First stop of this trip to the Southwestern United States: Arizona. Temperatures have been approaching 50°C for several weeks.

But the state is also confronted with the particularly low flow of the Colorado River, which jeopardizes the supply of cities as well as the agricultural sector. At the end of May, the federal government and the states concerned had reached an agreement to manage the available water, including a reduction in withdrawals in California, Nevada and Arizona.

Joe Biden, 80, candidate for re-election, intends to "highlight the historic investments of his administration in climate protection, protection of natural sites and clean energy," according to the White House.

The president will begin with one of the world's most spectacular natural sites, the Grand Canyon.

According to several American media, he could announce the creation, around the site, of a new "national monument", that is to say a vast protected area, which would prohibit in particular any uranium mining.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona, in February 2017 © RHONA WISE / AFP

This decision would address the concerns of Indian tribes in the region.

'Existential threat'

The date of this move was not chosen by chance: the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the centerpiece of its mandate, will celebrate its first anniversary on August 16.

Named so to succeed in getting it passed in Congress - inflation reached its highest level in 40 years at the time - this plan actually tackles CO2 emissions, which it aims to reduce by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005. And reach zero emissions by 2050.

For this, it promises $ 370 billion of investments in the energy transition, including the manufacture of batteries for electric cars or solar panels.

But also spending on public services, to modernize the dilapidated tax service for example.

Joe Biden regularly calls climate change an "existential threat," criticizing those in the Republican opposition who question it.

The choice of Arizona for its trip is not without electoral ulterior motives.

It is undeniably an emblematic state of the challenges posed by climate change, between extreme temperatures and drought.

But Arizona also promises to be one of the most contested electoral lands in the next presidential election, in just over a year.

In 2020, Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by barely 10,000 votes in this key state.

Investment Announcements

A year after its adoption, the IRA has had no positive impact on Joe Biden's popularity with the Republican electorate.

More than half of Americans (57 percent) disapprove of the Democratic president's handling of climate change, but admit they don't really know what's in the plan, according to a Washington Post and University of Maryland poll released Monday.

And this, despite the multiple announcements of investments made by companies in the United States.

"The legislation has fueled an explosion of investment in the United States, with approximately 200 new clean energy projects totaling more than $110 billion announced in the United States over the past year," the Treasury Department said in a July 28 statement.

In the manufacturing sector, $75 billion in new investments have been announced, said Jack Conness, an expert at the Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology think tank.

Joe Biden will continue his trip Wednesday to New Mexico, another state rich in natural wonders, but also particularly shaken by recent extreme heat waves.

Finally, he will travel to Utah on Thursday to focus on his programs for veterans.

© 2023 AFP