GAO: Climate change poses financial risk to government
A word of warning HERE:
The U.S. government is at high risk of financial exposure from climate change, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday, two days after President Barack Obama vowed to tackle the issue with or without Congress’ help.
For the first time, the non-partisan congressional watchdog added fiscal exposure from climate change to its “High Risk List” of measures the federal government needs to fix.
“Climate change is a complex, crosscutting issue that poses risks to many environmental and economic systems — including agriculture, infrastructure, ecosystems, and human health — and presents a significant financial risk to the federal government,” the agency said.
There are now 30 programs and operations the GAO considers at high risk for waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement, or that need broad-based transformation, from the management of federal oil and gas resources to enforcement of tax laws.
“GAO added this area because the federal government is not well positioned to address the fiscal exposure presented by climate change and needs a government-wide strategic approach with strong leadership to manage related risks,” the agency said in a statement.
The government owns extensive infrastructure, including military bases; insures property through the National Flood Insurance Program; and provides aid to victims of natural disasters, making it especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change, GAO said.