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Obama unveils new actions to prepare for climate change disasters

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In the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday President Barack Obama announced new actions to prepare for, respond to and combat against the effects of climate change, all created from study-based recommendations from a bipartisan task force.

“Climate change poses a direct threat to the infrastructure of America that we need to stay competitive in this 21st-century economy,” President Obama stated, also noting that many of the effects of climate change are already among us, including the rising of sea levels, the strengthening of hurricanes, the increasing of droughts and wildfires of greater intensity and the increasing of heat waves.

“That means that we should see this as an opportunity to do what we should be doing anyway, and that’s modernizing our infrastructure, modernizing our roads, modernizing our bridges, power grids, our transit systems, and making sure that they’re more resilient,” he remarked.

“That’s going to be good for commerce and it’s obviously going to be good for communities,” Obama added.

According to a fact sheet released by the White House the task force’s recommendations span three key areas of intervention in order to build a more resilient and responsive infrastructure capable of better handling future challenges facing state, local and tribal communities due to global warming and climate change. These areas of focus include building more resilient infrastructure within communities, finding ways to rebuild more quickly and more effectively after disasters do strike and providing federal assistance to help communities gather more useful information as well as to help them better coordinate state, local and tribal action responses.

Created in November 2013, the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience is comprised of 26 members from all levels of government and tribal leadership from across the country and from the entire political spectrum. Wednesday’s meeting at the White House was the group’s fourth and final one. The task force will make its final series of recommendation in the fall.

President Obama stated near his conclusion, “The bottom line is investing in our infrastructure, protecting our communities, ensuring the health and safety of our citizens; none of this should be a partisan issue. This is something that Democrats, Republicans, independents all care about and the leaders who are sitting around this table prove that today and prove it every day.”

The President added, “I want you to know that you have a partner in me, you have a partner in this administration, and I’m confident that, working together, we can take some common-sense steps to make sure that America’s infrastructure is safer, stronger and more resilient for future generations. At the same time as we are also tackling the broader problem of climate change and trying to slow the impact of that not just here but around the world."