March 4, 2014

President Obama Formally Requests New Climate Resilience Funding From Congress

WASHINGTON (March 4, 2014) – President Obama’s call for a billion-dollar climate resilience fund in his latest budget demonstrates how our national debate about climate change is shifting, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Angela Anderson, director of UCS’s Climate and Energy Program.

“The president is confronting members of Congress with a reality they need to face: climate change is already hurting us economically. Coastal flooding, wildfires and declining water resources are affecting people where they live and work. Everything from food prices to homeowners’ insurance rates is being affected by climate change. When these costs of living increase, people who are already struggling economically are the most vulnerable.

“Taxpayers are already footing the bill for some aspects of climate change through disaster relief. If funded, the President’s proposal would help communities prepare for climate change and could reduce the need for costly bailouts in the future.

“We simply can’t afford to keep ignoring the financial stakes of climate change. The president is absolutely right to make climate preparedness a national priority. Members of Congress should recognize that their constituents are being seriously affected. As the costs add up, the climate debate will have to start reflecting the realities we’re seeing on the ground.

“Resilience funding is essential to confront the consequences of climate change already being felt.  Beyond that, Congress needs to get serious about reducing the risks of the changing climate. Unless and until we start cutting emissions that cause global warming, the problems communities are facing, and their price tags, will continue to grow. The president was right to highlight some of these steps, especially renewing the production tax credit for wind energy, in his budget.”

UCS experts have posted blogs about ongoing coastal insurance debates in Congress, as well as policies that would improve funding for fighting wildfires. In previous years, uncertainty about the production tax credit has led to disruptive boom and bust cycles for the wind industry.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.