Biden releases the Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment, invests $6 billion into climate resilience

In addition to releasing NAC5 report on changes in the climate, the resulting impacts on the U.S., Biden announces over $6 billion in investments to "make communities across the country more resilient to the impacts of climate change."

Photo by Dirk Ingo Franke on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

On November 14, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), which “assesses changes in the climate, its national and regional impacts, and options for reducing present and future risk, indicates that not only is every region of the country already experiencing the impacts of climate change, but ambitious climate action is underway in every region as well.”

According to the White House, “Federal, state, local, and Tribal mitigation and adaptation actions have significantly increased, while zero-carbon and low-carbon energy options are rapidly becoming more affordable. The report also shows that climate-change-related extreme weather events still pose a rapidly intensifying threat – one that costs the U.S. at least $150 billion each year and that disproportionately affects underserved and overburdened communities.”

In addition to the release of the NAC5, the White House further stated: “President Biden is today announcing more than $6 billion in investments to make communities across the country more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including by strengthening America’s aging electric grid infrastructure, reducing flood risk to communities, supporting conservation efforts, and advancing environmental justice.

Sharing that NCA5 was “overseen by a Federal Steering Committee appointed by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) and comprising representatives from USGCRP agencies”, U.S. Global Change Research Program said: “The process is designed to be transparent and inclusive, offering multiple opportunities for public participation. As in previous assessments, NCA5 underwent an extensive, multi-phase process of internal and external review from federal agency experts, the general public, and external peer review by a panel of experts established by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.”

“Climate change is affecting agriculture, forests, rural communities, water, and natural resources across the U.S., and will continue to over the next century through changing temperatures, precipitation patterns, drought, flooding, and increasingly more severe extreme events, such as wildfires,” the Department of Agriculture wrote, adding: “While specific climate impacts vary based on regional conditions and context, no region of the Nation is immune from the impacts of climate change.” Although it notes that innovations in adapting to climate change “show promise and will be central to the future success of working lands” it warns that there will likely be a disproportionate effect on “frontline, rural, Tribal, and other historically underserved communities.”

NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad stated: “The report details the far-reaching effects of human-caused climate change on the U.S. and concludes that every additional increment of warming that we avoid — every action to reduce warming — matters for reducing harmful impacts. This report, with its strong emphasis on mitigation and adaptation, can empower the nation to scale up these efforts as the Biden-Harris Administration accelerates the reduction of greenhouse emissions to limit devastating climate impacts.”