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Remarks: Joe Biden Reviews Actions to Take to Address Climate Change - November 14, 2023

  • Joe Biden
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Joe Biden

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00:00:00-00:00:03 (4 sec)
Thank you so much. Appreciate it. 1

Joe Biden

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00:00:03-00:00:07 (4 sec)
Well, I told Ritika: When she's president, don't forget me. [Laughter] 2

Joe Biden

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00:00:07-00:00:19 (12 sec)
Ritika, thank you for that introduction and your beautiful artwork. You all see the artwork? Can you see it up here? It's on the right side; I don't know if they can see it. 3

Joe Biden

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00:00:19-00:00:29 (10 sec)
And thank you to all of you -- to the climate scientists and experts who are here today and all across the country who have contributed to this critical endeavor. 4

Joe Biden

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00:00:29-00:00:46 (17 sec)
I particularly want to thank Allison Crimmins -- you know, who put together the team to write this report and -- we're releasing today. It was an easy thing to do. Not much to it. [Laughter] Only about 700 people you had to get in line. 5

Joe Biden

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00:00:46-00:00:56 (10 sec)
Well, more than 30 years ago, Congress passed a law that called for a detailed scientific report on the impacts of global changes in the environment. 6

Joe Biden

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00:00:56-00:01:06 (10 sec)
Since then, these assessments delivered to Congress and the President have been the go-to resource in America for information on climate change and for developing climate solutions. 7

Joe Biden

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00:01:06-00:01:13 (7 sec)
Today -- today, I'm proud to announce that my administration just released the Fifth Climate Assessment in our nation's history. 8

Joe Biden

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00:01:13-00:01:28 (15 sec)
It didn't just come out of thin air. Written over four years, 750 authors and experts, thousands -- thousands of American contributors from every single state in the nation as well as several territories and Tribes. 9

Joe Biden

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00:01:28-00:01:35 (7 sec)
It's the most comprehensive assessment on [the] state [of] climate change in the history of America. And it matters. 10

Joe Biden

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This assessment shows us in clear scientific terms that climate change is impacting all regions, all sectors of the United States -- not just some, all. 11

Joe Biden

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00:01:46-00:01:55 (9 sec)
It shows that communities across America are taking more action than ever to reduce climate risks and warns that more action is still badly needed. 12

Joe Biden

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00:01:55-00:02:01 (7 sec)
We can't be complacent. Let me say that again: We can't be complacent. We have to keep going. 13

Joe Biden

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00:02:01-00:02:10 (8 sec)
Above all, it shows us that climate action offers an opportunity for the nation to come together and do some really big things. 14

Joe Biden

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00:02:10-00:02:22 (13 sec)
You know, I've seen firsthand what the reports made clear: the devastating toll of climate change and its existential threat to all of us. And it is the ultimate threat to humanity: climate change. 15

Joe Biden

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00:02:22-00:02:35 (13 sec)
I've walked the streets of Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Puerto Rico -- where historic hurricanes and floods wiped out homes, hospitals, houses of worship -- just wiped them right off the map. 16

Joe Biden

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00:02:35-00:02:49 (14 sec)
I've met with families in Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi, where catastrophic winter storms and tornadoes devoured everything in their path -- schools, businesses, police stations, a fire house. 17

Joe Biden

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00:02:49-00:03:05 (16 sec)
I've seen firefighters in Idaho, Maui, and New Mexico, California, Colorado, where wildfires destroyed whole neighborhoods and sacred Tribal sites, spreading smoky haze thousands of miles and forcing millions of Americans to shelter indoors in unsafe air to breathe. 18

Joe Biden

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00:03:05-00:03:30 (25 sec)
Look -- and, by the way -- and I've flown over all these areas in helicopters. They tell me that more of our forest land has -- forest has burned to the ground than make up the entire state of New Jersey. The entire state. Some say Maryland, New Jersey -- but the [inaudible] is it's -- that's just gigantic and has incredible impacts. 19

Joe Biden

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00:03:30-00:03:37 (7 sec)
Record temperatures in Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere are affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100 million Americans. 20

Joe Biden

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00:03:37-00:03:50 (13 sec)
And this summer and this fall have been the Earth's hottest since global records began to be kept in the 1800s. Think about that: the hottest we've ever recorded in history. 21

Joe Biden

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00:03:50-00:03:59 (9 sec)
It's an impact -- an impact that decades are making because inaction -- there was inaction for much too long. 22

Joe Biden

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00:03:59-00:04:08 (9 sec)
Look -- but we're acting now, and we have been acting. We've come to the point where it's foolish for anyone to deny the impacts of climate change anymore. 23

Joe Biden

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00:04:08-00:04:20 (12 sec)
But it's simply a simple fact that there are a number of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle -- MAGA Republican leaders -- who still deny climate change, still deny that it's a problem. 24

