Last week, Mr. Biden announced he would allocate $2.3 billion from an existing Federal Emergency Management Agency program to help communities withstand extreme heat, storms, fires and floods made more intense by a warming planet.
The combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil emits greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. That causes global temperatures to rise, leading to more frequent and severe extreme heatwaves in the United States and around the world.
According to the administration, extreme heat is the biggest weather-related cause of death in the United States for the past 30 years – more than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or extreme cold. It is responsible for the deaths of more than 700 people and the hospitalization of more than 6,000 people each year, the government said.
“The trend is troubling,” Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo said on Tuesday. In addition to endangering public health, extreme heat is “incredibly expensive,” said Raimondo, who estimates the United States loses $100 billion each year because people who work outside of the home can’t work in extremely hot conditions.