The Obama administration has again brought focus to the government’s role in addressing climate change. On 14 February, during a visit to drought stricken Fresno, California, President Barack Obama spoke on the importance of funding research on the impacts of climate change. In his 2015 budget, the President will ask Congress to fund a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund to better prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change.
The fund is intended to:
- Invest in research to better understand the impacts of climate change and how we can better prepare our communities and infrastructure.
- Help communities plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change to help avoid future risks.
- Fund new technologies and resilient infrastructure.
The program would also support new projects in the existing Climate Data Initiative, which was created to understand and analyze the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities. With the inclusion of research on impacts of climate change on weather patterns, the Climate Data Initiative would expand its focus to climate change’s effects on inland communities.
Some lawmakers criticized connecting the fund to California’s devastating drought. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) argued, “Drought is a serious problem that should not be used to justify a partisan agenda or a new billion dollar climate change fund.”
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