The New York Times reports that the new U.S. administration under President Biden plans to fix its climate policy and allocate money to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Funds could amount to US$10 Billion.
To do this, FEMA will have to shift its disaster relief funds to preventative infrastructure projects such as seawalls, home relocations, and other projects to protect its people and communities from climate disasters before it comes.
The agency is known to respond to any disasters in the United States that overwhelm local and state resources. The agency supports communities before, during, and after disasters.
The money will go to climate adaptation projects focusing more on pre-emptive actions like building seawalls, elevating, or relocating homes from flood-prone areas to protect people and communities from climate-related disasters. As climate change intensifies, climate-related disasters will also increase.
The agency estimates that US$3.7 billion of the budget will be allocated to the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) projects. At the moment, the program has only US$500 million to award in grants.
This budget proposal will have to be approved by the White House budget office, but Biden’s team is optimistic that this new fund is a way to fulfil the president’s campaign promise to address climate change.
On his first day in office, President Biden signed an order to impose higher construction standards on buildings and infrastructure on flood-areas built with federal money. He received praise for this climate adaptation measure as a forward-looking policy to ensure resilient infrastructures that are not “washed away by the next flood.”
To know more about the proposed FEMA climate adaptation funding, click the links below:
Flavelle, C. (2021 January 25). New U.S. Strategy Would Quickly Free Billions in Climate Funds. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/climate/fema-climate-spending-biden.html?
Kelley, A. (2021, January 26). New U.S. Strategy could create massive $10B fund to fight climate disasters. The Hill. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/infrastructure/535814-new-us-strategy-could-create-massive-10