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Joe Biden unveils plan to build more climate-resilient economy

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Joe Biden unveils plan to build more climate-resilient economy
People walk through a neighborhood that was flooded due to Hurricane Sally in Orange Beach, Ala., in 2020. The White House report Friday says damage from extreme weather in 2021 will be heaped on the $99 billion incurred by U.S. taxpayers in 2020. File Photo by Dan Anderson/EPA-EFE

Oct. 15 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden's administration on Friday announced the start of a "whole of government" strategy to address climate change and the economic risks that global-warming carbon emissions present, both collectively and for individual Americans.

Officials said the comprehensive plan aims to "measure, disclose, manage and mitigate" the risk associated with climate change and employs environmentally focused federal mechanics and rule-making.

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The White House on Friday released a 40-page report that outlines and emphasizes the economic risks created by climate change, titled "A Roadmap to Build a Climate-Resilient Economy."

"Climate change poses serious and systemic risks to the U.S. economy and financial system," it says. "The United States government is using all of its tools to properly account for and mitigate climate change-related financial and economic risks, as climate impacts are already affecting American jobs, homes, families' hard-earned savings, and businesses."

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As part of the strategy, things like mortgages, stocks, retirement savings and government spending are identified as being at risk due to the effects of climate change.

In May, Biden ordered the government to analyze how climate elements like heat, flooding, storms and fires affect the U.S. economy. A month earlier, he pledged to cut carbon emissions in half by 2031.

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The plan also prioritizes using the federal government's purchasing power to support companies that are reducing emissions and considering the impact of climate change on federal lending.

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The strategy would get agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration more involved in helping local communities address climate impacts.

"These steps will help safeguard the life savings of workers and families, spur the creation of good-paying jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of U.S. economic prosperity in the decades to come," the White House said in a statement.

"This year alone, extreme weather has upended the U.S. economy and affected one in three Americans," the report added.

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"As this year draws to a close, the total damage of extreme weather will build upon the $99 billion already incurred by American taxpayers in 2020.

"By sustaining the status quo, we not only face the mounting repercussions of climate change, but also bear the opportunity cost of missing out on an historic chance for job creation, shared prosperity, and a more resilient future.

"[The plan is] a long-term effort to build climate resilience throughout the U.S. economy and drive better long-term investment outcomes for ordinary Americans."

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