Government Watchdog Says Climate Change and Weird Weather Will Cost Big Bucks

GAO predicts a bill in the tens of billions.
factoryseashell/Flickr

factoryseashell/Flickr

Every two years, the Government Accountability Office—the independent agency charged with keeping an eye on how Congress spends our money—releases a list of programs and issues that present a high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. This year, for the first time, the agency added climate change planning and response to the list—a reflection of the fact that the agency sees climate as a big fiscal risk for the US.

The GAO only added two new areas to its list this year that it believes creates risk. Climate change was one of them, along with the gaps in our weather satellite program. Here’s how the GAO summed up the risks:

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.