissions
Limiting warming to 1.5°C will require steep and immediate reductions in energy sector CO2 emissions, including an accelerated scale up of clean energy technologies to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century.
President Biden has set an ambitious U.S. goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050. As a result of the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as well as other actions the Administration is taking, the United States is on a clear path to achieve this goal, while reducing costs for consumers, lowering harmful pollutants, mitigating climate change, and creating new economic opportunities. Today, the U.S. released a new National Innovation Pathway Report, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-hands-on-deck strategy for accelerating key clean energy technology innovations. The Administration is advancing a three-pronged approach that prioritizes innovation, demonstration, and deployment to scale the technologies the United States needs to achieve its goals of a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by no later than 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.
To accelerate global progress, President Biden will invite leaders to announce steps they are taking to put their energy sectors on a path aligned with the 1.5 °C goal.
Reducing Emissions and Fossil Fuel Use by Accelerating Zero-Emission Vehicle Deployment
The transportation sector is a large and fast-growing source of greenhouse gases globally. Rapidly scaling up production and use of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) will slash emissions, reduce oil dependence, strengthen energy security, protect economies from oil price volatility, and accelerate the phaseout of unabated fossil fuels. Faster ZEV deployment will also improve public health by reducing emissions of conventional pollutants. Thanks to technology innovations, the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, and additional investments made by automakers and throughout the battery supply chain, the U.S. transportation sector is rapidly shifting towards zero emission vehicles.
The Inflation Reduction Act contains new and expanded tax credits for drivers to purchase new clean vehicles, as well as the first-ever tax credits for purchasing used clean vehicles. These tax provisions will help make clean vehicles more accessible and affordable for American families while incentivizing automakers to build secure, reliable, trusted supply chains for the critical minerals and batteries contained in those vehicles.
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new vehicle emissions standards that would build on this progress and accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean vehicle future. The EPA projects that, under the proposed standards, electric vehicles could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle (LDV) sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales in model year 2032. This would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions through 2055 (equivalent to nearly twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022), save the average consumer $12,000 over the lifetime of a light-duty vehicle, reduce oil imports by approximately 20 billion barrels, and improve air quality, especially in communities that have borne the burden of polluted air.
To accelerate this transition globally, President Biden will invite leaders to join the United States in a collective goal aiming to ensure that by 2030 over 50 percent of LDVs and at least 30 percent of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) sold globally will be zero-emissions vehicles (e.g., battery electric, fuel cell electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles). Countries joining in the collective goal will set their own national 2030 LDV and MHDV market share goals by COP 28.
Decarbonizing International Shipping
Greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector are significant, increasing, and incompatible with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. If shipping were a “country,” it would be among the top ten largest emitters. As part of the Green Shipping Challenge highlighted at last year’s MEF leaders meeting, countries, ports, and companies offered more than 40 concrete announcements at COP 27 on the steps they are taking this decade to help put the shipping sector on a path to align with the 1.5 °C goal.
In July, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will adopt a Revised IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy to accelerate efforts to decarbonize shipping. Today, President Biden will ask leaders to join the United States in supporting the IMO’s adoption of 1.5 °C-aligned goals for the sector, including a goal of zero emissions from international shipping no later than 2050.
Ending Deforestation of the Amazon and Other Critical Forests
Ending forest loss, particularly in the tropics, is vital for limiting warming to 1.5 °C. The Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use calls for halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030. The United States is taking decisive action to prevent deforestation at home and abroad, as called for in the President’s Executive Order on “Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies.”
Contributing to Brazil’s Amazon Fund
The President announced he was requesting $500 million over five years for the Amazon Fund and related activities in the context of Brazil’s renewed commitment to end deforestation by 2030. The President also will call on other leaders to pledge support to the Amazon Fund.
The U.S. Development Finance Corporation also announced that it is working on a $50 million debt investment in BTG Pactual’s Restoration Strategy, which would help mobilize $1 billion to support the restoration of nearly 300,000 hectares of degraded lands in Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. Conservation International will serve as the impact advisor on the pathbreaking project, which will set aside half the restored lands for permanent protection, with the other half to be managed for sustainable forestry, generating an estimated 35 million tonnes of carbon sequestration over 15 years.
Marshalling Global Action to Stop Deforestation
The Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which was launched at COP 27 and is co-led by the United States, aims to mobilize stronger action to end deforestation and to strengthen support from donor governments, philanthropy, the private sector, and multilateral finance institutions. To help protect other critical forest basins around the globe, President Biden will call on other leaders to join the United States in committing to work through the FCLP this year to coordinate and catalyze investment and support by COP 28 to advance implementation of ambitious forest, climate, and nature actions in forest countries.
To further advance the President’s commitments on combatting international deforestation associated with agriculture commodity production and the reduction of global deforestation, the U.S. government is working to identify potential approaches to address globally traded commodities associated with international deforestation as well as identify potential action to reduce global deforestation, as called for in the President’s Executive Order.
Leading at Home by Strengthening America’s Forests
America’s forests play a key role in achieving our domestic climate goals, absorbing carbon dioxide equivalent to more than 10% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions. To advance the President’s commitment to strengthening America’s forests, today the U.S. is announcing critical new steps to better manage our domestic forests for climate resilience, following the completion of a first-ever nationwide inventory of old and mature forests.
Tackling Potent Non-CO2 Climate Pollutants
In addition to cutting CO2, rapid reductions of other GHG emissions are essential to keep 1.5 °C within reach. Methane and other non-CO2 GHGs are potent climate pollutants with short atmospheric lifetimes. Rapidly reducing them would have an outsized impact on near-term warming.
Accelerating Methane Action to Reduce Global Warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050
Since being introduced by the United States and the European Union at the MEF leaders meeting in September 2021, 150 countries have now joined the Global Methane Pledge, with the goal of cutting anthropogenic methane emissions at least 30 percent by 2030. More than 50 countries have developed, or are developing, national methane action plans, and many new projects are underway to drive methane reductions in the key sectors of fossil energy, waste, and agriculture and food.
To support and accelerate these efforts, President Biden will invite other countries to join the United States in a new Methane Finance Sprint with the aim of scaling up methane finance, including by raising at least $200 million in new public and philanthropic donor support for developing countries by COP 28. Philanthropies have committed to dedicate $100 million in new funding through the Global Methane Hub towards the $200 million goal. To complement these efforts, the private sector and other financial institutions will also be invited to join this effort. The President also will invite leaders to report on steps their countries are taking to strengthen their national methane reduction efforts.
Expediting the Phasedown of Super-Polluting HFCs to Avoid up to Half a degree Celsius of Warming by 2100
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), widely used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, are thousands of times more powerful as greenhouse gases than CO2. In October, with bipartisan Senate support, the United States ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which aims to phase down global production and consumption of HFCs. Other countries participating in today’s MEF meeting that have ratified Kigali over the past year include Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, and the Republic of Korea.
Full implementation of the Kigali Amendment could avoid up to half a degree of warming by 2100. According to the U.N. Environment Programme, fully seizing opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of cooling appliances alongside HFC phasedown could as much as double the Kigali Amendment’s climate benefits.
To promote rapid implementation of the Kigali Amendment, President Biden will call on other countries to ratify the amendment as soon as possible, consider expedited timelines for their phasedown of HFCs, and pledge support to use the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund to incentivize early action on HFCs and maximize parallel cooling efficiency improvements.
Accelerating Carbon Capture and Removal Technologies
In addition to full-scale mitigation efforts – including accelerated deployment of clean energy, ending deforestation, and cutting non-CO2 emissions – keeping a 1.5 °C warming limit within reach will require responsible deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. CCUS has a critical role to play in decarbonizing the global economy, particularly the industrial sector, where process emissions are more difficult to address. Combating climate change will also require addressing legacy emissions and removing CO2 from the ambient air, through CDR. The IEA estimates that roughly 1.2 Gt of CCUS and CDR will be needed by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5°C. If global temperature rise exceeds 1.5°C, the use of CDR to remove CO2 from the atmosphere will be necessary to return global temperatures to 1.5 °C by the end of the century.
