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Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden urged immediate actions on climate change on Wednesday, saying "[w]e can't wait any longer to deal with climate crisis" during an event promoting his Build Back Better agenda.

Driving the news: The U.S. is currently facing an extreme heat wave and heavy wildfires in the West, a deadly drought and the the earliest fifth-named Atlantic tropical storm on record currently going through the Southeast.

  • The calamities playing out across the country may have repercussions in Washington as lawmakers debate potentially huge investments for the country's aging infrastructure, per Axios' Andrew Freedman.
  • White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy told Punchbowl News last Wednesday that the current climate-related events ravaging the U.S. "are things that remind us that time is running out here."

What he's saying: "Last year ... more than 10 million acres burned in the West, 10 million acres, not counting the lives lost and homes lost," Biden said. "[That is] more land that exists in my home state of Delaware and my neighbor state of Maryland combined. It's as if a fire swept through and took out every single thing in the state of Delaware and Maryland."

  • "Extreme weather isn't just in the West. In Illinois, farmers downstate are dealing with more frequent droughts. Two weeks ago, just south of here, you just had a newly unprecedented tornado," the president added.
  • "We can't wait any longer to deal with climate crisis, we see with our own eyes, and it's time to act."

Go deeper

John Kerry plays down COP26, knocks Congress over climate legislation

John Kerry. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says COP26 may not get all the results he has been working toward, in part because Congress has yet to act on President Biden's ambitious climate agenda.

Driving the news: In an interview with the AP, Kerry says the negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, may fall short of securing commitments from major emitters to stop burning coal and commit to aggressive near-term emissions cuts.

NOAA is raising its climate profile, its head says

The Nation Hurricane Center in Miami. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Richard W. Spinrad is the first Senate-confirmed administrator of NOAA in five years, which has its advantages in Washington.

What they're saying: “That immediately gets doors open and gets me access,” Spinrad told Axios in an interview following an interagency climate and equity roundtable in Detroit on Tuesday.

Updated 40 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.