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Biden describes climate change as an 'emergency,' promises to 'act with urgency'

With his legislative climate agenda stalled in Congress, Biden used his remarks outside a former coal power plant in Massachusetts on Wednesday to announce several executive actions — including "$2.3 billion in new funding for communities facing extreme heat and new steps to boost the offshore wind industry" — and promise there are more initiatives on the way, CNN reports.

The president did not, however, declare a national climate emergency, though he did seemingly hint that such a step could be coming soon. He also characterized the climate crisis as a "clear and present danger."

"Climate change is an emergency," Biden said, "and in the coming weeks, I'm going to use the power I have as president to turn these words into formal, official, government actions through the appropriate proclamations, executive orders, and regulatory power that a president possesses.

"I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger, and that's what climate change is."

Additional executive action, aside from what Biden shared Wednesday, will be announced later this summer, said national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, per CNN.

"The president has a number of authorities he can use and he's going to work through those and make those announcements," McCarthy noted. "You'll see them rolling out over the next few weeks."

Biden vowed last week to swiftly and significantly tackle the climate crisis even in the absence of congressional action. His efforts arrive as "historic temperatures bake Europe and the United States," The Associated Press writes.