US VP Harris to announce $1bn to states for floods, extreme heat | Climate Crisis News

The grants will assist communities throughout the nation put together for and reply to rising climate-related disasters.

Kamala Harris, the vice chairman of the USA, has referred to as local weather change an “instant” and “pressing” disaster as she detailed Biden administration efforts to reply to disasters such because the lethal flooding in Kentucky and wildfires ravaging her residence state of California.

Harris on Monday was set to announce greater than $1bn in grants out there to states to handle flooding and excessive warmth exacerbated by local weather change. The aggressive grants are designed to assist communities throughout the nation put together for and reply to climate-related disasters.

Visiting the Nationwide Hurricane Middle earlier than the grant announcement, Harris mentioned that disasters such because the Kentucky flood and California wildfires present “how instant, how present and the way pressing the problem is of addressing the acute climate that we’ve been experiencing across the nation and the world”.

“The frequency has accelerated in a comparatively quick time period,” Harris mentioned. “The science is obvious. Excessive climate will solely get worse, and the local weather disaster will solely speed up.”

In 2021, the US skilled 20 climate-related disasters that every brought on greater than $1bn in injury, Harris mentioned, citing a report by the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There have been about six such disasters per 12 months within the Nineteen Nineties.

The go to comes because the White Home is main a government-wide response to local weather disasters that “recognises the urgency of this second and our means to do one thing about it,” she mentioned.

The vice chairman was on the hurricane centre for a briefing earlier than visiting Florida Worldwide College, the place she is anticipated to announce the grants.

President Joe Biden introduced final month that the administration will spend $2.3bn to assist communities address hovering temperatures via programmes administered by the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA), the Division of Well being and Human Companies and different businesses.

The transfer doubles spending on the Constructing Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, or BRIC, programme, which helps states, native communities, tribes and territories on initiatives to scale back climate-related hazards and put together for pure disasters.

“Communities throughout our nation are experiencing firsthand the devastating impacts of the local weather change and the associated excessive climate occasions that comply with — extra energised hurricanes with deadlier storm surges, elevated flooding and a wildfire season that’s turn out to be a year-long menace,” FEMA head Deanne Criswell mentioned.

A man runs to a truck as a wildfire called the McKinney fire burns in Klamath National Forest, California.
Vice President Kamala Harris pointed to the wildfires in California as proof of the urgency of addressing local weather change [Noah Berger/AP]

The funding introduced on Monday will “assist to make sure that our most susceptible communities should not left behind, with tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} finally going on to the communities that want it most,” Criswell mentioned.

A complete of $1bn might be made out there via the BRIC programme, with an extra $160m to be provided for flood mitigation help, officers mentioned.

Jacksonville, the most important metropolis in Florida, was amongst cities that acquired cash beneath the BRIC programme final 12 months. The town was awarded $23m for flood mitigation and stormwater infrastructure. Jacksonville sits in a damp, subtropical area alongside the St Johns River and Atlantic Ocean, making it susceptible to flooding when stormwater basins attain capability. The town experiences frequent flooding and is in danger for elevated main storms.

The South Florida Water Administration District in Miami-Dade County acquired $50m for flood mitigation and pump station repairs. Actual property growth alongside town’s fast-growing waterfront has created a high-risk flood zone for communities within the metropolis and put stress on present methods, making repairs to present constructions an pressing want, officers mentioned.

The Biden administration has launched a collection of actions meant to cut back heat-related sickness and shield public well being, together with a proposed office warmth normal.

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