Vice President Kamala Harris Announces $1 Billion To Tackle “Immediate” and “Urgent” Climate Crisis During Florida Visit

Toby Hazlewood

Will Florida receive any of the money?
VP Kamala HarrisShutterstock

On August 1, Vice President Kamala Harris was in Miami, FL to take a tour of the National Hurricane Center. She later spoke at Florida International University and announced $1 billion of Federal funding that will help those regions of the U.S. that have been struck by recent extreme climate events such as flooding in Kentucky, and wildfires in California.

Commenting on the climate crisis and its effects being witnessed across the U.S., VP Harris had this to say:

"One can see how immediate, how current and how urgent the issue is."

She continued:

"Our administration is investing over $1 billion, through FEMA to fund climate resilient projects in 343 towns, cities and counties throughout our nation."

Is Florida also suffering the effects of a climate crisis?

How much of this federal funding will make its way to Florida, remains to be seen. The state suffered a number of severe tornadoes in January of this year which caused significant damage to homes and property, as well as threatening human life. In spite of the severity of these storms, FEMA denied Florida's request for financial help in clearing up the damage.

A January report suggested that Florida could be in for another crazy year for its environment and climate in 2022, carrying on where 2021 left off.

The effects of climate change compounded with population growth in the sunshine state as Americans migrate to Florida following the pandemic, could combine to mean a greater number of extreme events if predictions originating from the Earth Observatory come true.

Florida's citizens are used to extreme weather, and hurricane season is part of the annual calendar. Nonetheless, 2021 was the second time in 2 years and the third since 2005 that the naming of hurricanes made it into the Greek alphabet.

DeSantis taking action to tackle the effects of climate change

As part of Florida's 'Freedom First' budget for 2022 and beyond, Governor Ron DeSantis proposed funding of $276 million over the next three years to fund 76 different projects to improve drainage and increase the height of sea walls across the state.

The governor recognizes that regardless of whether individuals choose to believe in climate change and its knock-on effects or not (such as rising sea levels), there are consequences to low-lying areas of Florida if it isn't dealt with adequately.

Florida helping other states

On August 1, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis also announced that member of the state's emergency response team had also been dispatched to help residents of Kentucky as they recover from the floods.

Florida's emergency response teams have been strengthened recently after the governor announced $10 million of state funds to help urban search and rescue teams with training and equipment upgrades, making them more prepared for the future.

It's this funding and a focus upon ensuring that the appropriate teams are ready to respond to natural disasters that has meant that Florida could help Kentucky out in its time of need.

Do you see much evidence to suggest that the climate crisis is having effects where you live? Do you think that the federal government is doing enough to support states like Florida in dealing with the effects of climate change? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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