Denying Climate Change ‘Will Cost Us Billions Of Dollars,’ U.S. Budget Director Warns

The new U.S. director of the Office of Management and Budget used his first speech to talk about the dangers not acting on climate change poses to the federal budget.
Shaun Donovan, head of the OMB, said in a speech at the Center for American Progress Friday that acting on climate change is “tremendously important” to him and that it’s “critical to our ability to operate and fund the government in a responsible manner.”
“From where I sit, climate action is a must do; climate inaction is a can’t do; and climate denial scores – and I don’t mean scoring points on the board,” Donovan said. “I mean that it scores in the budget. Climate denial will cost us billions of dollars.”
Donovan noted that climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, and singled out Superstorm Sandy as a storm that caused huge amounts of damage — $65 billion in all, making it the second most expensive weather disaster in U.S. history, behind Hurricane Katrina. According to a Center for American Progress report from 2013, the U.S. was hit by 14 extreme weather events that created at least $1 billion in damage in 2011, and 11 billion-dollar disasters in 2012. Added up, the disasters from these two years created up to $188 billion in total damage.

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