by Steve Holland
GOLDEN, Colorado (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that extreme weather events will cost the country more than $100 billion this year as he visits Colorado to highlight drought and wildfires that hit the western US.
Colorado was the president’s last stop on a trip to three western states, in which he also visited California and Idaho to demonstrate how global warming has devastated the region’s landscape, while in other parts of the country hurricanes and storms have caused flooding and killed dozens of people.
Tropical Storm Nicholas hit the coasts of Texas and Louisiana on Tuesday, flooding streets and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity.
Biden also used the trip to gain support for the government’s plans for infrastructure investments, which are aimed at combating the growing threat of climate change.
“We have to make the investments that will slow our contributions to climate change today, not tomorrow,” Biden said after visiting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.
Recent extreme weather events “will come with more ferocity,” he added.
Biden estimated that the economic damage caused by such events this year would be more than $100 billion, a day after saying they cost the United States $99 billion last year.
“Even if it’s not in your backyard, you feel the effects,” he said.
((Translation of the Rio de Janeiro Newsroom; 55 21 2223-7128))
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