Biden calls climate change a “threat” and announces measures to prepare the country for its consequences

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced Wednesday that his administration will take action in the face of the “emergency” posed by climate change, and announced a funding package to adapt the country to the consequences of a generalized rise in temperatures.

“I came here with a message: as president, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and provide solutions when our nation faces a clear and present danger. And that is what climate change is. Literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger,” the U.S. president said, according to a White House statement.

Biden has expressed concern about what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called “code red for humanity,” and said he will announce a package of measures in the absence of legislation from the U.S. Congress.

“Let me say it again: ‘Code red for humanity.’ It’s not what a group of political officials has said. It’s what scientists have said (…) As president, I will use my executive powers to combat the climate crisis in the absence of congressional action,” said the president of the United States.

“In the coming days, my administration will announce the executive actions we have developed to combat this emergency. We must act,” added Biden, recalling that 100 million Americans are currently on heat alert.

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The Biden Administration has announced “the largest investment in history” –2.25 billion euros– to help communities across the country “build infrastructure designed to withstand the full range of disasters we’ve seen to date: extreme heat, drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes.”

Also, the White House is working with states to deploy up to 377 million euros to target the “millions of people suffering from extreme heat in their homes.”

“States will be able to use federal funds to pay for air conditioners in homes, set up community cooling centers in schools where people can get through these extreme heat crises. And I’m talking about 37 to 47 degree crises,” Biden added.

He also stressed the importance of the Infrastructure Bill that congressional Democrats have delivered for a vote, which includes more than 3 billion euros to weatherize homes and make them more energy efficient, which would reduce energy costs and keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The U.S. president has announced that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is developing “the first workplace standards for extreme heat.”

The intent of the Secretary of Labor is to dictate under what heat conditions workers cannot be asked to do certain things.

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Acosta, in addition, has ordered heat-related work inspections of businesses in 43 states to make sure that the standards we set are being met.

On the other hand, Biden has detailed that the North American country has reduced in 15 years 20 percent of the electricity that was generated from coal. “Just 15 years ago, the United States generated more than half of its electricity from coal, in coal-fired power plants. Today, that number is down to 20 percent because a major transition is taking place,” Biden said.

He has cited the example of the Brayton Point thermal power plant, which for more than 50 years “sustained the economy” of Massachusetts and was the state’s largest in the New England region, and which closed in 2017.

Five years later, Brayton Point, according to Biden, is one of the leading industrial hubs in clean energy. The city will manufacture 400 kilometers of submarine cables to connect the planned offshore wind farms in the country to the existing grid.

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