Pandemic Puts Local Climate Investments at Risk

Officials from 13 states and cities are telling members of Congress that the coronavirus pandemic may cause them to miss a September 2022 deadline for spending $1 billion in federal funds on climate resilience projects, the New York Times reports.

Unless Congress extends the deadline, any unused funds must be returned and the projects could be left unfinished. State officials are asking for a three-year extension.

The projects stem from the National Disaster Resilience Competition, a climate adaptation program from the Obama administration.

Areas that suffered major disasters between 2011 and 2013 were eligible for the funds, which were awarded to 13 states and local governments. Louisiana was awarded $48 million to resettle people who are currently living in Isle de Jean Charles, a community that being lost to the Gulf of Mexico. Shelby County, Tennessee, received $60 million to restore wetlands to reduce flood risks.

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