Dealing with Emissions that Can’t Otherwise be Avoided
To accelerate these critical technologies, the Inflation Reduction Act provides tax credits of $85 per tonne of CO2 captured and stored and $180 for every tonne of CO2 removed through direct air capture and permanently stored. In addition, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included over $12 billion in investments in next-generation carbon capture, direct air capture, integrated CCUS demonstrations, and industrial emissions reduction demonstration projects, as well as CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.
To build on these efforts, the President will invite other countries to join the Carbon Management Challenge, with the aim of unveiling at COP 28 a suite of concrete announcements and goals that will accelerate CCUS and CDR internationally.
Throughout Earth Week, President Biden, Vice President Harris and other Cabinet-level officials held events and announcing commitments focused on how the President’s Investing in America agenda is powering an American manufacturing and clean energy boom, lowering prices, creating good-paying jobs in clean energy industries, meeting our climate goals, and advancing environmental justice and conservation.
President Biden has done more than any prior president to tackle the climate crisis.
On the day before Earth Day 2023, standing beside environmental justice leaders, climate advocates and community leaders in the Rose Garden, President Biden announced bold new actions to protect the health and environment of communities across America, including a new executive order making environmental justice the mission of every single executive agency. The executive order will direct agencies to address gaps in science and data to better understand and prevent the cumulative impacts of pollution on people’s health. It will create a new Office of Environmental Justice in the White House to coordinate all environmental justice efforts across the federal government. And it will require agencies to notify nearby communities in the event of a release of toxic substances from a federal facility.
Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Florida to announce new investments as part of the President’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen coastal resilience to climate change impacts and extreme storms – this after record flooding in Fort Lauderdale.
The announcements come on the heels of a new report showing that the private sector has announced and advanced more than 190 clean energy projects nationwide since the President signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, totaling more than $242 billion in investments.
The President also is highlighting how his historic environmental justice and climate agenda stands in stark contrast to the dangerous vision Speaker McCarthy and his extreme caucus have for our planet, our economy, and public health:
While we’re lowering costs for American families through clean energy tax credits, extreme MAGA Republicans are safeguarding handouts for Big Oil companies.
While we’re creating thousands of clean energy jobs in communities across America, extreme MAGA Republicans are fighting to send those jobs back to China.
While we’re cleaning up toxic pollution at Superfund sites and brownfields, extreme MAGA Republicans are fighting to make it easier for oil and gas companies to pollute the air we breathe.
While we’re replacing lead pipes so all Americans have clean water to drink, extreme MAGA Republicans want to make it easier for refineries to use toxic chemicals like hydrofluoric acid, which causes severe burns, damages people’s eyes, and literally melts bones.
While we’re plugging millions of orphaned wells that emit methane and other dangerous gases, extreme MAGA Republicans would allow mining and energy companies to store hazardous waste without a permit.
Speaker McCarthy and his extreme caucus’ proposals, including H.R. 1, would be a climate and health disaster that President Biden won’t allow on his watch.
As House Republicans move to extort a repeal of President Joe Biden’s historic investment in climate action by holding out raising the debt limit which would crash the global economy and cause massive rise in interest rates, Biden has revitalized a national commitment to environmental justice for all. The White House provided this fact sheet: –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that every person has a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in a healthy community – now and into the future. During his first week in office, President Biden launched the most ambitious environmental justice agenda in our nation’s history. To continue delivering on that vision, today the President will sign an executive order further embedding environmental justice into the work of federal agencies to achieve real, measurable progress that communities can count on.
The Executive Order is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government effort to confront longstanding environmental injustices and inequities. For far too long, communities across our country have faced persistent environmental injustice through toxic pollution, underinvestment in infrastructure and critical services, and other disproportionate environmental harms often due to a legacy of racial discrimination including redlining. These communities with environmental justice concerns face even greater burdens due to climate change.
With this action, the President is working to ensure that all people – regardless of race, background, income, ability, Tribal affiliation, or zip code – can benefit from the vital safeguards enshrined in our nation’s foundational environmental and civil rights laws. That means cleaner air and water, reduced risk for asthma, cancer, and other health burdens, and better access to green space, safe and affordable housing, and clean transportation.
For President Biden, protecting our planet starts with ensuring everyone lives in a safe and healthy environment. Throughout Earth Week, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and other Cabinet-level officials are holding events and announcing commitments focused on how the President’s Investing in America agenda is creating good-paying clean energy jobs, lowering costs, meeting our climate goals, advancing environmental justice and conservation, and strengthening communities that for too long were left behind or left out.
The new Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, will:
Deepen the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government commitment to environmental justice. The new Executive Order makes clear that the pursuit of environmental justice is a duty of all executive branch agencies and should be incorporated into their missions. It also affirms that environmental justice is central to the implementation of our bedrock civil rights and environmental laws.
Better protect overburdened communities from pollution and environmental harms. The Executive Order directs agencies to consider measures to address and prevent disproportionate and adverse environmental and health impacts on communities, including the cumulative impacts of pollution and other burdens like climate change. Additionally, it requires agencies to notify nearby communities in the event of a release of toxic substances from a federal facility, and to hold a public meeting to share information on resulting health risks and necessary precautions.
Strengthen engagement with communities and mobilize federal agencies to confront existing and legacy barriers and injustices. Communities with environmental justice concerns have long experienced exclusion and other significant barriers to having a voice in federal decision-making. The Executive Order recognizes this reality and that racism is a fundamental driver of environmental injustice. It directs agencies to actively facilitate meaningful public participation and just treatment of all people in agency decision-making. The Executive Order also underscores the vital importance of Tribal consultation and coordination, including to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships on issues involving environmental justice.
Promote the latest science, data, and research, including on cumulative impacts. The Executive Order directs agencies to identify and address gaps in science, data, and research related to environmental justice, to advance the analysis of cumulative impacts, and to make information on environmental and health concerns more publicly accessible to communities. To address the need for a coordinated strategy for identifying and filling environmental justice data and research gaps, the Executive Order establishes a new Environmental Justice Subcommittee within the National Science and Technology Council, led by the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Expand interagency coordination and launch a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Building on Executive Order 14008, the Executive Order adds agencies to the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council to further a whole-of-government strategy to address current and historic environmental injustice. The Executive Order also establishes the White House Office of Environmental Justice, led by the Federal Chief Environmental Justice Officer, and tasks it with coordinating the implementation of environmental justice policy across the federal government, ensuring that federal efforts can evolve alongside our understanding of environmental justice.
Increase accountability and transparency in federal environmental justice policy. The Executive Order charges federal agencies with conducting new assessments of their environmental justice efforts and developing, implementing, and periodically updating an environmental justice strategic plan. These Environmental Justice Strategic Plans and Assessments will be submitted to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and made public on a regular basis, including through the Environmental Justice Scorecard, a new government-wide assessment of federal agencies’ efforts to advance environmental justice.
Honor and build on the foundation of ongoing environmental justice work. Under the Executive Order, agencies will continue their efforts to advance environmental justice in ways that complement and deepen prior work. The Executive Order uses the term “disproportionate and adverse” as a simpler, modernized version of the phrase “disproportionately high and adverse” used in Executive Order 12898. Those phrases have the same meaning, but removing the word “high” eliminates potential misunderstanding that agencies should only be considering large disproportionate effects.
This action follows through on President Biden’s promise to modernize and improve how the federal government confronts environmental injustice to address the needs of present and future generations – a promise he made following meaningful engagement with communities with environmental justice concerns and solidified in Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The Executive Order reflects the values, goals, and recommendations of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC), an expert body of leaders, researchers, practitioners, and community members. In line with the WHEJAC’s recommendations, the Executive Order outlines an ambitious approach to environmental justice that is informed by scientific research, high-quality data, and meaningful engagement with communities. It also reaffirms that the federal government must continue to be transparent and accountable for its actions.
