Biden, during his visit to FEMA, received a briefing on this year’s outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season.
As climate change threatens to bring more extreme events such as increased floods, sea level rise and intensifying droughts and wildfires, the White House said it is the government’s responsibility to better prepare and support communities before disasters occur, rather than simply respond afterward.
FEMA will provide $1 billion for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, or BRIC program, which helps states, local communities, tribes and territories to develop projects to prepare for and reduce risks from disasters and natural hazards.
“We’re going to spare no expense, no effort, to keep Americans safe and respond to crises when they arise,” Biden said. “And they certainly will.”
The White House also said it will develop a new NASA mission concept for an Earth System Observatory that will forecast and monitor natural disasters. The Earth System Observatory will deploy advanced technology in space to improve understanding of interactions between Earth’s atmosphere, land, ocean and ice, helping determine how climate change will play out in the near and long term.
The steps announced Monday are part of Biden’s pledge to elevate climate change as a major priority. Biden has set a target to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030. He also has said he expects to adopt a clean energy standard that would make electricity carbon-free by 2035, along with the wider goal of net-zero carbon emissions economywide by 2050.