U.S. President Joe Biden speaks out on combating climate change before signing executive measures in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on January 27, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden's 2022 budget proposal envisages more than $ 36 billion to combat global climate change. This represents an increase of more than $ 14 billion from 2021, with major new investments focused on research on clean energy, climate and sustainability, and improved water infrastructure.
Widespread funding of climate change issues would fuel the president's promise to cut CO2 emissions in the US in half by 2030 and put the economy on a path to carbon neutrality by mid-century.
Biden's main areas of spending on climate include:
$ 10 billion for clean energy innovation $ 7 billion for NOAA research $ 6.5 billion for clean energy storage in rural areas, transmission projects $ 4 billion for climate research advancement 3.6 $ 1.7 billion in water infrastructure $ 1.7 billion in home and federal building retrofits $ 1.4 billion in environmental justice initiatives
Climate change is "an opportunity to create new industries and high-paying jobs with the free and fair choice to join a union, revitalize America's energy communities and the economy, and position America as the world's clean energy superpower," it said White House proposal said on Friday.
In order to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2035, the budget provides $ 2 billion to employ welders, electricians and other workers on clean energy projects in the US. In addition, $ 580 million is earmarked for rehabilitation of abandoned oil and gas wells and reclamation of old mines.
The budget provides $ 815 million to incorporate climate change risk into disaster planning and includes more than $ 1.2 billion over 2021 to help improve U.S. resilience to more frequent and intense climate disasters such as forest fires, floods and drought to increase.
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The president's budget is intended to fund part of his extensive infrastructure package called the American Jobs Plan. This proposal includes record spending on climate change mitigation and a nationwide switch to clean energy and, if passed, would be one of the greatest federal efforts ever to reduce emissions.
While the Senate Republicans recently released a counter-offer on infrastructure that cut Biden's spending on electric vehicles and the climate, the White House has so far not changed its climate policy during the negotiations.
The President's budget request depends on Congress to pass it. But with the Democrats controlling both chambers this year, Biden could stand a good chance of enacting large chunks of it.
The budget and infrastructure proposals come as the US resumes its international efforts to combat climate change after former President Donald Trump stepped out of the 2015 Paris Agreement and halted all federal efforts to reduce emissions.
The budget also includes a $ 1.2 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund, which aims to help developing countries cut their emissions and adapt to climate change.
The president's goal of halving domestic emissions by 2030 has more than doubled the country's previous commitment under the Paris Agreement. The Obama administration has set out to reduce emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. However, the US is not yet halfway to achieving this goal.