The Executive Order builds on and supplements the foundational efforts of Executive Order 12898, signed by President Bill Clinton nearly 30 years ago. For the first time in our nation’s history, Executive Order 12898 recognized and sought to address what community members and leaders had been saying for decades: harmful pollution disproportionally impacts low-income communities and communities of color, among other vulnerable communities.
In addition to the Executive Order, today the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing other new steps to further the President’s historic commitment to environmental justice:
Publishing the first-ever Environmental Justice Scorecard. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), CEQ, and the U.S. Digital Service are publishing Phase One of the Environmental Justice Scorecard, the first government-wide assessment of federal agencies’ efforts to advance environmental justice. The first version of the Scorecard establishes a baseline for tracking the federal government’s efforts through 24 agencies to secure environmental justice, including to advance the Justice40 Initiative. Over time, it will show how the Administration’s actions are making meaningful changes in communities. The Scorecard incorporates recommendations from the WHEJAC and feedback from the public, environmental justice stakeholders, and experts.
Launching the White House Campaign for Environmental Justice. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that people are seeing and experiencing the impacts of the President’s environmental justice agenda in their communities. To strengthen partnerships with communities that have been left behind for too long, the Administration is announcing the White House Campaign for Environmental Justice. The campaign, which is being kicked off today at the launch of the 21st Urban Waters Federal Partnership in Raleigh, North Carolina, will redouble the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to meet people where they are and better focus agency resources and attention on the needs of marginalized and overburdened communities.
Announcing new Justice40 covered programs. Through the Justice40 Initiative, the Biden-Harris Administration is reshaping hundreds of federal programs to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities. Today three additional agencies, the Department of Commerce, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), announced their Justice40 covered programs. Now nearly 470 programs across nineteen federal agencies are covered under the President’s Justice40 Initiative.
Taking new steps to combat plastic pollution in communities. The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that the plastic pollution crisis is an environmental justice issue, with disadvantaged communities in the U.S. and globally bearing social, economic, and public health burdens across the entire lifecycle of plastics. Today the Environmental Protection Agency is releasing a draft National Strategy on Preventing Plastic Pollution to combat the disparate impacts on communities affected by plastic from production to waste. The White House is also announcing a new Interagency Policy Committee (IPC) on Plastic Pollution and a Circular Economy. The IPC will coordinate federal efforts on plastic pollution, prioritizing public health, economic development, and equity to ensure that the benefits of acting on plastic pollution – including jobs, minimized exposure to harmful chemicals, and clean communities – are available to all.
Today’s announcements build on more than two years of progress under President Biden’s leadership to advance environmental justice. That progress includes:
Delivering on the Justice40 Initiative. Through President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, the Administration is delivering 40 percent of the overall benefits of federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution. In total, hundreds of federal programs are being reimagined and transformed to meet the Justice40 goal. Agencies are using the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool to identify disadvantaged communities.
Respecting and elevating Indigenous Knowledge. The Biden-Harris Administration has formally recognized Indigenous Knowledge as one of the many important bodies of knowledge that contributes to the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancements of the United States and our collective understanding of the natural world. The White House engaged more than a thousand individuals, organizations, and Tribal Nations to develop guidance on elevating Indigenous Knowledge in federal research, policy, and decision-making.
Strengthening our regulatory system for the 21st century. Earlier this month, the Biden-Harris Administration rolled out new efforts to promote equitable and meaningful participation in the regulatory process, and OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs proposed new guidance to help agencies better account for the full range of benefits and costs of their regulatory actions. These new steps will produce a more efficient, effective regulatory review process that will help improve people’s lives – from protecting children from harmful toxins to growing our economy.
President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda Has Accelerated American Zero Emission Vehicles Production and Positioned the U.S. to Lead the Clean Vehicles Future
The Biden-Harris Administration announced new proposed vehicle pollution standards to make all vehicles, including gas-powered cars and heavy-duty trucks, cleaner and more efficient. The proposed standards would protect public health by cutting nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions – twice the annual U.S. emissions today. They would also save consumers on average $12,000 over the lifetime of a vehicle. And they would strengthen American energy security by reducing reliance on 20 billion barrels of imported oil.
Cars and truck manufacturers have made clear that the future of transportation is electric. The market is moving. Since President Biden took office, the private sector – including the American auto industry – has invested more than $120 billion in the American-made electric vehicle and battery supply chain. The United States can seize this moment to secure American leadership in the global race to a clean transportation future, or let competitors like China out-compete us for the jobs and investments building that future.
As a car enthusiast and self-proclaimed car guy, President Biden is seizing the moment. His Investing in America agenda is expanding domestic manufacturing and accelerating adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles. This is bringing good-paying jobs back home and putting the United States on a bold path to out-compete China in securing the jobs and investments of the future.
The pollution standards proposed today by the Biden-Harris Administration will:
Spur Adoption of Pollution-Reducing Technology for Nearly All Road Vehicles
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing two new rules to improve public health and combat climate change that will also lower costs for families and create good-paying jobs. The first rule would target emissions of greenhouse gases and smog- and soot-forming pollutants from passenger cars, vans, and light trucks. The second rule would update vehicle emissions standards for greenhouse gas emissions from buses, freight trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles. This rule builds on the final standards that EPA released in December 2022 for criteria pollutant emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.
The proposed updates would:
Protect Public Health. Through 2055, EPA projects that the proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions — equivalent to more than twice the annual U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022.
Lower Consumer Costs. By leveraging accelerated adoption of technologies that reduce fuel and maintenance costs alongside pollution, the proposed standards would save the average consumer $12,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle. The proposals would also result in approximately $12 billion in reduced reliance on oil imports. Rapid innovation in the automotive sector has driven down the cost of emissions-reducing technology and put us closer to a clean transportation sector.
Accelerate the Clean Vehicle Transition in Technology-Neutral Way. The EPA’s approach is technology-neutral, meaning that better-designed gas vehicles, hybrids, fuel cell vehicles, and other innovations could all be used to meet stricter standards. But with EV technology getting better and cheaper every day, and consumer demand rising rapidly, many manufacturers would likely rely on fully electric vehicles for compliance. EPA estimates that by 2032, if finalized, the proposed rules could result in electrification of 67% of new sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks; 50% of new vocational vehicles (such as buses and garbage trucks); 35% of new short-haul freight tractors; and 25% of new long-haul freight tractors.
Reinforce President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to Continue Building a Clean Transportation Future Made in America
These standards build on the generational investments secured by the Biden-Harris Administration that will ensure our nation’s transportation systems are clean, affordable, equitable, and Made in America. In the first year of his Administration, President Biden set a goal that at least 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be zero-emission vehicles. A year later, President Biden joined countries around the world in targeting that 100 percent of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold in 2040 be zero-emission vehicles, with an interim 30 percent sales target for these vehicles in 2030.
The United States is making strong progress towards these goals. Under President Biden’s watch, the number of available electric models have doubled while the number of electric car sales have tripled. There are over 130,000 public chargers now available across the country – with all 50 states now implementing a historic federal investment to build a new national charging network. The iconic yellow school bus is going green and the U.S. Postal Service is shifting to fully electric. The private sector has committed more than $120 billion into the American-made electric vehicle and battery supply chain in the last two years alone. U.S. capacity to source the critical materials and inputs for this supply chain is also rapidly expanding. Through partnerships with unions and industry, the Administration is lifting up the workers who represent America’s competitive edge – and is ready to take on and tap into the massive economic opportunity embedded in this shift.
This extraordinary progress is propelled in large part by public and private investments made under President Biden’s leadership, including:
Nearly $25 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support clean transportation, including by building a national network of EV chargers and alternative-fuel stations; ensuring domestic manufacturers have the materials they need to make EV batteries; and funding clean transit and clean school buses, with priority for underserved communities.
$6 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act to directly support the clean-vehicle transition, including by extending loans to manufacture clean vehicles and their components in the United States; retooling domestic production lines for clean vehicles; and funding for Tribal, state, and local governments deploy clean heavy-duty vehicles, especially in nonattainment areas.