Joe Biden

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00:04:20-00:04:27 (8 sec)
My predecessor and much of the MAGA Republican Party, in fact, are -- feel very strongly about that. 25

Joe Biden

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00:04:27-00:04:34 (7 sec)
Anyone who willfully denies the impact of climate change is condemning the American people to a very dangerous future. 26

Joe Biden

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00:04:34-00:04:41 (7 sec)
The impacts we're seeing are only going to get worse, more frequent, more ferocious, and more costly. 27

Joe Biden

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00:04:41-00:05:09 (28 sec)
Last year alone, natural disasters in America caused $178 billion -- $178 billion in damages. They hit everyone, no matter where -- what their circumstances, but they hit the most vulnerable the hardest: seniors; people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness who have nowhere to turn; Black, brown, and Tribal communities; territories that are most exposed and le- -- have the least resource -- fewest resources. 28

Joe Biden

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00:05:09-00:05:15 (6 sec)
But, folks, none of this is inevitable. None of it's inevitable. 29

Joe Biden

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00:05:15-00:05:33 (18 sec)
From day one, my administration has taken unprecedented climate action. We're working with everyone from mayors to county officials to entrepreneurs to academics; business leaders, labor leaders, Tribal leaders. We're focused in all parts of America: cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural communities and Tribal Nations. 30

Joe Biden

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00:05:33-00:06:01 (29 sec)
And here's how. We're using a law I got passed when I first came to office called the American Rescue Plan to help states and cities become more resilient to climate change, promoting energy efficiency by weatherizing homes, reducing flooding by building infrastructure to handle storm surges, opening cooling centers impacted -- centers where there's particular great heat impact and people need a shelter. 31

Joe Biden

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00:06:01-00:06:27 (26 sec)
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I signed two years ago -- the most significant investment in our nation's infrastructure in American history: roads, bridges, ports, airports, high-speed Internet. It delivers clean water to your community, lowers your energy bills, upgrades your electric grid so you don't have to power them -- so you don't have to lose power, I should say, when storms and heatwaves hit. 32

Joe Biden

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The CHIPS and Science Act I signed last year -- [coughs] excuse me -- I signed last year -- excuse me -- [coughs] -- I signed last year positions us to lead in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation, which is critical to clean energy development and deployment. 33

Joe Biden

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00:06:50-00:07:08 (18 sec)
Semiconductors are those small, little computer chips you all know, the size of the tip of your little finger, that power everything in our lives, from smart phones to appliances. We invented those chips. We invented them. And we're -- other countries started making them, and we weren't. 34

Joe Biden

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00:07:08-00:07:11 (4 sec)
Not anymore. We're making these chips here in America. 35

Joe Biden

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00:07:11-00:07:17 (6 sec)
And my Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant climate investment ever anywhere in the world. 36

Joe Biden

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00:07:17-00:07:40 (23 sec)
Among many things it does, it offers tax credits to make your home more energy efficient; upgrading windows and doors to keep drafts out and heat in; tax credits to installing electric heat pumps and solar panels on your roof, saving hundreds of dollars in your family bills; tax credits to buy electric vehicles as we build the electric vehicle future here in America. 37

Joe Biden

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00:07:40-00:07:47 (7 sec)
We're transforming clean energy development that's [DEL: threatening :DEL] [creating] good-paying jobs, including union jobs, in all of America. 38

Joe Biden

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We've already attracted over half a tri- -- we've attracted half a trillion dollars -- a half of trillion dollars in private sector investment for my Investing in America agenda in clean energy and advanced manufacturing. 39

Joe Biden

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00:08:01-00:08:06 (5 sec)
We're just getting -- and we're just getting started. And we really are. We're just getting started. 40

Joe Biden

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All told, my Investing in America Agenda and those bold climate laws are the most au- -- ambitious in American history. 41

Joe Biden

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Today's release, the Fifth National Climate Assessment, is a critical part of that effort. It lays out the threats and dangers, but most experts would acknowledge it also shows solutions are within reach. Solutions are within reach. 42

Joe Biden

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00:08:31-00:08:41 (10 sec)
It takes time for the investments we're making to be fully materialized. But we just have to keep at it. We need to do more and move faster, and we have the tools to do it. 43

Joe Biden

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00:08:41-00:09:07 (26 sec)
And for the first time ever, we're also releasing the report with new -- with a new online tool -- that I just was shown a moment ago in the other room -- so everyone can explore exactly what's happening in their state, their city, and their county by going online to WhiteHouse.gov/NCA. WhiteHouse.gov/NCA 44

Joe Biden

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00:09:07-00:09:27 (20 sec)
That's very different from the previous administration that tried to bury this report. They didn't even want to make sure this -- this report even came to light. We're sharing it on -- we're -- and we're -- we're -- we're sharing this report in detail with the American people so they know exactly what they're facing and what we're going to have to do. 45

