In conjunction with White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities, Administration announces more than $500 million in additional investment for resilience
Across the country, Americans are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. In just the first eight months of the year, there have been 23 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters – more than any other year on record. And the longer-term effects of climate change – including sea-level rise, hotter average temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and more – are affecting every corner of society and every community in America.
That’s why President Biden is leading the most ambitious climate, conservation, and environmental justice agenda in history. Today President Biden is fulfilling a commitment he made in June to host the first-ever White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities. This Summit, which will include representatives from more than 25 states, territories, and Tribal Nations, underscores the Administration’s commitment to solutions that will both dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage climate threats, and recognizes the importance of locally tailored, community-driven strategies.
The Summit will amplify the leadership of climate resilience practitioners nationwide – the construction workers, educators, resource managers, city and state resilience officers, emergency managers, local and Tribal leaders, and many others who are striving to help their communities adapt to today’s climate impacts and prepare for future climate risks. It also provides an opportunity for practitioners and senior Administration officials from more than 15 federal departments and agencies to jointly discuss needs and opportunities for future climate resilience efforts, including maximizing the impact of the more than $50 billion for climate resilience in President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, as well as President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which builds climate resilience in developing countries.
In conjunction with the Summit, the Administration is releasing the National Climate Resilience Framework, a vision for a climate resilient Nation designed to guide and align climate resilience investments and activities by the federal government and its partners. The Framework identifies common principles and specific actions to expand and accelerate progress towards six objectives:
- Embed climate resilience into planning and management.
- Increase resilience of the built environment to both acute climate shocks and chronic stressors.
- Mobilize capital, investment, and innovation to advance climate resilience at scale.
- Equip communities with information and resources needed to assess their climate risks and develop the climate resilience solutions most appropriate for them.
- Protect and sustainably manage lands and waters to enhance resilience, while providing numerous other benefits.
- Help communities become not only more resilient, but also more safe, healthy, equitable, and economically strong.
Additionally, the Administration is announcing today more than a dozen new actions – including the awarding or availability of more than $500 million in dedicated funding – to help build a climate resilient Nation, and commitments from major philanthropies to expand financial support for climate resilience and align investments with national climate resilience priorities.
Today’s announcements come on the heels of a historic stretch of actions and investments through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to bolster climate resilience nationwide. Just last week, President Biden took executive action to launch the American Climate Corps – a workforce training and service initiative that will mobilize more than 20,000 young Americans to help build a more sustainable, resilient nation. And in the past two months, the Administration has also invested billions to combat extreme heat and storm-induced flooding by expanding urban forests, build community resilience to extreme weather, and strengthen the security and sustainability of the electrical grid in rural communities and Puerto Rico, and Hawaiʻi.
Today’s actions include:
Boosting Climate Resilience in Buildings
- Transitioning the Building Sector to Zero Emissions. The Administration announced today that it will develop a standard national definition for a zero-emissions building for non-federally owned buildings. This action will accelerate climate progress by helping the building industry construct buildings that are both zero-emissions and more climate resilient. The final definition will be published in early 2024 following a stakeholder engagement process. In addition, the Department of the Treasury issued guidance this week on the 45L new energy efficient home tax credit that offers up to $5,000 to eligible contractors who construct, reconstruct, or rehabilitate an energy efficient home to meet EPA Energy Star Certification and DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes Certification. This comes on the heels of the Department of Energy opening applications for $400 million for states and territories to adopt and implement building energy codes that reduce utility bills, increase efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions that fuel the climate crisis, and make buildings more resilient to climate disaster.
- Strengthening the Power Grid for States and Tribes. The Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing the eighth cohort of its Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants. This cohort includes $167.7 million in awards from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law across 11 states, 2 territories, and 20 Tribes. With this cohort, DOE has now awarded more than $748 million to modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts of climate-driven extreme weather and natural disasters, while also ensuring power sector reliability.
- Promoting Climate Resilient Building and Energy Codes and Standards. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, which works with federal agencies to advance hazard risk reduction across the nation, is issuing a set of Federal best practices for incorporating latest consensus-based codes and above-code standards to achieve climate resilience and greenhouse gas reduction in physical assets that are funded with federal dollars. This publication is a product of the National Initiative to Advance Building Codes.
- Advancing Federal Agency Leadership in Climate Adaptation Planning. Federal agencies are taking action to build a resilient government through the implementation of their Climate Adaptation Plans, which are roadmaps that agencies developed to adapt physical assets and operations to climate risk. The White House Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Management and Budget are directing agencies to use a data-driven, climate science-based approach to evaluate their climate risk and develop resilience and adaptation strategies that will ensure more resilient federal operations and a resilient workforce.
