The Biden administration announced Monday it will double the budget of the FEMA program that helps states and municipalities prepare for the impacts of climate change. The $1 billion boost – though less than the amount some disaster experts say will be necessary as climate change worsens storms, flooding, and wildfires – was described as a “good start” by Obama FEMA director Craig Fugate, who said cities and states might struggle to effectively spend the infusion of what he described as “a huge number for pre-disaster mitigation.” The administration also announced a new NASA mission to help track how climate change is affecting communities by measuring the interactions between Earth’s atmosphere, land, ocean, and ice.
The U.S. experienced 22 billion-dollar disasters last year, and experts expect bad hurricane and wildfire seasons again this year. Biden has directed federal agencies to produce climate adaptation plans and is seeking $50 billion in climate resilience funding as part of his infrastructure plan. (Washington Post $, New York Times $, AP, E&E $, Axios, Reuters, The Hill, CNN, Bloomberg $, Politico Pro $)