Joe Biden

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00:09:27-00:09:49 (22 sec)
But that's not all. Along with this assessment, I'm announcing $6 billion in new investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make communities across the country more resilient to climate change. This funding will be administered by the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 46

Joe Biden

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00:09:49-00:10:06 (17 sec)
And it's going to be focused on key climate goals, including modernizing our aging electric grid to withstand extreme weather, which is causing fi- -- the -- these forest fires. When those towers come down and the lines snap, they catch fire. The forest catches fire. 47

Joe Biden

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00:10:06-00:10:15 (9 sec)
They cost a lot more money to bury those underground and do other things, but we have to do it. And it's causing significant outages as well. 48

Joe Biden

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Reducing flood risks to communities. Improving drought resilience. 49

Joe Biden

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Supporting conservation for our national parks. I've already been able to conserve 21 million acres of our most precious and sacred lands and waters just -- just thus far -- just in the first two and a half years. 50

Joe Biden

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00:10:32-00:10:37 (6 sec)
And advancing environmental justice for disadvantaged communities, because they're the ones always left behind. 51

Joe Biden

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00:10:37-00:11:04 (27 sec)
Let me close with this. Last week, I stopped by the "White House Demo Day" to meet with the scientists and experts overseeing groundbreaking and cutting-edge science and technology that my administration is funding right now, right here in America. It was truly inspirational hearing from experts from all across the government, the private sector, and academia touching on so many fields. 52

Joe Biden

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00:11:04-00:11:21 (17 sec)
I saw a prosthetic arm that can sense touch, and it's controlled by one's thoughts. A prosthetic arm. It's just like your hand. You think you want to move your finger -- well, it worked out you think -- he wants to move his hand, it can do it. It's -- it's an incredible breakthrough. 53

Joe Biden

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00:11:21-00:11:36 (15 sec)
Electric heat pumps to help old homes transition to clean energy homes of the future. Robots for ocean exploration that survey marine life along unmapped seafloors where barely any light penetrates. And so much more. 54

Joe Biden

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00:11:36-00:11:57 (20 sec)
It was a reminder, at least for me, of what I've long believed -- that America can be defined by a single word. I mean this sincerely. The single that -- I was asked by Xi Jinping years ago, when we were in the Tibetan Plateau, could I define America. I said, "Yeah. One word: possibilities." Possibilities. 55

Joe Biden

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00:11:57-00:12:06 (9 sec)
In this administration, America will be the place where great science changes what's possible. That's why I've never been more optimistic about America's future. 56

Joe Biden

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00:12:06-00:12:14 (8 sec)
We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America, and there is nothing -- nothing beyond our capacity if we work together. 57

Joe Biden

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00:12:14-00:12:18 (4 sec)
May God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 58

Question

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00:12:18-00:12:22 (4 sec)
What are the possibilities in San Francisco, Mr. President? 59

Question

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00:12:22-00:12:27 (5 sec)
Sir, [inaudible] with your meeting with Xi tomorrow, sir? And do you -- what -- how would you define success with your meeting with President Xi? 60

Joe Biden

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00:12:27-00:12:39 (11 sec)
To get back on a normal course of corresponding: being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another when there's a crisis, being able to make sure our militaries still have contact with one another. 61

Joe Biden

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00:12:39-00:13:17 (38 sec)
We can't take -- as I told you, we're not trying to decouple from China, but we're -- what we're trying to do is change the relationship for the better. From my perspective, if in fact the Chinese people, who are in trouble right now economically -- if the average homeowner or -- the "homeowner" -- if the average citizen in China was able to have a decent-paying job, that benefits them and it benefits all of us. But I'm not going to continue to sustain the support for positions where if you want to invest in China, we have to turn over all our trade secrets. 62

Joe Biden

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00:13:17-00:13:17 ( sec)
Thank you. 63

Note

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00:13:17-00:13:17 ( sec)
[Crosstalk] 64

Joe Biden

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[Addressing the participants onstage] Ready? 65

Question

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00:13:17-00:13:27 (10 sec)
Mr. President, can you address the hostages directly and give them a message of hope and resilience in these troubling times? 66

Joe Biden

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00:13:27-00:13:36 (8 sec)
Yes, I can. I've been talking with the -- people involved every single day. I believe it's going to happen, but I don't want to get into any detail. 67

Question

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00:13:36-00:13:38 (2 sec)
What's your message for the families? 68

Joe Biden

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00:13:38-00:13:40 (2 sec)
Hang in there. We're coming. 69

Question

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00:13:40-00:13:42 (2 sec)
Will you sign the CR? 70

Question

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00:13:42-00:13:53 (11 sec)
Mr. President, there is a report out this morning that Israel and Hamas are close to a deal for the release of 70 of the hostages. Is there anything you can add to that? 71

Joe Biden

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00:13:53-00:13:54 (1 sec)
No. 72

Joe Biden

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00:13:54-00:13:56 (2 sec)
Thank you. 73