US President Joe Biden has announced $2.3bn to help build infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather and natural disasters.
But he stopped short of formally declaring a climate emergency, which would grant him further powers.
Mr Biden spoke in Massachusetts as a heatwave brings extreme weather to Europe and North America.
Tens of millions of people in the US, across more than two dozen states, are living under heat warnings this week.
"Climate change is literally an existential threat to our nation and to the world," the president said in Wednesday's speech, which was delivered outside a former coal-fired power plant in the town of Somerset. "The health of our citizens and our communities is... at stake. So we have to act."
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