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US VP Kamala Harris announces $1 billion in grants to address climate change-related disasters

Office of the Vice President of the United States / Wikimedia Commons

US Vice President Kamala Harris announced a major step by the Biden administration to address the effects of climate change. Harris announced $1 billion in grants for states to address climate change-caused calamities.

Harris announced over $1 billion in grants this week for states to address calamities caused by climate change, such as floods and extreme heat.

The grants are designed to help communities all over the country prepare for and respond to climate-related calamities. Harris made the announcement during her visit to Miami, Florida, where she was also briefed on climate resilience at the National Hurricane Center.

During her visit to the NHC, Harris said that incidents like the flooding in Kentucky and the wildfires in California show “how immediate, how current, and how urgent the issue is of addressing the extreme weather that we’ve been experiencing around the country and the world.”

“The frequency has accelerated in a relatively short period of time,” said Harris. “The science is clear. Extreme weather will only get worse, and the climate crisis will only accelerate.”

Harris cited the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that showed that the US suffered from 20 climate-related disasters in 2021 that caused over $1 billion in damages. This is compared to the 1990s, when there were only six climate-related disasters per year.

Harris’s visit to Florida also comes as the White House is leading the response to climate disasters.

Last month, President Joe Biden announced that $2.3 billion would be spent to help communities cope with the extreme heat through the programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Health and Human Services Department, and other agencies.

In other related news, Harris formally endorsed California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass in her run to become the next mayor of Los Angeles this week. Biden and Harris issued a joint statement announcing their endorsement of Bass.

“We are endorsing Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor because we are eager to continue to partner with her on innovative strategies to reduce homelessness and increase public safety and prosperity,” said Biden and Harris in the statement.

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