President Joe Biden says he has “practically” declared a national climate emergency, though he has yet to make an official declaration to that effect.
In an interview that aired on Aug. 9, the president was asked by The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams whether he was prepared to declare a national emergency with respect to climate change.
“I’ve already done that,” he responded. “We’ve conserved more land. We’ve … rejoined the Paris Climate Accord. We’ve passed a $368 billion climate control facility. We’re moving. It is the existential threat to humanity.”
When pressed again on whether he had already declared an emergency, he added: “Practically speaking, yes.”
Despite mounting pressure from climate activists, President Biden has yet to announce a climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act. The law, when invoked, empowers the president to take actions that would otherwise not be permitted.
With respect to climate, it has been speculated that the law could potentially open up new avenues for boosting renewable energy projects in the military and halting crude oil exports and offshore drilling, among other actions.
In July 2022, the White House said the president was not ruling out making such a declaration, but little has been said about the possibility since.
Instead, during his Aug. 8 trip to the Grand Canyon, President Biden touted his administration’s “historic investments” in climate policies and renewable energy sources.
He also announced the creation of a new national monument that will preserve roughly 1 million acres of land around Grand Canyon National Park and limit uranium mining in the area.
The monument has been a decades-long ask of local tribal leaders and environmental groups who say uranium mining endangers water sources nearby.
“Folks, our nation’s history is etched in our people and our lands. Today’s action is going to protect and preserve that history,” President Biden said during a speech at the long-closed Red Butte Airfield in Grand Canyon Village.
During his remarks, the president touched on the record-breaking heat experienced by much of the country that made last month the world’s hottest on record.
Attributing those temperatures to climate change, he touted his signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which he described as the “biggest investment in climate conservation and environmental justice ever, anywhere, in the history of the world.” Read more here..