Biden unveils new executive actions to combat climate change

Biden unveils new executive actions to combat climate change

Following a setback from his legislative agenda to combat climate change, President Biden announced a raft of recent efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Wednesday.

In conjunction with the speech, the White House released a fact sheet that includes two new climate change adaptation actions. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced $2.3 billion in funding to "help communities increase resilience to heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and other hazards," and the Department of Health and Human Services is issuing guidance to allow the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to be used from Accepted by local governments for home air conditioning equipment, community cooling centers and more.

The Biden administration unveiled an effort to promote clean energy, with the Department of the Interior proposing 700,000 acres for offshore wind power development in the Gulf of Mexico.

The moves come in response to a string of recent defeats of Biden's efforts to halve US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Last week, Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat from coal and gas-rich West Virginia, announced he would not vote for a Budget adjustment bill that includes new spending to support clean energy and electric cars. 

Key activists have called for climate change to be declared a national emergency to reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase clean energy capacity. The White House is said to be considering such a move.

Biden has referred to climate change as an emergency. He hinted on Wednesday that an official announcement might come. He said, " in the coming weeks, I will use my authority as President to turn these words into official government action, through appropriate declarations, executive orders, and regulatory powers that the President possesses."

Biden's speech comes at a time when climate change is wreaking havoc in the United States and worldwide. Much of Europe is experiencing a severe heat wave, with new high temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit recorded across the continent. Thousands of people died as a result. Meanwhile, the western United States is baking, hitting 115 degrees Fahrenheit in Texas and Oklahoma this week. About 211 million Americans will see 90-degree weather on Wednesday. Biden nodded, noting that "100 million Americans are on high alert today."

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