“New U.S. Strategy Would Quickly Free Billions in Climate Funds”

“Emergency management officials aim to funnel up to $10 billion into preventing climate disasters. The plan “would dwarf all previous grant programs of its kind,” one analyst said.”

“WASHINGTON — Federal officials, showing how rapidly the Biden administration is overhauling climate policy after years of denial under former President Donald J. Trump, aim to free up as much as $10 billion at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to protect against climate disasters before they strike.

The agency, best known for responding to hurricanes, floods and wildfires, wants to spend the money to pre-emptively protect against damage by building seawalls, elevating or relocating flood-prone homes and taking other steps as climate change intensifies storms and other natural disasters.

“It would dwarf all previous grant programs of its kind,” said Daniel Kaniewski, a former deputy administrator at FEMA and now a managing director at Marsh & McLennan Companies, a consulting firm.

The FEMA plan would use a budgeting maneuver to repurpose a portion of the agency’s overall disaster spending toward projects designed to protect against damage from climate disasters, according to people familiar with discussions inside the agency.”

Christopher Flavelle reports for the New York Times January 25, 2021.