More than $120 billion of private investments in EVs and batteries in the United States since President Biden has taken office.
President Biden has also acted to ensure a seamless clean-vehicle transition that benefits all Americans, including by:
Securing tax credits that make new and previously owned clean vehicles more affordable to working families.
Setting national standards to make charging EVs convenient and reliable for all Americans – no matter what car you drive or which state you charge in.
Encouraging companies, nonprofits, and others to expand community EV charging, increase consumer understanding about different types of clean transportation, and help consumers access clean-transportation benefits.
Releasing a Rural EV toolkit to help ensure all Americans, regardless of where they live, can benefit from the lower operating costs, reduced maintenance needs, and improved performance that EVs provide.
Launching pathbreaking partnerships, like the Department of Energy’s agreement with AFL-CIO to launch a national workforce development strategy for lithium-battery manufacturing, including pilot programs to train battery manufacturing workers and bolster the domestic battery supply chain.
Through the White House Talent Pipeline Challenge, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has certified 20,000 electricians through Registered Apprenticeships like the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).
Providing a clear pathway for a continued rise in EV sales and protecting future generations from the impacts of climate change is a win-win for all Americans.
Two years of progress to catalyze a new clean energy industry, deliver for workers and communities, and protect biodiversity and ocean co-use. The White House provided this fact sheet:
Two years ago today, President Biden set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind electricity generation by 2030—enough to power more than 10 million American homes with clean energy, while creating good-paying jobs in the United States across manufacturing, shipbuilding, port operations, construction, and other sectors. Since then, the Biden-Harris Administration’s transformative actions have jumpstarted the offshore wind industry across the country.
Today at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum in Baltimore, White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi outlined ten ways the Administration is making progress toward the 2030 goal, and is on a path to 110 gigawatts by 2050. Building on two years of decisive action, today the Administration is making new announcements on offshore wind cost reduction pathways, innovation strategies, and more. Last year alone, American offshore wind investments tripled, with an additional $10 billion that spans across the nation—from factories in the heartland to coastal communities along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico. Through the President’s Investing in America agenda, more progress is ahead in the development of stronger supply chains, upgraded infrastructure, and a growing clean energy economy.
In addition to expanding economic opportunities for American workers and communities, offshore wind deployment will strengthen the nation’s energy security, make the power grid more reliable while lowering costs, and reduce dangerous climate pollution. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to delivering these benefits by advancing offshore wind development responsibly, in partnership with states, Tribes, coastal communities, and a wide range of stakeholders, with data-driven decisions to protect marine ecosystems and promote ocean co-use.
The Administration is supporting offshore wind through actions across the Departments of the Interior, Energy, Commerce, Transportation, and other federal agencies, including these ten key ways:
Wind Energy Areas off Every Coast: The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a first-ever offshore wind leasing strategy, which includes holding up to seven offshore wind lease sales by 2025. This strategy provides two crucial ingredients for success: more certainty for industry, and transparency for stakeholders and ocean users. As part of this strategy, DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held historic offshore wind lease sales in the New York Bight, Carolina Long Bay, and northern and central California. In support of potential lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, and offshore Oregon, BOEM is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on advanced spatial modeling to identify sites with the fewest conflicts and environmental impacts. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provides opportunities for offshore wind lease sales off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and the U.S. Territories.
Investing in Workers and Communities: To advance renewable development of the outer continental shelf, DOI has introduced innovative provisions to support workforce training and union-built projects, domestic supply chain development, and community benefit agreements—including with Tribes and stakeholder groups. The Department of Energy (DOE) has charted a path to grow and train an American workforce to fill tens of thousands of jobs across the offshore wind industry. Efforts to help more communities share in offshore wind opportunities include Department of Commerce economic development grants; BOEM collaborations to deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities; and DOE funding for social science and capacity building to help communities more effectively participate in and capture benefits from offshore wind energy development.
Made in America Supply Chains: The Administration is working to swiftly implement the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic suite of clean energy tax credits, including a manufacturing tax credit to support U.S. production of offshore wind components such as blades, nacelles, towers, and foundations. To support specialized shipbuilding, the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) designated offshore wind vessels as the first category to receive priority for review through the Federal Ship Financing Program. DOE is providing a range of financial support to the offshore wind supply chain, including through the Loan Programs Office and the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office, and working with industry and state partners to fill key gaps identified by the U.S. Offshore Wind Supply Chain Roadmap.
Responsible and Efficient Permitting: DOI approved the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind projects, Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind, both now under construction and being built by union labor. DOI and BOEM are on track to complete reviews of at least 16 project plans by 2025, representing more than 27 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy, and has proposed reforms to modernize this process and save $1 billion over 20 years. NOAA has advanced a range of environmental reviews, regulatory authorizations, and consultations to ensure protection of coastal and marine resources. Offshore wind is also a focus of the Administration’s Permitting Action Plan, bringing together federal agencies, White House offices, and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council to promote efficient reviews guided by the best available science and Indigenous Knowledge.
Transmission Planning and Buildout: To support the infrastructure needed to connect projects to the grid, DOE and BOEM have developed draft recommendations for an action plan on Atlantic offshore wind transmission, following a series of stakeholder convenings. A full action plan will follow, informed by the Administration’s Atlantic Offshore Wind Transmission Study. Similar efforts are underway along the Pacific, with DOE using Inflation Reduction Act funds for a West Coast Offshore Wind Transmission Study. Both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act provide funding for grid upgrades that can support the offshore wind industry.
Port Infrastructure Upgrades: With additional support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, MARAD awarded grants last year through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) that included nearly $100 million for port projects that will advance offshore wind deployment—from staging and assembly facilities for turbine components to docks for specialized vessels. For Fiscal Year 2023, more than $660 million in PIDP funding is available for port-related infrastructure projects, which can include support for a range of clean energy opportunities. DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are advancing a West Coast Ports Strategy to support strategic planning for a collaborative port network to support installation, operation, and maintenance activities.
Floating Offshore Wind Targets:Deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine. To seize these opportunities, DOE launched the Floating Offshore Wind Shot aiming to reduce costs by more than 70% by 2035. DOE, DOI, and the Departments of Commerce and Transportation hosted an inaugural summit convening federal, state, Tribal, labor, industry, and community leaders to advance U.S. leadership, and DOE is advancing foundational science and prize competitions to accelerate breakthroughs. DOI set a goal to deploy 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035—enough to power over five million American homes.
Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership: President Biden brought together eleven East Coast governors to launch the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership, with states working alongside the Administration to maximize the benefits of offshore wind development for workers and communities. With offshore wind leasing advancing beyond the Atlantic, both California and Louisiana joined the Partnership to collaborate with federal agencies and other states on priorities including building an American supply chain and skilled workforce for offshore wind.
Cross-Cutting Efforts for Responsible Deployment: The Biden-Harris Administration is taking a holistic approach to advancing offshore wind in concert with other priorities. These cross-cutting efforts include the nation’s first Ocean Climate Action Plan, detailing offshore wind actions that are part of broader efforts to ensure a robust and sustainable ocean economy; the NOAA-BOEM draft joint strategy to protect and promote recovery of North Atlantic right whales while responsibly developing offshore wind energy; and a NOAA-BOEM joint strategy to mitigate impacts of offshore wind on NOAA Fisheries surveys in collaboration with other ocean users, including fishermen’s local ecological knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge.
President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is unleashing a manufacturing and clean energy boom and accelerating the production of affordable electric vehicles. The White House provided this fact sheet:
As part of President Biden’s goal of having 50 percent of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030, the White House is announcing the first set of public and private commitments to support America’s historic transition to electric vehicles (EV) under the EV Acceleration Challenge. These commitments are part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to spur domestic manufacturing, strengthen supply chains, boost U.S. competitiveness and create good-paying jobs. Because of President Biden’s leadership and historic investments, electric vehicle sales have tripled and the number of publicly available charging ports has grown by over 40 percent since he took office. There are now more than three million EVs on the road and over 132,000 public EV chargers across the country.
