President Obama Announces Climate Change Initiatives
President Obama announced a series of climate change initiatives on Wednesday at the White House aimed at helping cities and towns affected by storm surges, flooding, drought and erosion.
"Climate change poses a direct threat to the infrastructure of America," Obama said.
The initiatives are the results of recommendations from 26 officials from across the country who participated in the president's State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, started last November.
The initiatives are aimed at guarding electricity supply; improving local planning for flooding, coastal erosion and storm surges; and better predicting landslide risks as sea levels rise and storms and droughts intensify, according to The New York Times.
The measures, involving multiple agencies, are to support communities in need of more resilient infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather and increased flooding:
- The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs launched a $10 million training partnership to help tribes prepare for climate change;
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $236.3 million in funding to eight states to improve electric infrastructure in rural communities with smart grid technologies;
- The Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey announced a $13.1 million project of 3-dimensional mapping data of the United States. The mapping data will be used for planning and mitigation for flood risk management, water resource planning, and coastal erosion;
- The Environmental Protection Agency announced funding assistance in at least 25 communities for green infrastructure projects, such as urban forests and rooftop gardens under is Green Infrastructure Collaborative; and,
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new guide, 'Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change,' for public health departments to identify health hazards associated with climate change.
President Obama said boosting the nation's resilience and fighting climate change shouldn't be a partisan issue for lawmakers in Washington.