Strengthening Local Engagement and Partnerships
- Establishing New Community Climate Resilience Centers. The Department of Energy is announcing the recipients – in Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, and North Carolina – of a combined $5 million to establish Climate Resilience Centers. These centers will improve the use and utility of DOE climate science and engagement with local communities to address local climate resilience challenges while also supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Adaptation Partnerships program (CAP/RISA) is announcing eight new awards totaling approximately $3.9 million. Funded projects will work cross-regionally – in flood-impacted communities everywhere from Hawai’i and the U.S. Caribbean to the East Coast and in wildfire-impacted communities in Colorado and New Mexico – over the next three to four years to test, scale, and transfer knowledge that builds national adaptation capacity. Projects will also generate locally relevant knowledge and strategies to reduce risks from flooding and wildfires in frontline communities.
- NOAA will grow support for equitable adaptation by extending the reach of the CAP/RISA network to the Central Midwest (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska). This is the first time there has been a CAP/RISA program in this region. This new CAP/RISA will focus on engaging Tribal Nations and women farmland owners in a community of learning about inland climate adaptation and community resilience.
- In alignment with the Administration’s policy goals, philanthropic organizations are leveraging new federal funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and committing resources to advance actions that help communities plan for and adapt to a changing climate. A dozen philanthropic organizations have invested more than a combined $800 million in complementary climate resilience priorities – and are committed to continuing to work with the federal government, communities, and local leaders on opportunities to further advance shared policy priorities and climate resilience goals.
Bolstering Workforce and Community Benefits
- The Department of Labor is awarding $16 million to support organizations in 12 states as they pilot strategies to improve job quality and increase the availability of good jobs in the critical sectors of climate resilience, care, and hospitality. The Critical Sectors Job Quality grants being announced today will enable recipients to design and deploy programs that align with the Good Jobs Principles developed by the Departments of Labor and Commerce, leveraging workforce strategies, such as sector partnerships with workers and employers, to create good climate resilience jobs to benefit workers and employers. Programs will expand career awareness, provide training, and improve access to quality jobs within the climate resilience sector for historically underrepresented and underserved communities.
- NOAA will award $12.7 million through its Climate Smart Communities Initiative (CSCI) to help communities protect people, property, infrastructure, economies and natural resources from climate-related hazards. CSCI will work to support communities by helping them to identify and use climate science data and tools needed to understand their exposure to climate-related hazards, and to use that information to create and implement climate resilience plans.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is announcing the Pacific Islands Cultural Initiative, a $1.3 million investment to fortify cultural heritage and resilience in the U.S. Pacific Islands. In August 2023, NEH awarded $2 million to cultural and educational organizations, Tribal Nations, and municipalities through its new Cultural and Community Resilience and Climate Smart Humanities Organizations programs, which support community-based and strategic planning efforts to safeguard cultural resources and foster cultural resilience against the impacts of climate change.
- The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity and Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching a new Climate and Health Outlook Portal. Built on the data underlying the HHS Climate and Health Outlook, the Portal features interactive county-level maps with heat, wildfire, and drought forecasts for the current month, along with individual-level climate health risk factors. This tool, being released in initial beta form, is designed for emergency response and health care professionals to support planning and preparation for the potential impacts of these climate hazards and assist the public with learning more about the climate-related health risks they may face in their county.
Ensuring Resilient Lands and Waters
- The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation is announcing up to $328 million in funding available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and annual appropriations to help make Western communities more resilient to drought and climate change, including in the Colorado River Basin. Funding will support grants for water desalination, water recycling and reuse, and small water storage projects. In addition, earlier this week, NOAA announced availability of $2 million in funds through the National Integrated Drought Information System to support Tribal Nations in addressing current and future drought risk on Tribal lands across the western United States.
- Earlier this week, the Wildland Fire Management and Mitigation Commission, established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, released a report recommending improvements to Federal policies related to preventing, mitigating, suppressing, and managing wildland fires, as well as rehabilitating affected lands.
- Earlier this week, the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service and the nonprofit American Forests signed a five-year agreement to help return the threatened whitebark pine to its range in the northern Rockies. At least half of all whitebark pines have died in recent decades due to threats including climate change, negatively affecting the long-term outlook for this critical keystone plant species. The new partnership, made possible through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, will support restoration activities in national parks where whitebark pine grow – making whitebark pine ecosystems more resilient to climate impacts – and advance the Interior Department’s National Seed Strategy.