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act adds and expands tax credits for purchases of new and used EVs—helping bring the benefits of clean energy to communities across the nation. The law also provides incentives to electrify heavy-duty vehicles like clean school buses, and includes support for the installation of residential, commercial, and municipal EV charging infrastructure. These incentives complement investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other federal initiatives that are spurring the domestic manufacturing of EVs and batteries and the development of a national EV charging network that provides access to low income and disadvantaged communities.
These incentives will lower the cost of EVs and EV charging infrastructure; increase consumer demand and competition; promote equity and inclusion; and accelerate the growth of the EV market. The White House announced the EV Acceleration Challenge to bring a clean, safe, affordable, and reliable transportation future to Americans even faster.
Today, the Federal Government, as well as a number of companies and nonprofits including Prologis, First Student, Hertz, Amazon, Google, Rewiring America, and others, are announcing new commitments to expand EV fleets, increase consumer education, and grow the availability of EV charging.
Today, the Federal Government is announcing:
Federal agencies have already acquired 13,000 light- and medium-duty zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in FY23—about four times the number of ZEVs acquired in FY22. President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan requires federal agencies to transition the largest fleet in the world to all electric by acquiring 100 percent light-duty ZEVs annually by 2027 and acquiring 100 percent medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs annually by 2035.
Federal agencies are committing to deploy an additional 24,000 charging stations at Federal facilities by the next fiscal year, adding to the more than 5,000 charging stations already installed at Federal facilities nationwide.
The Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center is planning to add two new features to its Station Locator Tool that will help consumers charge their EVs quickly, affordably and conveniently. The tool will soon offer:
Charging cost: The cost to charge an EV at an individual charging station.
Charging speed: The charging speed or power output at the charger port level.
ACCELERATING THE EV TRANSITION
The Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda has spurred public and private sector commitments to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. State and local governments are also leveraging federal funds to expand electrification of their vehicle fleets. These announcements build on the EV charging network expansion and manufacturing announcements highlighted by the White House in February, which will add more than 100,000 public chargers across the country. Announcements being spotlighted today fall into four categories: Consumer Education and Support, Tools and Resources, EV Fleet Expansion, and Community Charging: Commercial and Multifamily:
First Student, a major supplier of school bus services, is committing to transition 30,000 fossil fuel-powered school buses to electric school buses by 2035.
CirbaSolutions, a battery materials and management company, is committing to process end-of-life batteries and Gigafactory manufacturing scrap, creating enough battery-materials to equip 1,000,000 EVs by 2028.
Waymo, an autonomous driving technology company, is committing to deploy the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE across all of its ride-hailing service territories this spring and retire its previous generation platform.
Amazon is announcing it has rolled out over 3,000 electric delivery vehicles as part of its commitment to bring 100,000 electric delivery vehicles to the road by 2030.
Trane Technologies, a company focused on efficient and sustainable climate solutions for buildings, homes and transportation, is committing to transition 100 percent of its global fleet of more than 8,000 vehicles, including service vans and trucks, to all electric vehicles by 2030.
Community Charging: Commercial and Multifamily
Prologis, a major global developer and owner of logistics real estate with more than 3,400 properties in the US, is committing to make every new eligible Prologis development ready for EV charging and transition its U.S. maintenance vehicle fleet to 100 percent alternative fuel vehicles by 2030.
Siemens is committing to install charging stations across the U.S. at its facilities and employees’ homes to support the electric conversion of its 10,000-vehicle fleet by 2030 and to set a requirement that 10% of parking spaces include EV charging stations at all new company facility construction projects.
CALSTART, Forth, the Electrification Coalition, EVHybridNoire and peer national implementation partners are committing to launch the Charge@Work campaign and Electric Vehicle Adoption Leadership (EVAL) certification program in Fall 2023 which will engage over 50,000 employers\workplaces, representing hundreds of thousands of employees, with the end goal of catalyzing over 100,000 electric vehicle workplace charging stations.
SWTCH, an EV charging provider, is committing to expand equitable access to EV charging in underserved communities by deploying over 20,000 EV chargers, the majority of which will serve multi-family buildings, by 2024.
Rocky Mountain Institute is committing to launch a multi-family charging accelerator pilot in three states to scale multi-unit dwelling charging infrastructure financing and deployment nationwide in 2024.
Consumer Education and Support
Hertz is committing to substantially increase its electric vehicle rentals this year forecasting nearly two million EV rentals in 2023, approximately five times the number of EV rentals in 2022, and extending the electric vehicle experience to leisure and business travelers and rideshare drivers across the country.
Consumer Reports is committing to delivering expert advice and unbiased information for people who are considering whether to make the shift to an electric vehicle through its new online tool called the Electric Vehicle Savings Finder. It provides detailed, up-to-date information about federal, state, and local EV purchase incentives available to consumers, specific to where they live.
GreenLatinos,Hip Hop Caucus, Sierra Club, Clean Energy for America, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Electric Transportation Community Development Corporation, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Plug in America, Public Citizen, Union of Concerned Scientists, Electric Vehicle Association, League of Conservation Voters, Coltura, and the Natural Resources Defense Council are committing to launch Route Zero in April – a cross-country, relay style campaign highlighting the investments made in EV infrastructure and EV manufacturing around the country, focusing on how equitable EV deployment helps mitigate pollution harms.
Sierra Club, Plug in America, the Electric Vehicle Association and EVHybridNoire are committing to host more than 300 events in 2023 to celebrate the shift to electric vehicles, including the opportunity to connect with EV drivers in their own communities, ask questions, and get behind the wheel to try EVs out.
Mercedes-Benz is committing to launch “Electric Dream Days,” a new EV marketing campaign with retail events at dealerships and EV test drives in April 2023.
Tools and Resources
Rewiring America, a non-profit organization, is committing to launch an online personal electrification planner in 2023 with the initial goal of helping 100,000 homeowners and renters create roadmaps to electrify their homes and to choose electric vehicles and home chargers.
Google is committing to provide up-to-date information about availability and coverage of tax credits across eligible passenger vehicles, through a new Search tool that incorporates federal guidance to surface eligible EV tax credits, alongside other critical information.
Plug in America, a non-profit organization, is committing to reach 250,000 consumers over the next year with PlugStar.com, its online EV information and shopping tool.
Wells Fargo is releasing a new tool to support business leaders transitioning to electric vehicle fleets by modeling deployment that incorporates the cost of electrification, tax credits, cost savings, and environmental benefits.
The American Public Transportation Association and the Edison Electric Institute are committing to develop and distribute a new resource for transit agencies to streamline their efforts to electrify their bus fleets.
The EV Acceleration Challenge is accepting submissions on a rolling basis. The White House will be highlighting additional commitments soon including many more that were already submitted.
In Lusaka, Zambia, in response to Vice President Kamala Harris’s call for the private sector to promote and enhance climate resilience, adaptation and migration across Africa, the private sector made over $7 billion in new commitments. Additionally, the U.S. Government is announcing new federal funding and initiatives to expand access to climate information services and enhance climate resilience and adaptation. These new investments and initiatives will generate significant economic benefits while addressing African nations’ pressing needs resulting from the climate crisis, including food security challenges, by helping to lift-up over 116 million farmers and promote climate-smart agriculture. These announcements demonstrate America’s commitment to partnering with African people and governments, alongside the private sector, to help the continent meet its climate adaptation and resilience, clean-energy access, and just energy transition goals.
African nations have historically contributed relatively little to the climate crisis but are disproportionally harmed by its impacts. The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that to address the climate crisis in Africa, we must work together, building new coalitions between the U.S. government, African governments, civil society, and the private sector.
Private Sector Investments
The Vice President, as part of her call for the private sector to promote climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation across Africa, is announcing the following 27 private sector and philanthropic commitments to support farmers, climate-smart agriculture, sustainability, clean energy, and clean transportation.
