PHOENIX — Ali Zaidi, the Deputy National Climate Advisor, says the recently published IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report confirms what is already known: action at this moment is absolutely urgent.
“We continue to see a narrowing path to stabilize our climate, and there's no opportunity bigger than the one that's right in front of us, which is the opportunity to tackle the climate crisis,” Zaidi says.
The issues brought up in the report puts the United States and its citizens at an important crossroads for the future.
“We are seeing a record drought. We're seeing record heat. We are seeing the challenge of wildfires, literally burned-down structures, and threatening lives across the west. That is a grave challenge," Zaidi states.
Joellen Russell, who works with the non-partisan climate science group "Science Moms" shares that sentiment, saying the time to act is now.
“I think that's really the upshot of the whole IPCC report is carbon emissions. We need to reduce them and we need to pick up the pace.”
With the current Infrastructure bill making its way through Congress, however, the Biden administration is hopeful that the nation will be ready to build for a changing climate.
Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Arizona would receive millions of dollars for climate-resilient improvement projects over a five-year span, including:
- $38 million to protect against wildfires
- $619 million to improve water infrastructure
- $76 million to support expansion of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network across the state.
Arizona would also benefit from the bill's $3.5 billion investment in weatherization and can apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging.
Zaidi says these investments would help communities cope with the impacts that have been unleashed, but also would invest in a clean energy economy.
To read more on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and how much funding would go to Arizona, click here.