Biden budget includes $24 billion for conservation, resilience

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Joe Biden while speaking during the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 in Egypt.

Gehad Hamdy | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

President Joe Biden‘s budget proposal for 2024 includes billions of dollars spread across federal agencies to combat climate change, with a bulk of the investment going toward boosting conservation and disaster resilience, cutting pollution and advancing clean energy technologies.

Among the most ambitious of Biden’s funding requests is the roughly $24 billion to help build communities’ resilience to climate-related disasters, including floods, wildfires, storms, extreme heat and drought. The funding comes after the country experienced a fivefold increase in the annual number of billion-dollar disasters over the past five years.

The White House’s budget blueprint on climate spending will likely face strong opposition from House Republicans and prompt negotiations in Washington among House and Senate committees over various funding levels.

Some of Biden’s spending areas on climate include:

  • $24 billion for climate resilience and conservation
  • $16.5 billion for climate science and clean energy innovation
  • $6.5 billion for energy storage and transmission projects
  • $4.5 billion for jobs building clean energy infrastructure
  • $3 billion for advancing adaptation finance
  • $1.8 billion for environmental justice initiatives
  • $1.2 billion for the Energy Department’s industrial decarbonization activities

The climate funding would move forward Biden’s commitment to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The proposal also comes as the White House continues to implement provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate bill ever passed by Congress.

The spending is spread across agencies tasked with combating climate change, advancing climate resilience and bolstering clean energy technologies. Agencies include the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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The U.S. is taking the lead on “building a clean energy economy; tackling the climate crisis; creating clean energy jobs; protecting America’s communities from climate disasters; advancing environmental justice; and cutting energy bills for hard working families,” the White House proposal said.

The blueprint invests $4.5 billion to create jobs that build clean infrastructure projects across the country. Sustainable infrastructure projects include $1.8 billion to weatherize and retrofit low-income Americans’ homes; $83 million to electrify tribal homes and transition tribal colleges and universities to renewable energy; and $107 million to help utilities and governments build more resilient grids.

The White House proposes $16.5 billion to support climate science and clean energy innovation, with more than $5.1 billion to fund research on climate adaptation and resilience across agencies such as NASA and the Interior Department.

The budget also proposes ending oil and gas industry subsidies, which environmental groups have argued are inappropriate amid the government’s push to transition the economy to cleaner energy sources. Such a proposal is unlikely to make it through the divided Congress. The budget also provides $311 million to remediate orphaned oil and gas wells and reclaim old mine lands.

President Biden aims to cut $3 trillion from deficit in upcoming budget unveiling

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