Supporting Farmers and Climate-Smart Agriculture
Pula, an agricultural insurance and technology company, is responding to the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) Call to Action and has committed to increase their coverage to100 million small holder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa by providing up to $20 billion in insurance coverage by 2026. The smallholder farmers pay $20 for $200 dollars of insurance coverage. Insuring previously uninsured farmers can generate a direct positive impact for farming households across Africa, helping to secure their livelihoods by protecting them against the risk of financial losses due to climate-related events.
Mastercard, a payment and technology company, is responding to the PREPARE Call to Action and has committed to increase access of its Community Pass platform to a total of 15 million farmers in Africa by 2027 to spur economic output and opportunity. Community Pass is a shared interoperable digital platform that provides a commercially sustainable approach to scaling service delivery and increasing access to critical services including healthcare, agriculture, and micro-commerce, for individuals in underserved, remote, and frequently offline communities. Community Pass enables farmers to command higher prices by facilitating increased access to buyers and creating greater price transparency. Community Pass also enables access to inputs, advisory, and other financial service providers. Together, these services improve a smallholder farmer’s agricultural practices, resulting in a more resilient, sustainable, and productive farming system.
SunCulture, an Africa-focused solar irrigation company, commits to mobilizing $100 million in private capital and $40 million in grant/subsidy funding to deploy smallholder farmer solar irrigation to address food security in Kenya by 2028. SunCulture expects to install 274,000 solar irrigation systems on smallholder farms, reaching nearly 1.1 million direct beneficiaries, creating 411,000 jobs, growing 7.1 million metric tons of food, and generating $5 billion of increased incomes for smallholder farmers.
One Acre Fund, an agricultural service provider to support African smallholder farmers in partnership with local governments, has committed to raise and invest a $100 million fund to help 1 million farmers plant one billion trees by 2030. Smallholder farmers plant trees to harvest branches and wood, improve the farm environment, and sequester carbon.
Touton SA, an agro-industrial actor, is leading a consortium expected to commit $79.2 million into sourcing sustainable cocoa by 2025 and benefit an estimated 150,000 Ghanaians. They are supported by Palladium through the Partnership for Forests (P4F) project, and will develop and pilot a landscape-wide governance model in Juaboso-Bia landscape to promote sustainable and deforestation-free cocoa production while protecting forests earmarked as a hotspot intervention area.
AlphaTalentsAfrica (ATA), an investment company supporting agribusiness ecosystems in Africa, has committed $50 million in agrifood industry investments in Africa over the next 20 years. ATA has committed $9 million for its first investment from the $50 million in a manufacturer of quinine-based ingredients for the beverage industry and of medicinal plant-based pharmaceutical products headquartered in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
AgDevCo, a specialist investor in African agribusiness, is investing $10 million in sustainable forestry through New Forests Company. New Forests Company is one of the leading forestry companies in East Africa, with more than 30,000 hectares of plantations in Uganda and Tanzania. The company also supports over 6,000 smallholder farmers through the company’s outgrower program. All timber is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, and the plantations sequester significant volumes of carbon, which will increase further as the company and outgrower forestry stands mature.
Switch Bioworks, a living fertilizer company, has committed $10 million to create sustainable biofertilizers in Africa over the next three years. Successful biofertilizer has the potential to triple per-acre productivity at less than one-tenth the greenhouse gas emissions of synthetic fertilizer.
Agrinfo Company Limited, an aerial imagery and artificial intelligence company that helps farmers make informed crop decisions, has committed $2 million to create a network of 3,000 drone pilots to collect and analyze data that will help 1 million farmers in Africa by 2030.
Corteva, an agriscience company dedicated to agriculture, has committed $250,000 to support climate smart post-harvest solutions in Ethiopia for 230,000 smallholder farmers and recently committed $100,000 for research that is applying gene-editing techniques to create a parasite-resistant “smart” sorghum by 2025. These collaborations will increase the incomes and food security of smallholder farmers in Africa as the threats of climate change, pest, and disease continue to grow.
Land O’ Lakes Venture 37, the non-profit international development affiliate of the member-owned agricultural cooperative, is working through the Dairy Nourishes Africa portfolio of projects, founded by the Chicago-based Global Dairy Platform and in partnership with the Boston-based Bain & Company. This unique 15-to-20-year public/private partnership will drive inclusive climate-smart economic development in the dairy sector of four East African countries, reaching more than 10 million resource-poor, opportunity-constrained stakeholders. The projects aim to feed 40,000 children daily and double the income of 250,000 commercial-oriented farmers in the next 10 years.
McCormick, a global flavor company headquartered in the U.S., is responding to the PREPARE Call to Action, and through its Grown for Good framework, is investing in the resilience of over 30,000 farmers across their supply chains. They have set an ambitious 100% sustainable sourcing goal for their top five branded ingredients for 2025 and have already achieved 100% sustainability for their vanilla supply chain sourced from Madagascar.
Spurring Sustainability, Clean Energy, and Clean Transportation
African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization that rehabilitates and manages national parks in partnership with governments and local communities across Africa, has committed to increase its management of 8 new parks by 2030, taking their number to 30. To meet this 30 Parks by 2030 goal, African Parks is committing to raise and invest an additional $1.25 billion in Africa over the next 7 years. This will include a mix of already raised funds in addition to future fundraising.
Cambridge Industries Ltd (CIL), an engineering, design, procurement, and construction firm focused on renewable energy projects throughout Africa, has committed $950 million to decarbonizing waste management in Kinshasa, anchored by four Waste-to-Value Industrial Parks for the Circular Economy. The universal waste management project, which will utilize anaerobic digesters for waste-to-energy and high-quality recycling scheme is expected to provide waste collection and disposal services to over 3.5 million households, electricity to 400,000 households, and create employment opportunities for more than 35,000 residents by 2030.
ABD Group, a project development firm focused on Africa, commits to finance and operationalize an electrification project with Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) by expanding two combined cycle gas power projects to produce 900 MW of electricity through new power plants to expand energy access in a project valued at $800 million dollars. ABD Group has also developed and secured financing to build five wastewater treatment plants in Cote d’Ivoire valued at $52 million. Construction will start in the second quarter of 2023 on five wastewater treatment plants and a pumping station. This will bring wastewater treatment to social housing communities and benefit a projected 40,000 households.
Combustion Associates Inc (CAI), a power plant equipment supplier company specializing in gas turbine power generation packages, has committed to $600 million to reduce vented greenhouse gas emissions through their Flare Gas Elimination Program in Nigeria by 2025.
SAGLEV Inc, a vehicle assembly, manufacturing, and distributing company, is committing $600 million in electric vehicle assembly plants for Ghana – with service to Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, and South Africa by 2027. This will create 150 direct jobs and up to 25,000 indirect jobs by 2027.
The Emissions Capture Company (ECCO), an emissions management platform utilizing AI-driven solutions that recycle industrial emission and waste into valuable compounds to support the green economy, commits at least $550 million to reduce emissions and plastic waste from Nestlé sites in Africa between 2023 and 2029 by deploying its proprietary technology that gathers emissions and plastic waste from industrial processes and converts it into sodium bicarbonate and other materials.
The Africa Finance Corporation, a pan-African multilateral development finance institution, will invest and mobilize $510 million for the initial $750 million first close of a $2 billion Infrastructure Climate Resilience Fund (ICRF) with a mission to incorporate climate risk in physical infrastructure built across the continent. The ICRF was launched last year and is focused on the following four sectors: Transport and Logistics, Power and Renewables, Telecoms and Digital Infrastructure, Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones. It is the first large-scale adaptation program of its kind, and it offers a unique opportunity to support sustainable development in Africa while mitigating the impacts of climate change through a blended finance approach to de-risk investment opportunities.
CrossBoundary Energy, an investment firm, has committed $500 million to support clean energy solutions for African businesses over the next two years. According to World Bank data, access to reliable and affordable electricity is the most significant constraint on economic growth on the continent. CBE addresses this challenge by providing African corporations with fully financed renewable power. CBE expects to employ over 6,000 people and save African businesses between $6.5 and13 million annually in electricity costs.
