Biden to highlight climate commitments during West Coast swing

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President Joe Biden will highlight climate commitments made by his administration and announce new federal funding for climate resilience projects as part of a three-day trip to the Bay Area in Northern California that begins Monday, according to a White House official.

Biden’s trip builds on several campaign-related stops over the past week at which he outlined key planks for his reelection bid, including touting stricter gun safety measures at a summit in Connecticut and underscoring his economic pitch in Philadelphia.

It also comes less than a week after four major environmental groups backed Biden’s campaign for a second term in a first-ever joint endorsement from the LCV Action Fund, NextGen PAC, the Sierra Club and the NRDC Action Fund. In a speech in Washington after the endorsement, Biden called climate change “the only truly existential threat,” adding, “If we don’t meet the requirements that we’re looking at, we’re in real trouble.”

Biden heavily courted climate and environmental justice groups during his 2020 campaign and has made combating climate change central to his governing agenda with announcements over the past few months on environmental justice initiatives and aggressive new rules to regulate planet-warming pollution from natural gas power plants.

Some environmental groups and activists have expressed frustration over his administration’s approval of a major Alaska oil project earlier this year and more recently over the White House pushing for the Mountain Valley pipeline to be included in the debt ceiling package enacted earlier this month.

On Monday, Biden will tour coastal wetland areas and discuss actions his administration has taken to alleviate the climate crisis and protect the environment during a visit to the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center and Preserve in Palo Alto, California, according to the White House official.

As part of his remarks, which will be delivered alongside state, community and environmental justice leaders, the president will announce that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is launching a $575 million “Climate Resilience Regional Challenge,” which will help coastal and Great Lakes communities “become more resilient to extreme weather and other impacts of the climate crisis,” according to a White House fact sheet.

Biden issued an executive order prioritizing environmental justice in April, establishing the new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In a speech at the time ahead of Earth Day, Biden said that “environmental justice will be the mission of the entire government woven directly into how we work with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.”

The funding to be announced Monday, which is part of the president’s signature climate and health care law enacted last year, will support building natural infrastructure, protecting public access to coastal natural resources and other measures aimed at protecting communities for storm surge, flooding and rising sea levels, according to the White House.

Biden will also announce that he expects to host a White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities later this year during which his administration will release a new National Climate Resilience Framework that will outline steps the federal government can take to promote climate resiliency, according to the fact sheet.


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