Government ‘not well-positioned’ to handle climate change risks
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Slowly but inexorably, the very guts of the U.S. government are acknowledging the risks of climate change, most recently demonstrated when the Government Accountability Office said the federal government must do a better job managing climate risk to limit the government’s fiscal exposure.
The changes to GAO’s High Risk List were part of the agency’s biennial update to its list of federal programs and operations at “high risk” for waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement or needing broad-based transformation.
The GAO found that climate change “poses significant financial risks to the federal government infrastructure.” Other areas of government spending that will be affected by climate change include the National Flood Insurance Program and emergency response programs.
The 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.
In a related addition, the GAO also pointed out potential gaps in environmental satellite data beginning as early as 2014 and lasting as long as 53 months. That raises concerns that future weather forecasts and warnings, including those for hurricanes, storm surges, and floods, will be less accurate and timely.