Image courtesy 123rf

USA - Biden administration announces $6bn for climate resilience, grid enhancements

US President Biden is announcing more than $6 billion in investments meant to make communities across the country more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including by strengthening America’s aging electric grid infrastructure, reducing flood risk to communities, supporting conservation efforts and advancing environmental justice.

The announcement comes in coordination with the release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) report, The NCA5 report, which assesses changes in the climate, its national and regional impacts, and options for reducing present and future risk.

The report indicates that not only is every region of the country already experiencing the impacts of climate change, but ambitious climate action is underway in every region as well.

Federal, state, local and Tribal mitigation and adaptation actions have significantly increased, the report said, while zero-carbon and low-carbon energy options are rapidly becoming more affordable.

The report also shows that climate-change-related extreme weather events still pose a rapidly intensifying threat – one that costs the U.S. at least $150 billion each year, and that disproportionately affects underserved and overburdened communities.

These announcements include:

Grid investments

The Department of Energy announced $3.9 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law intended to strengthen and modernize America’s electric grid in the face of more frequent and intense climate impacts to ensure reliable power to households across the country while investing in the American workforce.

This funding opportunity, the second under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships program, focuses on projects that are meant to modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts from extreme weather and natural disasters, increase capacity and unlock renewable energy resources, mitigate faults that lead to wildfires or other system disturbances, and deploy advanced technologies such as distributed energy resources and battery systems to provide essential grid services.

Clean energy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon make $2 billion of funding available through its Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants program to support community-driven projects that deploy clean energy, strengthen climate resilience, and build community capacity to respond to environmental and climate justice challenges.

This program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, will invest in multi-year partnerships between community-based organizations, local governments, institutes of higher education, and federally- recognized Tribes. EPA also will provide $200 million in technical assistance and capacity-building support for communities and their partners as they work to access these critical federal resources.

Flood risk, climate resilience, and conservation

In addition to the grid and clean energy investments, the Biden administration is investing in flood mitigation assistance, drought resilience, and conservation efforts.

Read more.