Wilderness, an ecotourism pioneer, and carbon offset developer Carbon Ark, have signed a partnership with the Zambian government that aims to protect millions of acres of threatened forest and “rewild” previously pristine areas of biodiversity damaged by human activity. The partnership seeks to empower local communities and expand the habitat for endangered wildlife through the implementation of a high-integrity carbon sequestration project. Carbon Ark anticipates that this partnership project will deploy over $500 million in operational investments and create over 1,000 community jobs. The partnership is also supported by U.S. impact investing firm TPG Rise, Bank of America and Jet Blue Ventures through Rubicon Carbon.
C1 Ventures, a climate technology investment fund focused on decarbonizing large-scale industries by applying breakthrough technologies, has partnered with other investors to commit $250 million in biomanufacturing in Africa over the next four years. The stealth company, backed by C1 Ventures, will employ a gas-based precision fermentation technique to create animal feed protein and biodegradable plastics using captured CO2 and CH4 gases from concentrated natural and industrial sources.
Coalition for Climate Entrepreneurship (CCE), which includes the Gaia Africa Climate Fund, MassChallenge, Village Capital, SVG’s Thrive Africa, and additional partners, commits over $200 million to identify and support emerging sustainability entrepreneurs in Africa, including by helping scale their innovations to global markets.
Roam, an electric vehicle company from Kenya, is aiming to raise and invest over the next eight years $150 million to scale up affordable electric motorcycles and public transit solutions that have been uniquely designed to offer a clean transport solution for emerging market consumers and result in economic benefits for micro-entrepreneurs and commuters. Roam’s plan will reduce CO2 emissions while creating 300 direct jobs and more than 24,000 indirect jobs by 2026 with a gender inclusive recruitment strategy.
Vista Bank Group, a financial service holding company with the objective to build a world-class pan-African financial institution, commits $100 million to be invested toward sustainability initiatives over the next year, such as renewable energy projects and reforestation programs on the African continent. This commitment will help ensure that investments support a resilient economy and deliver financial returns while generating positive value for society and operating within environmental constraints.
World Economic Forum (WEF), an independent international non-government organization, is publicly announcing $18.2 million of recently committed dollars from its Global Plastic Action Partnership (a consortium of public and private sector partners) towards plastic pollution reduction in Ghana through the Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership (their national platform for multistakeholder collaboration). This commitment will support Ghana in transitioning to a circular plastics economy.
Transvolt Energy Systems Limited, a clean energy storage company, is committed to raising $10 million to establish a lithium battery assembly plant in Africa by 2024. This manufacturing facility will increase access to clean energy, reduce the cost of local clean energy installations, generate secondary markets based on refurbished batteries, and create 1,200 direct and indirect job opportunities.
U.S. Government Commitments
To further accelerate the implementation of the President’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, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing the following initiatives in recognition of the critical urgency of building climate resilience across the African continent. These announcements build on the bilateral climate adaptation, resilience, and mitigation announcements the Vice President made in Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Expanding Access to Climate Information Services
The GEOGlows Streamflow Forecasting Service. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is committed to continuing its leadership role as part of the Group on Earth Observations Global Water Sustainability Initiative (GEOGloWS), which provides reliable 15-day forecasts and 50 years of historical streamflow data for every river in the world through a free and open web service. Over the next five years, the United States, including NOAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), together with other partners will commit $1.5 million to enhance GEOGloWS service implementation in Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya, building on earlier success in Malawi. GEOGloWS will work directly with partner countries on implementation, including capacity development workshops with user organizations. Through its support for the GEOGloWS European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Streamflow Forecasting Service, NOAA contributes to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Executive Action Plan to deliver Early Warning for All by 2027.
Expanding Weather Station Networks in Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) will commit nearly $10 million in weather stations and capacity building to use and maintain them over the next five years with 10 African governments, beginning with Kenya. These partnerships will support governments to develop or fortify the capability to report weather station data and integrate this information with Earth observations to improve climate, weather, and acute food insecurity forecasts. USAID’s investment in these services will also benefit other sectors such as health; agriculture; water, sanitation and hygiene; and climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction; thereby helping to save lives and livelihoods. This expansion of FEWS NET will help the region and the international community to monitor our rapidly changing climate and support early warning systems for climate hazards and acute food insecurity.
YouthMappers. A Global Mapping Response for African Development. With support from the USAID’s GeoCenter, young people in 70 countries from more than 350 universities are applying geospatial technology to assist with humanitarian outcomes and to help solve international development challenges related to poverty, disease, and climate change. Through its YouthMappers program, USAID will invest $600,000 to empower more than 5,000 university students around the world to map communities in African countries using earth observations and satellite data. The new data will be used to address health, food security, energy security, disaster response, and resilience in local communities.
FEWS NET Health Threat Extension. Through the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Health Threat Extension (HTE) pilot activity, overseas USAID Missions in Somalia and Mozambique will explore and address climate-sensitive health threats that generate cross-sectoral impacts. Each Mission will take an interdisciplinary approach to incorporating local health, climate, earth system, and social science data and information. These projects will leverage and enhance existing data systems to advance evidence-based health threat early warning systems. The projects will support evidence-based decision-making, prevention, and planning surrounding forecast health threats and their relationship to food and water insecurity and other development challenges.
Enhancing Climate Resilience and Adaptation
Energy Access and Climate Resilience. The U.S. Africa Development Fund (USADF) has committed up to $1.5 million in grant funding in FY23 for new and expanded USADF Off-grid Energy Challenges. The areas in which the Challenges will focus include healthcare facilities electrification, energy for agriculture, women in energy, productive use of energy, and innovative energy solutions that will support African governments goals of increasing energy access and improve the standard of living in unserved and underserved communities in Africa. This program will support energy for agriculture, women in energy, and healthcare facilities electrification.
U.S.-Africa Climate Innovation Week. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will advance the development of climate resilience and adaptation projects in Africa by hosting a U.S.-Africa Climate Innovation Week in the United States for leaders from across the continent. This partnership-building engagement will include parallel reverse trade missions to multiple U.S. cities, to showcase innovative American technologies, services and best practices that can benefit Africa’s infrastructure for water management, and early warning and emergency management systems.
President Establishes New National Monuments in Nevada and Texas; Directs Secretary of Commerce to Consider Expanding Protections for Pacific Remote Islands Which Would Reach Goal of Conserving 30% of U.S. Ocean by 2030
At the White House Conservation in Action Summit on March 21, President Biden announced major new actions to conserve and restore lands and waters across the nation, including by establishing Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada and Castner Range National Monument in Texas. The President also directed the Secretary of Commerce to consider exercising her authority to protect all U.S. waters around the Pacific Remote Islands. These new commitments build on President Biden’s historic climate and environmental record, including delivering on the most ambitious land and water conservation agenda in American history.
The announcements include:
Establishing two new national monuments: Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada and Castner Range National Monument in Texas. The designation of these two national monuments demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protect historically and culturally significant areas and conserve our nation’s treasured outdoor spaces. Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada will honor Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples while conserving our public lands and growing America’s outdoor recreation economy. In Texas, Castner Range National Monument will expand access to the outdoors for the El Paso community while honoring our nation’s veterans and servicemembers. Together, these new national monuments protect nearly 514,000 acres of public lands.
Protecting all U.S. waters around the Pacific Remote Islands. The President directed the Secretary of Commerce to consider initiating a new National Marine Sanctuary designation within the next 30 days to protect all U.S. waters around the Pacific Remote Islands. If completed, the new sanctuary would ensure the U.S. will reach the President’s goal of conserving at least 30% of ocean waters under American jurisdiction by 2030.
New actions to conserve, restore, and expand access to lands and waters. The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing a series of new steps to conserve, restore, and expand access to lands and waters across the country. These include a proposal to modernize the management of America’s public lands, a plan to harness the power of the ocean to fight the climate crisis, a strategy to better conserve wildlife corridors, and new funding to improve access to outdoor recreation, promote Tribal conservation, reduce wildfire risk, and more.
