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What is the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge?

What is the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, why is it important in the midst of climate change and rising sea levels, and how will the potential funding help to combat these predicaments provoked by climate change?
Ecology News
2023-08-24T00:00:00.000Z
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Biden is continuing to build upon the abundant number of new climate legislation passed in the past year with the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge. 

The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is a new program created by Biden and the NOAA that will allow various communities, education institutions, and coastal regions to propose a personalized plan to grow more climate resilient communities.

In the upcoming days, Biden is expected to reveal new climate investments valued at over $600 million dollars to help prevent rising sea levels, renovate current electricity grids in the state of California, and even help to protect vulnerable communities alongside the coast.

What is the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, why is it important in the midst of climate change and rising sea levels, and how will the potential funding help to combat these predicaments provoked by climate change?

Why did Biden create the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge? 

Biden hasn’t been shy to implement environmental measures in the past, such as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 where Biden allocated a massive $369 billion dollars to facilitate the transition to the use of clean energy by offering Americans a tax incentive to pick the more energy efficient option when shopping – such as by choosing an electric car over a gasoline powered one. 

However, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge could help the country to take another large step forward to achieve its new climate goals and ultimate target to transition to the use of clean energy. This is because the proposed $600 million dollars would help to protect cities prone to the effects of climate change, specifically – when it comes to rising sea levels and flooding from natural disasters like hurricanes.

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“This [climate change] is the only truly existential threat.” – Joe Biden, 2023

Biden has been exceptionally vocal as a president regarding his opinion towards climate change, and ultimately – the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge was developed as a result of numerous natural disasters continuously leaving vulnerable communities in peril: whether it be financially, mentally, or left without a home. In the midst of climate change, programs such as the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge are becoming more compulsory than optional.

👉 The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge has already been supported by Biden by four different climate and environmental justice groups: the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters Action Fund (LCV), NextGen PAC, and the NRDC Action Fund. More environmental groups are expected to announce their support and encourage others the importance of proceeding with the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge and Biden’s efforts to rectify the environmental damage caused by the U.S. and Americans prior to the 2024 election.

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What are the main goals of the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge?

The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is a multifaceted challenge that will help to improve the resilience of coastal communities that remain vulnerable to natural disasters or the aftermath of a massive storm. In addition to this, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help cities that are susceptible to climate change to grow stronger and better equipped to deal with the potential side effects of natural disasters to strike in the future. 

👉 Avenues in which the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help cities prone to suffer the consequences of natural disaster are by combating rising sea levels, the effects of droughts, and other extreme weather – such as forest fires. However, the main goal of the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will be to encourage communities to team up and create novel ideas that can help them improve their resources pool to fight the effects of climate change together. 

Ultimately, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will provide these regions with funding to allow for greater research and development on how to improve the current circumstances of these areas to help them grow more resilient to the effects of climate change.

rocky coastline with mountains and clear blue water

How will the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge work to fight rising sea levels and the effects of climate change?

In a sense, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is built off of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 – as funding for the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge wouldn’t have been possible without Biden’s previous climate bill passed last summer. 

The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will work by create two separate funds, referred to as “tracks”:

  • Track One: Funding for Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development
  • Track Two: Funding for Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions

(Read more below in the next section for details on how each track funding for the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help to support climate resilience in vulnerable regions).

👉 It is important to note that while these two funds for the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge are different – they will each help to support the other track and ultimately to achieve the main goals of the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge.

Those who wish to take part in the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will first be required to submit a letter of intent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – or the NOAA, for those who have been invited to fill out an application. 

Important facts to remember for those invited to submit an application for the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge: 

  • Entities eligible to apply include coastal states, counties, cities, territories, and even tribal organizations
  • Both public & nonprofit organizations may apply
  • Institutions of higher education may also apply, but may be more relevant to universities or colleges that reside near the coast (i.e., University of California in Santa Cruz or the University of Miami)
  • There are no matching funds required
  • The NOAA will be willing to provide assistance for those seeking to submit and application or letter of intent

👉 NOAA will choose around 15 applicants, who will receive anywhere from $15 to $75 million each to move forward with their proposed plan over the next five years.

If the project submitted is to be accepted by the NOAA, the entity will then be granted funding on behalf of the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge – which can help the area to grow to become more resilient to the effects of natural disasters. Examples could include improving the current infrastructure in the city or place of higher education, or seeking to improve electricity grids to ensure they will still provide power in the midst of a natural disaster.

view of lake with snowy mountain ahead

How else will the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge help the environment?

In addition to providing funding for vulnerable communities and entities, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is determined to help with the three following areas:

Through providing schools, organizations, and other entities with funding – the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help to develop and execute these three key focus areas. Therefore, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will not only help to help vulnerable communities be better prepared for environmental disasters to come in the future – but to help them develop other climate mitigation strategies that will help the country achieve its climate targets together collectively.

person signing documents

For example, the first track fund for the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, or the Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development fund – can help organizations, communities, and education systems to:

  • Cultivate new partnerships for greater availability of resources, engage with communities that are not on everyone’s radar to support in the midst of climate change;
  • Improve risk assessment, management, and mitigation to help develop new climate resilience strategies and plans to implement tangible actions;
  • Build a sense of community in fighting against climate change

In addition to the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge helping vulnerable targets to prepare for future predicaments caused by climate change, the second track funding, or funding for the Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions  – can help areas to proceed with the following: 

  • Improve their current infrastructure to be more resilient to natural disasters caused by climate change;
  • Allowing for better access to natural resources alongside the coast;
  • Developing back-up plans in case evacuation is necessary in the area;
  • Encouraging state and local environmental legislation to be updated wherever necessary 

👉 The first track funding in the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help companies to be more reactive to climate change, whereas the second track will focus on encouraging communities to be more proactive against climate change.

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What will set the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge apart from other environmental regulations presented previously?

It’s easy to wonder why the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will be any different than some of the previous and recent efforts passed to help deter climate change – but there is one very distinguishable quality to be said of the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge: its personable approach.

The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will allow communities and entities with the freedom to propose personalized plans that could help them more specifically than a general nation-wide (or even state-wide) protocol could. In addition to this, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will also give these communities intrinsic motivation to proceed with their climate resilience plans – as they will be the ones to draft them in the first place.

For example, universities seeking to improve energy efficiency based on how their school systems function or cities like New Orleans developing ideas that can help them to be more climate resilient without sacrificing their cultural traditions.

street view of new orleans

💡 Think of the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge like the difference between an independent study and a typical internship – the independent study is likely to be more personal to the student than an internship, and will result in greater intrinsic motivation to complete the project as opposed to acquiring general work skills from an internship that may not apply to all or be effective in the future. 

Ultimately, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help to provide financial resources across federal, state, and regional levels while also highlighting the need to improve climate resilience for vulnerable communities. We all tend to work a little harder when it’s an idea we proposed ourselves, and that’s exactly the goal that the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge has in mind

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge and its efforts to prevent rising sea levels and protect coastal towns has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is just one of the many environmental policies, methods, and tools being developed to take control of climate change. Check out our legislation tracker here to see which rules your company has to adhere to.

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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