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New U.S. Strategy Would Quickly Free Billions in Climate Funds

The Federal Emergency Management Agency aims to free up as much as $10 billion to build climate resiliency through existing grant programs through a budgeting maneuver which would count federal COVID spending towards a formula that allocates money towards climate programs, according to an article in the New York Times. As much as $3.7 billion could be allocated towards the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, which currently stands at $500 million. If FEMA were to count COVID funds towards another program, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps communities rebuild after a disaster, the amount of new funds could approach $10 billion.

The move would signal an early attempt by the Biden administration to make its climate commitments a reality, and would work towards mitigating the risks caused by risky development practices across the country, paired with a minimization of climate risks by the Trump administration.

"In many coastal states, home construction is increasing the fastest in the most flood-prone areas, including places that could soon be underwater. And despite strong public support for tougher building codes in high-risk areas, just one-third of local jurisdictions have adopted disaster-resistant provisions in their building codes.

New U.S. Strategy Would Quickly Free Billions in Climate Funds, New York Times