These actions build on more than two years of the Biden-Harris Administration’s progress and historic investments to advance conservation, restoration, and stewardship nationwide:
Thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden has, over his first two years in office, invested over $10 billion in conservation initiatives – more than any other modern president.
Under the President’s leadership, the Administration is making unprecedented investments in land, water, and wildlife conservation, including by launching the $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge. These investments will help meet the President’s goal – set during his first week in office – of conserving at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.
Establishing Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada
President Biden signed a proclamation establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. This designation will honor Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples by protecting this sacred Nevada landscape and its historically and scientifically important features, while conserving our public lands and growing America’s outdoor recreation economy.
Avi Kwa Ame is considered to be among the most sacred places on Earth by the Mojave, Chemehuevi, and some Southern Paiute people. It is also important to other Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples including the Cocopah, Halchidhoma, Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Kumeyaay, Maricopa, Pai Pai, Quechan, Yavapai, and Zuni Tribes. Its scenic peaks include Avi Kwa Ame (Spirit Mountain), which is designated as a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its religious and cultural importance. The area is also home to the one of the world’s largest Joshua tree forests, and provides continuous habitat or migration corridors for species such as the desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, and Gila monster.
Establishing Castner Range National Monument in Texas
President Biden also signed a proclamation establishing the Castner Range National Monument, in El Paso, Texas. This action will protect the cultural, scientific, and historic objects found within the monument’s boundaries, honor our veterans, servicemembers, and Tribal Nations, and expand access to outdoor recreation on our public lands.
Located on Fort Bliss, Castner Range served as a training and testing site for the U.S. Army during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The Army ceased training at the site and closed Castner Range in 1966. Once the area is sufficiently remediated to be safe for public access, Castner Range will offer unique opportunities for the El Paso community to experience, explore, and learn from nature. President Biden is committed to expanding access to nature for underserved communities that have historically had less access to our public lands, like those bordering Castner Range. Protecting Castner Range connects the area with the Franklin Mountains State Park, creating continuous habitat for wildlife and improved public access for outdoor recreation. Castner Range also hosts significant cultural sites documenting the history of Tribal Nations, including the Apache and Pueblo peoples and the Comanche Nation, Hopi Tribe, and Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma.
Directing Consideration of a Sanctuary to Complete Protections for Waters Around the Pacific Remote Islands
Consistent with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to conserving 30% of lands and waters by 2030, the President signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Commerce to, using the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, consider initiating a sanctuary designation within the next 30 days to expand protections around the Pacific Remote Islands southwest of Hawaii. Such protections would encompass areas unaddressed by previous administrations so all areas of U.S. jurisdiction around the islands, atolls, and reef of the Pacific Remote Islands will be protected.
The potential new National Marine Sanctuary identified in the Memorandum would conserve 777,000 square miles, including the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and currently unprotected submerged lands and waters. The region has a rich ancestral tie to many Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island communities. The process for a potential sanctuary designation would allow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to further explore the area’s scientific, cultural, and ancestral linkages, and tailor its management accordingly.
The President is also directing the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a public process to work with regional Indigenous cultural leaders to appropriately rename the existing Pacific Remote Islands National Monument, and potentially the Islands themselves, to honor the area’s heritage, ancestral pathways, and stopping points for Pacific Island voyagers, and to provide posthumous recognition for young Native Hawaiian men sent to secure U.S. territorial claim to the islands in the run up to World War II.
New Federal and Other Actions to Conserve, Restore, and Expand Access to Lands and Waters
Ocean Climate Action Plan: The Ocean Policy Committee, co-chaired by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is releasing the first-ever United States Ocean Climate Action Plan, a groundbreaking roadmap to harnesses the power of the ocean to advance immediate, transformational steps to protect ocean health and address the climate crisis. Acknowledging that there is no path to a healthy and livable climate without the ocean, the plan outlines new actions on the Administration’s ocean-climate priorities, including efforts to advance climate solutions, promote environmental justice, support healthy communities, and ensure a robust and sustainable ocean economy.
Wildlife Corridors Guidance: The White House Council on Environmental Quality is issuing new guidance to Federal agencies on how to better incorporate ecological connectivity and wildlife corridors into federal planning and decision-making. The guidance highlights the importance of connectivity across terrestrial, marine, and freshwater habitats, encouraging collaboration across management and ownership boundaries with states, Tribes, local governments, and private land owners. This helps deliver on one of the America the Beautiful Initiative’s six early focus areas – supporting collaborative conservation of fish and wildlife habitat and corridors.
Strengthening the Stewardship of America’s Public Lands: The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in the coming weeks is seeking public input on a proposed rule that will help update and modernize the agency’s tools and strategies for managing America’s public lands. With climate change imposing mounting impacts on the nation’s public lands, and the growing importance of public lands for recreation and conservation, the proposed rule would help ensure that the nation’s lands continue to provide abundant and well-connected wildlife habitat, supply clean drinking water, and power local economies.
New Partnership to Protect Military Readiness and Preserve Green Space: The Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense are partnering to allocate $80 million through a combination of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and matching funds from DoD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI) to preserve green space around military installations and improve access to outdoor recreation for millions of Americans. The Departments will make the funding available to states through a competitive process that could support projects on Tribal, private, state, or local lands.
$100 Million Tribal Conservation Funding Pledge: Today, Native Americans in Philanthropy, in collaboration with Biodiversity Funders Group and 15 philanthropies, is launching the Tribal Nations Conservation Pledge with an initial commitment of more than $100 million. This is a new platform for philanthropic organizations to support the conservation work of Tribal Nations and public-private partnerships between the Biden-Harris Administration, Tribes, and philanthropy. The pledge calls on funders to commit to a self-determined amount of funding, or a self-determined percentage of annual programmatic funding, to support the biodiversity and conservation efforts of Tribes, inter-Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia.
America the Beautiful 2022 Annual Report: The Biden-Harris Administration is releasing the 2022 America the Beautiful Annual Report, an update on progress made to support locally-led conservation and restoration efforts and meet the President’s goal to conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.
New Partnership to Accelerate the Conservation of At-Risk Species: The Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Alliance of Forest Owners and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement Inc., will announce a memorandum of understanding which formalizes the Wildlife Conservation Initiative, a collaborative partnership focused on advancing the conservation of at-risk and listed species within private working forests nationwide. The announcement comes as the Department of the Interior celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and highlights the landmark law’s importance in preventing imperiled species’ extinction, promoting the recovery of wildlife, and conserving the habitats upon which they depend.
Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program: Soon the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation will open applications for the first-of-its-kind $350 million Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. The program will build infrastructure that is proven to improve roadway safety – particularly in rural communities – and bring down the roughly 200 deaths stemming from more than one million collisions every year between vehicles and wildlife.
Nearly $200 Million to Reduce Wildfire Risk to Communities: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced nearly $200 million in Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) program grants to communities across the country. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CWDG program is designed to assist communities, including Tribal communities, non-profit organizations, state forestry agencies and Alaska Native corporations with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks to communities and critical infrastructure as the nation faces an ongoing wildfire crisis.
State Wildlife Grants: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing over $56 million for state fish and wildlife agencies through the State Wildlife Grant Program to support conservation and stewardship efforts for imperiled wildlife and their habitats.
Boating Infrastructure Grants: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing over $20 million in grant funding to assist states and territories in the construction, renovation and maintenance of marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation. Grants will support projects in 20 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to increase outdoor recreation access and waterway stewardship.
Pactola Reservoir Protection: The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management announced actions to consider protections for cultural and natural resources in the Pactola Reservoir – Rapid Creek Watershed in South Dakota, including drinking water for Rapid City and Ellsworth Air Force Base, from the adverse impacts of mineral exploration and development. The Pactola Reservoir is the largest and deepest reservoir in the Black Hills National Forest, with 14 miles of shoreline and 150-foot depths on 800 acres and provides high quality recreation for communities and visitors