Biden Administration Offers Climate Grants as New Report Makes Drastic Prediction
WASHINGTON — Climate change is creating harm to the United States that is 68% worse than most of the rest of the world, according to a federal report announced this week.
“The things Americans value most are at risk,” a draft copy of the National Climate Assessment says.
At the same time, the options offered by the U.S. government to combat global warming have never been greater.
The latest example comes from the Environmental Protection Agency, which announced Friday that $13 billion is available from the Inflation Reduction Act to advance “environmental justice.”
The EPA is seeking public input through a web page on the kinds of projects that should get the money.
One grant under the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in August allocates $1 billion for electric school buses.
The act’s other grant programs authorize the EPA to distribute $5 billion to help state and local governments develop “strong climate pollution reduction strategies” and another $4 billion to reduce transportation emissions.
The alarms raised in the preliminary National Climate Assessment underpin a Biden administration policy that seeks to turn environmentalism into a profitable enterprise.
Last week, Biden announced a plan to phase out coal-fired generating plants whose emissions contribute to global warming. He has set a goal for the United States to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and eliminate them by 2050.
Biden said during a speech in California on promoting the American semiconductor industry that coal-fired plants are too expensive. He added that his administration would “be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.”
Some Republicans criticized his pledge of more renewable energy as unrealistic.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted the nation’s energy consumption would increase to a record high in 2022 because of increasing economic activity and hotter summer weather.
The draft National Climate Assessment gave a dire prediction of worsening calamities from climate change without a switch to renewable energy.
“There is no known precedent for a species changing its own climate as quickly as we are changing ours, and there are many uncertainties associated with a rapidly warming world,” the report says.
Congress passed a law in 1990 requiring the federal government to produce a National Climate Assessment every four years. The draft report is undergoing public comment now before a scheduled official public release next year.
Some of the worst effects are on large expanses of land, which warm faster than the oceans, and in higher latitudes, according to the report. The result is likely to be faster spread of disease, decreases in farm yields, higher food prices and compromised ecosystems.
Average temperatures in the United States have risen 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit from global warming, compared with about 2 degrees worldwide.
Increasingly, the effects are touching Americans in their everyday lives, the draft report says. It includes more flooding in Miami, Florida, damage to Alaskan fisheries and declines in snowfall that disrupt the business of Colorado ski resorts.
The Biden administration released the draft of the National Climate Assessment while the United Nations’ COP27 climate change conference continued this week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. COP27 stands for the Conference of the Parties of 27 participating nations.
As the environmental crisis worsens, several of the world’s wealthiest nations showed greater willingness during the conference to contribute to pollution-control measures of underdeveloped countries.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global coal use for electricity generation must fall by 80% below 2010 levels by 2030 to attain the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Centigrade. Coal needs to be phased out completely by 2040 to meet the commitment.
The poorest nations said at COP27 they don’t have the money to replace coal-fired plants with renewable energy.